Google, Motorola, SecondMarket: The 1-Minute Version of Last Week’s Bay Area Biztech News

8/22/11Follow @wroush

While Wall Street burned last week, Silicon Valley fiddled. There was Web-wide discussion of the meaning of the week’s blockbuster technology news, Google’s announcement that it will acquire Motorola Mobility—including right here at Xconomy.

—While many pundits focused on the 17,000-plus patents that Google will acquire if the Motorola deal goes through, our take was that this deal is really about Google’s desire for more control over the entire stack of mobile hardware and software reaching Android users.

—As if bowing to Android’s unstoppable momentum, Hewlett-Packard said it’s giving up on its webOS phones and tablets. To me, the disappearance of yet another mobile operating system—leaving only three real competitors (Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 7)—means that Microsoft will now have an even more important role as a counterweight to Google and Apple in the mobile market.

—In the midst of all the mobile news, I took a couple of days to put together a long feature on SecondMarket, the broker-dealer causing such a ruckus in Silicon Valley by offering startup employees a way to cash in their options and shares long before their companies go public or get acquired. Area CEOs told me they’re concerned about the way such secondary markets will alter the incentives that help them attract and retain the best workers—but SecondMarket says it just wants to help companies address employees’ growing need for liquidity in a more orderly way.

—On the energy and cleantech front, San Francisco-based Cleantech Group found that cleantech IPOs in the first half of the year have skewed toward biofuels, materials, and energy efficiency, with solar companies lagging behind. Bruce Bigelow had our report.

The total valuation of public Software-as-a-Service companies reached a new peak of $21.3 billion in the second quarter of 2011, according to a report from San Diego-based Software Equity Group. The rise reflected increased demand for outsourced cloud computing services.

—In M&A news, Evernote bought Skitch, Digital Chocolate bought Sandlot Games, and Pleasanton, CA-based mortgage lending software maker Ellie Mae bought San Diego-based Del Mar DataTrac, as Bruce reported.

—In selected funding news, GoodData raised $15 million, Box.net raised $19 milliondrchrono raised $650,000, and RelayRides increased the size of its latest funding round to $10 million, up from $5.1 million.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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