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Twango acquired by Nokia
Nokia and Twango have announced that Nokia has acquired the assets of Twango. The price of the transaction is undisclosed but the WSJ believes it was less than $96 million. Twango is a place to share and save your photos, videos and audio files. We reviewed Twango back in January and the service has continued to grow since launch. I was impressed with co-founder Randy Kerr’s business acumen in January and I am just as impressed in my acquisition discussion with him today.
A bit from the official release:
"The Twango acquisition is a concrete step towards our Internet services vision of providing seamless access to information, entertainment, and social networks – at anytime, anywhere, from any connected device, in any way that you choose. We have the most complete suite of connected multimedia experiences including music, navigation, games, and – with the Twango acquisition – photos, videos, and a variety of document types," said Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Multimedia, Nokia. "When you combine a Nokia Nseries multimedia computer that is always on, always connected, and always with you together with a rich media sharing destination like Twango, people will have exciting new ways to create and enjoy rich media experiences in real time."
I had a chance to briefly speak with Randy about the transaction and here are my notes:
- The company does not share membership numbers but he said they have "sufficient numbers" to make the deal work.
- The official release states "Nokia acquired substantially all of Twango’s assets" – this means it’s an asset purchase.
- I asked about iPhone compatibility with Twango and Randy said that the app works great on the iPhone, in fact using the Safari browser, all of Twango is available.
- Revenue models info? Randy said they will continue to offer a free service and are looking into ad models and premium subscriptions.
- Who are Twango’s competitors? I was pretty sure I would hear the usual suspects but Randy surprised me by saying that Apple and Google are their biggest competitors. Apple with the iPhone and Google with their suite of social-sharing services.
- They are hiring in Seattle and the job information will be posted on Tuesday on Twango’s web site. They have 12 employees today, 6 new Nokia staff are joining the team and their goal is to double the headcount by year’s end.
- The Twango name will remain for now and will be a service of Nokia.
Congrats to the Twango team and to Nokia for getting a great service. It will be interesting to watch where Twango goes now with a large company with deep pockets behind them.