Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Is KickApps Next to Board AOL's Gravy Train?

While a lot of focus yesterday was on the gobs of cash that Time Warner (TWX) shareholders now have to fork over to social-networking site Bebo, which was bought by its AOL division for $850 million in spite of low revenues, sources close to the company tell me another big deal is in the hopper and at another lofty price.

Sources say that AOL has been seriously mulling the acquisition of KickApps, which makes white-label social widgets, apps and communities for various companies and helps monetize them, for a reported price of $90 milion.


The deal was being negotiated by AOL’s vice president for business development and general counsel Ira Parker and KickApps Chairman and Founder Eric Alterman (pictured here) as late as this week, although it has not been signed yet.

Founded in 2005, the New York-based KickApps offers social-media applications on demand to companies, such as a car-search widget for Autobytel and a social community around Time Warner’s CW television network’s “Gossip Girl.”

Its investors include Softbank Capital, Prism VentureWorks and Spark Capital, among others, who have put $17 million into KickApps. Competitors include start-ups, such as Ning, GoingOn and CrowdVine.

Here is a video KickApps has on its site about its 3.0 offering:

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik