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Conduit, the Israeli provider of toolbars and other “engagement” products for publishers, got a big number attached to its name today: A valuation of $1.3 billion. As had been rumored (but for double the price), early Conduit investor Yozma Venture Capital sold off its stake. J.P. Morgan’s Digital Growth Fund bought 7 percent of the company for $100 million, with Conduit’s founders maintaining their controlling stake.
After he was appointed the new president of Microsoft’s important Server and Tools Division from his top engineering post at its come-from-behind Bing search unit, Satya Nadella now finds himself a leader of a business that also needs to keep catching up too. In a wide-ranging interview with BoomTown yesterday, Nadella talked about both his four-year stint at Bing and how he looked forward the challenges of his new job.
News ByteMeebo, the Web toolbar maker, has acquired a New York City-based start-up called Mindset Media, which specializes in psychographic targeting for brand advertising. The company said the acquisition will help with its expansion of advertising products. Twelve members of the Mindset team will be joining Meebo, while two who work in business development will not. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
In an interesting move in the search space, Conduit–a fast-growing start-up that helps publishers make and distribute apps using Web browser toolbars–has entered a strategic partnership with Microsoft’s Bing search service. In doing so, it is leaving its existing search deal with Google and will instead offer Bing to its network of 260,000 publishers and 200 million users.
Sure, Apple and Google have gone from pals to frenemies to outright rivals. But would Steve Jobs and company really dump the search giant in favor of Microsoft’s Bing? We’ll get our first real clue on Saturday, when the iPad arrives.