Plaxo Acquires Calendar Startup HipCal

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This news was embargoed until today at 5 AM PST, but Om managed to dig up the facts anyway. Recently reformed Plaxo is announcing the acquisition of online calendaring startup HipCal, which was built by five college students while attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York

Plaxo says they will integrate HipCal’s calendaring product directly into Plaxo’s free product, and expand premium calendar services as well. Plaxo, now with 11 million or so members and adding 20,000 per day, is in an excellent position to leverage its address book features into new product lines. Calendaring is an obvious next step.

The size of the aquisition was not announced but is almost certainly single digit millions. Here’s the full text of the press release:

PLAXO TO ACQUIRE WEB 2.0 CALENDAR START-UP HIPCAL

New York Fraternity Brothers Create Upstate UpStart
and Land Silicon Valley Jobs

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.—May 1, 2006— Plaxo®, Inc., creator of the smart address book, has agreed to acquire innovative start-up HipCal, developer of an award-winning online calendar service. The acquisition will strengthen Plaxo’s calendar platform, and extend the company’s business model with new revenue-generating offerings.

The HipCal announcement highlights Plaxo’s commitment to providing its members with the best tools and services for accessing and managing all of their personal information on any platform, email client, browser, or mobile device. The addition of HipCal’s team and technology will dramatically accelerate Plaxo’s efforts in the calendar space, bringing lifestyle management tools such as appointment management, iCal publication and subscription, and group calendars to Plaxo members by the end of 2006.

Fraternity Brothers Head to The Valley
Five fraternity brothers originated HipCal while attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), located in Troy, New York. The team quickly realized their online calendar and to-do list was more than a success among friends — lots of people were using it. They decided to turn school project into a business and HipCal immediately took off — inside and outside of RPI. In less than six months, the beta grew to thousands of subscribers and garnered awards from both South by Southwest (SXSW) and SEOmoz.org’s Web 2.0 Awards.

“Our goal with HipCal was simply to create a calendar that makes sense,” said Garret Heaton, co-founder and lead programmer, HipCal. “While we created a fantastic online calendar, as a standalone service, we realized more could be done to achieve its fullest potential. Together with Plaxo, we can give people one central, easily accessible service for all the information they need to organize their personal and professional lives.”

“In the less than four years, Plaxo has fundamentally changed the way people think about the address book,” said Ben Golub, president and CEO, Plaxo, Inc. “With the addition of the skilled HipCal team, we plan to do for the calendar what we did for the address book. The combined Plaxo/HipCal vision will result in the most complete and convenient solution for accessing and updating all of your personal information, and for helping you to stay organized and in-touch with friends, colleagues, customers, and family.”

Today, Plaxo offers a smart, self-updating address book that is accessible from any web-enabled device. Plaxo also provides members with universal access to their calendar, tasks and notes. An enhanced, fully integrated and always-accessible calendar raises the bar on what an address book should do giving Plaxo a distinct competitive advantage because it is the natural tie-in with the address book.

Plaxo will acquire all assets of HipCal, including the technologies, for an undisclosed amount. The five founders will become Plaxo employees, but will continue to maintain the HipCal service until its functionality can be incorporated into Plaxo. Plaxo intends to incorporate all of the existing HipCal functionality into its free service. In addition, Plaxo will develop premium, calendar-related services.

About Plaxo
Plaxo, Inc., (www.plaxo.com) is used by over 10 million people in over 83 countries, and enjoys a wide following in academia, government, and both small and large businesses, including 98 of the Fortune 100 companies. Plaxo makes it easy for members to connect to their personal information, friends and colleagues in the manner that is most appropriate. The company has created a network of people whose contact information is always up-to-date through seamless address book updating that occurs between linked members. Plaxo Premium Services expand the functionality of Plaxo and include Plaxo Address Book Optimizer, Plaxo eCards, Plaxo Mobile Access, and Plaxo VIP Support.

Founded in 2001, Plaxo is a privately held company funded by leading investment and technology firms – Sequoia Capital, Globespan Capital Platforms, Harbinger Venture Management and Cisco Systems – as well as individual investors Ram Shriram and Tim Koogle.

About HipCal
HipCal is an online calendar, to-list, and address book developed by fraternity brothers, Garret Heaton, Pete Curley, Chris Rivers, Tawheed Kader, Glenn Dixon, as undergraduates at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in 2005. The award-winning lifestyle management tool and development team was acquired by Plaxo, Inc. in May 2006.

Press Contact:
Mischa Dunton
Plaxo, Inc.,
650.810.1089
mdunton@plaxo.com

Pamela Preston
Breakaway Communications for Plaxo
212.616.6001
ppreston@breakawaycom.com

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