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Synthasite Buys ClickPass. I See Few Synergies.

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Easy site building service Synthasite, which we first covered way back in 2006, has acquired Y Combinator startup Clickpass, which launched earlier this year.

There are no details on the purchase price or terms of the deal, other than that Clickpass CEO Peter Nixey will be joining the SynthaSite team (Clickpass had one other employee who will not be making the jump). Synthasite has raised $5 million in capital, Clickpass just raised the Y Combinator seed round.

Clickpass helps make OpenID more accessible to users by allowing them to use their accounts on services like Gmail, Yahoo, and MSN to log in to other sites. This is essentially what OpenID was built for in the first place, but it has taken many months for major companies to actually implement the standard (though they have been making strides lately). Randy Almond, SynthaSite’s VP of Marketing, says that the Clickpass technology will be used to make it easier for users to import content from other services into their SynthaSite pages.

This may help streamline SynthaSite’s website building process, but it could have just as easily been done though a partnership. There’s also the issue of Clickpass’s longterm utility – as more companies do wind up embracing OpenID as fully as they’ve promised, much of Clickpass’s usefulness with disappear. Perhaps it’s a mercy acquisition in a down market where I imagine Clickpass would have trouble raising funds.

Either way, we’re fans of both services, it just seems like SynthaSite acquired Clickpass for its talent rather than its lofty goals of bringing OpenID to the masses.

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