Motorola has acquired Y Combinator startup 280 North, we’ve confirmed. We haven’t confirmed, but have heard from multiple sources, that the price is around $20 million. This is a sizable exit for the founders – the company has raised just $250,000 in a 2008 angel round.
280 North created a programming language and set of frameworks collectively known as Cappuccino that can be used to create rich web applications in the same way you’d create desktop applications for MacOS X. Developers we’ve spoken with have praised the framework, calling it one of the best ways to make applications with little programming knowledge.
Apparently Motorola agrees. In an email, a spokesperson says “I can confirm that Motorola acquired 280 North earlier this summer. The transaction provides Motorola with specialized web-app engineering talent and technology that will help facilitate the continued expansion of Motorola’s application ecosystem. We believe 280 North will be instrumental in helping us continue to foster the Android ecosystem with innovative web-based technologies and applications. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.”
280 North is a web application company based on their proprietary application framework, Cappuccino. Along with Objective-J, Cappuccino provides a complete toolkit to develop rich web applications. It’s modeled after a proven desktop development environment, and has been released as an open source project under the LGPL. 280 North’s first application, 280 Slides, enables anyone with a web browser to quickly and easily create beautiful presentations. 280 Slides takes advantage of the web by making it trivial to find and...