The companies connected through Exitround, a website that helps startups find potential acquirers in an anonymized way. Co-founder and CEO Jacob Mullins (a former colleague of mine from my time at VentureBeat) told me that Exitround has facilitated other deals, but this is the first time he’s been given permission to name the buyer and the seller.
The financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed. Meexo’s two co-founders will take on new roles at Live Nation Labs, the digital-focused arm of the company, with Romain David becoming head of mobile product and Dav Yaginuma leading mobile engineering.
Ethan Kaplan, Live Nation’s vice president of product, said that including Meexo, Live Nation Labs has made three talent acquisitions — one of them was last year’s purchase of Rexly, while the other hasn’t been announced yet. And there will probably be more: “In the next year, I have a big mandate for mobile.”
According to David, Meexo had already turned its attention away from the dating app that it launched at Disrupt, working instead on a new product that he wouldn’t say much about, except that it was a mobile social app that involved “context.” However, there were unforeseen technical challenges, and after talking to investors (Meexo was backed by undisclosed angels) and hearing from potential acquirers, David and Yaginuma decided to look at their options, including Exitround.
When I asked David if he had any regrets about leaving his startup behind, he replied via email:
I made my very first cellular call on July 3, 1994 at the Formula One Grand Prix in France on a Mitsubishi MF 450. I knew that one day mobile would change our lives, not only in a utilitarian way but also in an emotional way. This is why I made every decision in my education and career around it, since that day. I have had dreams about what mobile should do and what it should become. Some of these dreams have become reality, some have not. To me, the most important is for these dreams to happen rather than being part of a small company or large company.
Update: This post has been updated with Kaplan’s correct title. It has also been corrected to reflect David’s statement that (contrary to what I had understood initially) Live Nation acquired both the Meexo team and its assets.