Six Apart Acquires Rojo

Blogging platform company Six Apart will announce this morning that it has acquired Rojo, a feed reader and search engine that competes with Bloglines and other companies.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but our assumption was that this a less than $5 million deal. Six Apart is not planning on continuing to build out the core Rojo products. In the press release (sorry no link available yet), Six Apart says “Six Apart intends to sell a majority interest in Rojo’s newsreader services in the coming months,” meaning they will become a minority stockholder of the service. Rojo founder and CEO Chris Alden and CTO Aaron Emigh will joining Six Apart’s executive team.

This deal brings to a close the long saga of the Rojo story. The company was founded in June 2003, launched in October 2004 and had a stellar team of investors including TPG Ventures, BV Capital, Marc Andreessen and Ron Conway. Rojo consistently released excellent products and has a loyal core user base. Rojo had a promising start and its userbase continued to grow gradually. But the crowded and highly competitive feed reader space, dominated by Bloglines, Newsgator and others, was a tough playground to hang out in. My hope is that the Rojo product continues to iterate, it’s one of my favorite websites.

Our previous coverage of Six Apart is here, and Rojo is here. We also had a very lively discussion with executives from a number of feed readers, including Chris Alden from Rojo, in a TalkCrunch podcast a couple of months ago.