Google Acquires Wiki Collaboration Company Jotspot

Google’s office strategy just got a whole lot richer with the announced acquisition of the wiki based company Jotspot. A business oriented service that plugs a long list of different applications like calendars and photo sharing into a wiki framework, we called Jotspot “the best business-facing hosted wiki available” when we reviewed its newest iteration this summer. We also reported on rumors that Yahoo! was going to acquire the company in May. See all our previous coverage of Jotspot here.

Other than a wiki, most of Jotspot’s plug and play applications are things that Google already has its own versions of. The acquisition may have been largely motivated by the desire to bring on board an agile team able to quickly ramp up lightweight hosted business applications for collaboration. Google may push Jotspot primarily as a project management application, one of the most important missing pieces of the company’s office platform. In fact, far more than a wiki, I’m going to guess that when Google reopens Jotspot to new users it will be as a wiki based project management service.

The Palo Alto company reports having more than 2000 customers who subscribe to services costing $5 and $200 per month. An intro page and screencast about Jotspot is still online but may not be for much longer. As of today all existing customers are no longer being charged and new account registration is closed while Jotspot is integrated with the rest of Google’s services.

Founders Joe Kraus and Graham Spencer are also founders of early web portal Excite, now an IAC property. Excite was once considered a darling of the early web but was first acquired for less than $10 million.

Jotspot raised one round of funding in 2004 for $5.2 million from Redpoint Ventures and Mayfield Funds. Joe Krause frequently points out that it cost only $100,000 to get Jotspot to market.

Jotspot has often been discussed as one of the most successful and established enterprise 2.0 companies and I imagine the selling price was a good one for the small startup. Details haven’t been disclosed but Jotspot is a strong company, the deal has officially closed and Google said in its last earnings call that YouTube’s all stock acquisition was unusual. Google probably paid a substantial amount of cash for Jotspot.

If Jotspot can be integrated as smoothly as so many other Google web applications have been, it will go a long ways towards strengthening Google for the upcoming web collaboration wars. How much longer until a web conferencing company is acquired?