AOL On A Bender – KickApps May Be Next Acquisition

AOL, a company that is supposedly on the block themselves, seems to be on somewhat of an acquisition bender lately. In addition to a number of smaller purchases like Yedda and Goowy, and not a day after the announced $850 million acquisition of Bebo, rumors are popping up that AOL is preparing to acquire yet more companies in the coming weeks.

The next may be KickApps, a service for creating social networks, widgets and other services, says Kara Swisher (who’s rarely wrong, except when she said “two words: No sale” regarding our prediction of a Bebo acquisition). She says the company may be bought by AOL for $90 million.

We’ve followed KickApps closely, first covering it at launch in July 2006 and, most recently, when they released v. 3 of the service and started to wade into Ning territory. We also compared them to eight competitors in July 2007.

Does KickApps fit within AOL’s overall widget/socialnetwork/advertising strategy? Sure, maybe. It’s clear they’re embracing social networks, and widgets, already. KickApps gives them some technology and customers to continue that push and offer customized solutions for third parties. That can create lots of inventory to sell ads into as well. On the other hand, I don’t think AOL has fully verbalized their go forward strategy yet. They may not even understand it internally.

KickApps has raised $17 million in venture capital over two rounds of financing – the most recent in August 2007.