Mobile services startup ShoZu is in talks to be acquired by Critical Path, a well-placed source with access to inside information tells us.
Critical Path’s board of directors and shareholders may have approved the acquisition yesterday. At the very least, Critical Path is in late-stage negotiations. We don’t know the price, but it most likely isn’t out of the ballpark.
The sale of ShoZu, backed by $36 million in venture capital, is not going to bring much of a return to its investors, which include Atlas Venture, TLcom Capital Partners and TTP Ventures, among others.
We hear Critical Path isn’t exactly swimming in cash, and the acquisition is only possible thanks to the help of the company’s deep-pocketed shareholders, General Atlantic and the Cheung Kong Group.
ShoZu twice raised $12 million back in 2004-2005 when the company was still named Conigma, and raised the exact same amount again from the same investors and a new one, SEB Capital, back in January 2008.
ShoZu is in the business of helping users of social media services to connect and transfer data to their accounts from their mobiles devices. It markets an application for multiple handsets/platforms that integrates with a wide variety of partner sites and content feeds (including sites like YouTube, Flickr, WordPress, Blogger, Picasa and more).
Its data replication technology allows quick and simple data transfers of text, photos, videos and more to social networking services. That, combined with a reasonably large user base, is what could make ShoZu an attractive acquisition target.
Critical Path, less known to consumers but self-reportedly profitable, sells a suite of social networking and identity management applications and services to mobile carriers and ISPs dubbed Memova that is designed to enable people to “communicate, connect, share and organize their online experience”.
The company was founded in 1997 and boasts offices in Asia, Europe, North and the Americas.
We’ve tried to get in touch with ShoZu and Critical Path on multiple occassions, but haven’t heard back yet. As soon as we receive more information, we’ll provide an update.