Nokia Buys Ron Conway Backed Mobile Analytics Startup Motally

Nokia this morning announced that it is acquiring Motally, a privately-held San Francisco company specialized in mobile analytics. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it’s likely not a large transaction – Motally employs only 8 people.

Founded in 2008, Motally was backed by $750,000 in seed funding from angel investor Ron Conway and BlueRun Ventures.

The deal is expected to close during the third quarter of 2010.

Motally’s mobile analytics service offers in-application tracking and reporting, and is designed to enable developers and publishers to optimize development of their mobile apps through increased understanding of how users engage.

The service offering is planned to be adapted for Qt, Symbian, Meego and Java developers, and Nokia says it plans to continue serving Motally’s existing customer base.

So far, the company has been focused on building analytics and tracking tools for Nokia competitors’ devices, including the iPad, iPhone, Blackberry and Android handsets.

The startup’s team may be small, but it’s not inexperienced any way you look at it. Chief executive John Forese joined Motally last March from Nielsen Mobile, where he was most recently SVP of Product Management. The company’s founder and president is Arte Merritt, who has more than nine years mobile experience working with companies like Yahoo Mobile, Helio, Vindigo and a variety of mobile startups under his belt.

Also noteworthy: former Yahoo SVP and Google VP Doug Garland sits on Motally’s board.

Who else is on that board? BlueRun Ventures founder John Malloy, who spent more than 15 years in management and executive roles at MCI and … Nokia, before starting the investment firm (which was actually previously the company’s investment firm, Nokia Venture Partners).

According to his LinkedIn profile, Malloy also founded the Finnish mobile giant’s other investment arm, Nokia Growth Partners.

Not hard to see who made the connection.

Nokia has been making other small acquisitions this year: it picked up mobile web browser startup Novarra in March and geographic search technology company MetaCarta in April.