If you can’t beat ’em, you can always buy ’em and shut them down. That seemed like the choice Google made with tiny competitor KikScore, a service that rates the trustworthiness of e-commerce sites.UPDATE: A source close to the company just called and told us that Google did NOT acquire KikScore in whole but only bought a couple of patents from the company for a very small sum of money. This source says that Google did not force KikScore to shut down. We have updated this story accordingly.
Google bought some tech from the company and on June 28 and KikScore will turn the service off for KikScore’s ~1,700 customers. Terms were undisclosed but looks like it was a decent enough payoff, because but CEO Raj Malik’s blog about the deal was downright giddy. It reads like an Academy Award speech with a long list of thank-yous.
Malik credits VC Eric Liaw at Institutional Venture Partners and Anuj Goswami, a lawyer at Ballard Spahr for making the deal happen. So if you’re looking to sell your startup stuff to Google, you might want to look those guys up.
Google CEO Larry Page has emphasised cutting down the company’s sprawling product portfolio in favour of a seamless, integrated experience. So it makes sense that Google would shut down KikScore. It just doesn’t look great for Google to do that.
Google now owns KikScore’s tech, but none of the management will come to Google. Customers are being asked (or told, depending on how you look at it) to switch to Google’s Trusted Store product instead.