A trend we expect to see more of as the venture capital, buyout, and IPO markets continue to sink: Startups joining up to make themselves more attractive to potential big buyers. Today, companies announced two of these deals:
- NYC-based Aviary, which makes Web-based creative software — think Google Docs meets Adobe’s Creative Suite — has acquired Digimix, a small company that makes Web-based audio editing software.
- Stockholm-based Stardoll, a fashion and dress-up site for young girls (with 27 million members), has merged with San Francisco-based Piczo, a teen portal with music, contests, photos, etc.
No one’s talking financial details, but you can assume they’re pretty small. The point of both deals: In theory, the new whole is more valuable than the sum of the parts.
If Digimix’s audio editor technology can make Aviary a true Web-based creative suite, it’ll be more valuable to potential buyers (Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, Google, etc.). Similarly, Piczo’s audience and tools might make Stardoll a more valuable media and advertising property.
Google (GOOG), for one, has said it’s waiting to buy companies until prices come down. “There is just an aweful lot more bad news to come,” Google CEO Eric Schmidt said last week. “So it doesn’t make sense to move from our perspective until we get nearer that point.”