VeriSign is about to announce it acquired Moreover Technologies, the San Francisco based news aggregator. The acquisition price is around $25m according to SVW sources.
I have to confess that I don’t quite get this deal. Moreover seems pretty far afield from Verisign’s existing lines of business that focus primarily on infrastructure. Tom analyzes it this way:
The move by Verisign signals an ambition to aggregate a catalog of
infrastructure capabilities such as security, content, and
authentication services used by many large commercial web sites.
It is also interesting to note that Moreover went for far less than Topix.net, which garnered investments from Gannett, Knight-Ridder, and Tribune totaling about $50 million for 75 percent of that company. The businesses are similar. Moreover has a more established brand, while the publishing companies seemed most interested in Topix.net’s technology for local targeting of ads and content.
It would be intriguing to know what Moreover’s balance sheet looks like and how that may have affected the difference in valuation, especially Moreover seems to have more prominent business deals in place — the question is are they revenue generators for the company or mere PR ploys?
UPDATE: Rafat over at PaidContent has more on the deal, including that Google made a last minute bid.