Neither company would comment for the TechCrunch story. Thing Labs chief executive Jason Shellen, who took to Twitter in July to deny rumors of an acquisition by Foursquare, hasn’t said anything on the microblogging service about the new rumors, either. (I’m trying to reach Shellen myself and will update in the off-chance that I hear back.)
The deal is reportedly in “the low eight figure range” (that’s low tens of millions, if you’re having trouble with the math). The startup was raised more than $2 million from Polaris Venture Partners, SoftTechVC, angel investor Ron Conway, and others, and it was incubated at Polaris’ Dogpatch Labs office in San Francisco.
It’s not clear how the acquisition fits into AOL’s larger plans. The online media company is still in the midst of an effort to revamp itself after falling far from its ’90s heights, most recently with the development of bigger, splashier ads. The Brizzly app may provide a way for AOL to brings its advertising efforts into the social networking world, and with Brizzly iPhone app it could move into mobile as well. AOL acquired mobile application company Rally Up last month.
Thing Labs previously sold its application Plinky to WordPress-maker Automattic.
VB’s research team is studying mobile user acquisition: Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.