Web host/domain registrar GoDaddy, which recently filed to go public, has acquired a small Cambridge-based smart calendar service that could help increase its appeal to small businesses.
But the purchase of Canary is more for the talent than the product.
A statement on Canary’s website announcing the sale notes that the calendar will “continue to work as a standalone app on your iPhone.”
The now-shuttered company promises it will “make sure that Canary remains available on the App Store until we’re confident all of our existing users have had a chance to upgrade.”
“We found a clever way to keep it up and running,” Canary CEO and co-founder Varun Chirravuri told VentureBeat. “If it’s unmanageable, we’ll figure out what to do next.”
“I looked at the Canary team and liked the design and features of their app,” GoDaddy GM and VP of Presence and Commerce Product Rene Reinsberg told us.
But when asked if the purchase was made more for the team than the app, Reinsberg replied, “Absolutely.”
Two of the Canary team members — Chirravuri and Shaun Seo — will be working on the Get Found Online section at GoDaddy, which is designed to help small businesses increase their presence online. Reinsberg said that calendaring will not be a key focus of the team.
“We’re going pretty fast and are looking for strong people for [the Get Found Online] team,” Reinsberg said. “At GoDaddy, a lot of our customers use mobile devices to run their businesses.”
Both Chirravuri and colleague Shaun Seo are former Google Product Managers, and they are moving to GoDaddy’s offices in San Francisco, although GoDaddy will soon open an office in Cambridge. The two other employees, Ralph Bouquest and Matthew Ng, have reportedly declined the offer to move.
Fueled by a small TechStars seed round, the company launched last year a smart calendar for the iPhone that could process natural language, display information about upcoming events, present goofy excuses to decline invitations when you shake the phone, and offer what Chirravuri said were hundreds of other features.
The Canary team is used to quick pivots. They started out at TechStars developing a service for teachers, then moved to a web-base service for analyzing calories in a recipe, and then migrated to calendaring.
Last summer, GoDaddy bought Locu, which helps small businesses get found on search engines, directories and other guides. At the end of last month, it announced Get Paid, a new service to help small businesses handle invoices, estimates, bill-backs for expenses, and all kinds of payment types on all kinds of devices.
Deal terms were not made public.
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