Seattle Roundup: Mixpo, Hootsuite, Concur, Zillow, Smartsheet, & More

Lots of acquisition news to catch up on this week, including in Northwest digital marketing with Mixpo’s buy of ShopIgniter and Hootsuite’s buy of BrightKit. There were also rumors that Concur is looking for a buyer, and more scrutiny paid to the proposed Zillow-Trulia combination. Meanwhile, executives at a Pacific Crest Securities called Microsoft the most under-rated technology company; Smartsheet integrated another popular cloud service; and Viableware picked a new name. The details:

Mixpo, a Seattle company which makes video advertising technology, said it acquired ShopIgniter of Portland, OR, which focuses on mobile, social ads. Terms were not disclosed, but Mixpo said ShopIgniter’s employees are joining Mixpo, and will remain based in Portland. The combined company will have about 100 people. “As video and mobile continue to be dominant areas of growth, social channels have become more vital than ever,” Mixpo CEO Jeff Lanctot said in a blog post explaining the deal. “Acquiring ShopIgniter’s social platform will enable Mixpo to further expand our ability to engage customers across all of the devices and channels that are most important to them.”

—Rumors that Bellevue, WA-based corporate travel expense management company Concur (NASDAQ: [[ticker:CNQR]) was open to an acquisition and had approached SAP and Oracle sent its stock up more than 5 percent on Wednesday, gains it has largely maintained through the week. The company, which has been an active acquirer and investor itself in recent years, is working with an investment bank on a possible transaction, reported Bloomberg News, citing unnamed sources. Not surprisingly, Concur hasn’t commented on the rumors.

—The Federal Trade Commission is asking for more information from Zillow and Trulia about their proposed merger. The real estate information companies propose a tie-up that would see Zillow acquire Trulia in a stock deal pegged at $3.5 billion when it was announced in July. In a statement announcing the information request, the companies termed it “a standard part of the full regulatory process.” We took a look at what a Zillow-Trulia merger would mean for competition in the online real estate marketplace in late July.

—Hootsuite, the Vancouver, B.C.-based social media marketing company that last year raised $165 million in a single throw, said it has acquired Brightkit, a social marketing company with more than 100 customers. Brightkit is also based in Vancouver. Hootsuite has rebranded Brightkit’s offering as Hootsuite Campaigns, with capabilities including monitoring and contests to encourage social sharing. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Hootsuite raised an additional $35 million from investors led by Fidelity Investments, citing unnamed sources, valuing the company at nearly $800 million. Hootsuite says it now has more than 600 employees.

—Technology investment bank Pacific Crest Securities surveyed approximately 1,000 executives gathered at its annual leadership forum last month. Some of the more interesting results: Microsoft is the most under-rated technology company at present. The Internet of things is viewed as being more potentially disruptive to traditional businesses than mobility and big data. National Security Agency spying revelations are not likely to interrupt U.S. tech company growth. Earlier this summer, KeyCorp announced a definitive agreement to acquire Portland, OR-based Pacific Crest.

Smartsheet has added Evernote integration to its spreadsheet-based collaboration toolset. The Bellevue, WA-based company, which now has almost 50,000 customers, said this is another step toward Smartsheet becoming a central gathering point for the array of cloud services—including Salesforce, Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive—that companies and individuals use for work.

—Viableware, the Kirkland, WA-based company making technology that lets restaurant customers to pay at their table, has renamed itself TableSafe. The name is meant to better communicate what the technology does, and its benefits such allowing customers to retain possession of their credit cards during the transaction. The company raised a $6.5 million Series B round from angel investors and Swiftsure Capital a little more than a year ago.

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