Tucows finalized the acquisition of Boulder based NetIdentity today in a deal worth about $18M. NetIdentity owns the rights to a large collection of domain names for surnames and provides personalized email, blogging and web hosting services for these names. Think Joe@Smith.com (purposely not linked to save this poor bastard the deluge). Tucows has developed a channel that reaches more than 50 million end users worldwide, and they must believe they can sell these services to those users. NetIdentity has been doing so profitably lately, so it’s not a bad assumption.
As Brad feld points out, this is the fifth Boulder company to be acquired in just the last few months. Two of them (NetIdentity, Sketchup) were based smack in the middle of Pearl Street. Hopefully this will further fuel the idea of startup central.
Tucows has published a nice explanation of the deal here. There’s also a (tedious) podcast explaining the deal.