Deal Watch: Merger makes a mapping empire

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Saturday, December 01, 2007
Platial1207.jpg

PORTLAND-BASED Platial calls itself the “People’s Atlas.” It’s a free online resource that allows users to map anything, from their travels to their romances. Started two years ago, its mission is nothing less than to “connect people, neighborhoods and nations around the world.”

Frappr, based in San Francisco,  also launched two years ago and was Platial’s competition. Frappr, an online social map community and widget network, has millions of communities such as Gamers with Jobs and Harley Riders.

So it would seem inevitable that Platial would buy Frappr, which it did in mid-October for an undisclosed amount; the deal included Frappr co-founder Kun Gao. The merger creates a dominant social mapping site, with a combined 15 million unique users per month, and 100 million geo-tagged items (location-based information points such as photos, stories or people).

Platial CEO and co-founder Di-Ann Eisnor says it’s a merger of Frappr’s ability to map “who’s nearby” with Platial’s mapping of “what’s nearby,” and it creates a powerfully complete social networking ability.

Eisnor says the appeal of mapping is age-old. “I want to see what is going on nearby. And now it is easy to access the information to do that. At this moment, we are the leaders in social mapping and we plan to continue,” she says.

The company estimates that Platial-Frappr represents 25% of all distributed map widgets on the Internet. And perhaps to quiet the blogosphere chatter about whether Google might one day gobble up Platial, a press release quotes none other than the director of Google Earth and Maps himself, John Hanke: “Platial continues to innovate to serve the needs of this growing community of mapping enthusiasts.”  
Beware the temptation to map your workday.                         

ROBIN DOUSSARD

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
ANNOUNCED EXP. CLOSE BUYER/PARENT (HQ) SELLER (HQ) / PARENT PRICE (TERMS)
2-Oct Q4 ‘07 NuView Systems (MA) Cort Software (Bend) ND





5-Oct Q2 ‘08 Schmitt Industries (Portland) Xtero Datacom (Canada) $1.46m (stock+earnouts)





8-Oct Q4 ‘07 NLight Corp. (WA) Liekki Corp. (Finland) ND (stock+cash)





9-Oct Q4 ‘07 Fatburger Corp./ Fog Cutter Capital (Portland) J&R Enterprises, JGT Enterprises (PA) ND





15-Oct 4Q ‘07 Danaher Corporation (DC) Tektronix (Beaverton) $2.8b (cash)





16-Oct 4Q ‘07 OnScreen Technologies (Portland) proprietary rights to WayFast power, comm. technology (CA)/ CH Capital ND





17-Oct 4Q ‘07 Echo Global Logistics (Chicago) BestWay Solutions LLC (WA) ND





18-Oct 4Q ‘07 Platial (Portland) Frappr (CA) ND





19-Oct 4Q ‘07 Star Buffet (AZ) JJ North’s Grand Buffet (Grants Pass) ND





23-Oct ND NIKE (Beaverton) Umbro plc (UK) $582m





25-Oct Q4 ‘07 FLIR Systems (Portland) Extech Instruments Corporation (MA) $40m (cash)


REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS
ANNOUNCED BUYER/PARENT (HQ) REAL ESTATE (LOCATION) / SELLER (HQ) PRICE
2-Oct Nearside retail bldg. (Portland) / 23rd & Kearney St. $2.65m




2-Oct Unico/(WA) Commonwealth Building (Portland) / Weston $27.7m




10-Oct Beardsley Building Development 3 office bldgs. (Portland) / Spring Capital Group $18m




17-Oct JBJ Holdings II office building (Portland) / SF Schnitzer Investment Corp. $5.25m




17-Oct State Investments & Deer Valley Professional Center Tyco Building (Salem) / Tyco Electronics Corp. $4.2m




29-Oct ScanlanKemperBard Cos. (Portland) Pacific Park Plaza (Hawaii) / Trans Pacific Dev. Co. $85m


CAPITAL RAISING
ANNOUNCED COMPANY (HQ) / LEADERSHIP INVESTOR PRICE (TERMS)
28-Sep Virogenomics (Tigard)/ Jeff King, COO National Institute of Standards and Technology (MD) $1.9m (research grant)




15-Oct University of Oregon (Eugene)/ Dave Frohnmayer, president Lorry I. Lokey, founder, BizWire (CA) $74.5m (donation)




16-Oct AVI BioPharma (Corvallis)/ Alan Timmins, president & COO Charley’s Fund (MA) $2.45m (research grant)




18-Oct Lundquist College of Business (Portland)/ Jim Bean, dean private donors** $2.5m (donation)




18-Oct Climax Portable Machine Tools (Newberg)/ Geoff Gilmore, CEO State ECDD (Portland) $5m (conduit revenue bonds)




19-Oct Oregon Public Broadcasting (Portland)/ Steven Bass, CEO Harold & Arlene Schnitzer Care Foundation (Portland) $1.5m (challenge grant)




30-Oct Freeman Mnfg. (Newberg)/ Steve Freeman, owner State ECDD (Portland) $1.6m (conduit revenue bonds)

** Robert Jesenik, CEO, Aequitas Capital Management (Lake Oswego); Chuck Lillis, co-founder and principal, LoneTree Partners; Eli Morgan, CEO, 2030 Investors LLC (Portland); James Rippey, retired president, Columbia Management Group; Ron Sauer, founder, chairman, Mazama Capital Management; Eric Sorenson, CEO, PanAgora Asset Management (Boston)

List researched by Mark Druskoff


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