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VatorNews executive brief on Xoopit

Want to know more about Xoopit, the company Yahoo just snapped up for $20 mln?

Financial trends and news by Bambi Francisco Roizen
July 23, 2009
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/98a

Congratulations to Xoopit! This week, the company announced it's being acquired by Yahoo. In fact, take a look at Xoopit's Vator profile, and you'll see Xoopit co-founder and CEO Bijan Mirashi announce it.

            

VatorNews has been following Xoopit since it practically launched. You can go to our search box and type in "Xoopit" and see our half-dozen interviews and shows. Click here. You can also Fav Follow Xoopit on Vator.tv

But to make it easy for you, we wanted to present our reports in what we'll call the VatorNews brief on this great little company that's achieved a nice exit. Reports peg the sale price of Xoopit at $20 million. Mirashi would not confirm or deny the amount.

Here's our coverage, brought to you by our sponsor: Orrick. I also pulled out some highlights.

 Yahoo acquires Xoopit:

"We've been dedicating a significant amount of resources toward the Yahoo mail application platform since it launched in December 2008," said Bijan Mirashi, co-founder and CEO of Xoopit. "We saw a unique business opportunity to be the leader in Web mail applications. Yahoo's merger offer allowed us to fully realize our vision to make mail more useful, social and fun." 

 

 Xoopit on the virtues of raising less:

"Sometimes having too much money too soon can be distracting for the business b/c it could lead entrepreneurs to make decisions to try things that they wouldn't try when they have to just have limited funds," said Bijan Mirashi, co-founder and CEO of Xoopit, in this episode of fundRazor with host John Bautista. "When you have limited funds you have to make very, very hard, painful trade offs. It's those hard painful trade-offs that force you into something specific and valuable."

 

 The fundraising behind Xoopit

At the seed round, Xoopit had both angel and venture investors. At the seed round, Bijan and his team knew they wanted to build a technology-heavy product to solve the complex problem of indexing inboxes. The team decided they had to raise $1 million. Foundation Capital partners Adam Grosser and Charles Modlow helped Xoopit prioritize which products to develop first. Apparently, the team was flowing with ideas. Foundation also led a convertible round in Xoopit.

 

 Xoopit CEO on valuing transparency

Bijan's biggest lesson is one of transparency, something most entrepreneurs don't think about enough. "There's no need to be in stealth mode," he said. "When you're first generating your idea, get out there and share your ideas." A friend of his once said, "Run rabid through the Silicon Valley, show everyone your ideas." And, so, Bijan did. Bijan's other piece of advice is about thinking small. Rich Tong, partner at Ignition, said to Bijan once that when developing a product, always "find the thinnest edget of the wedge." What this means is that entrepreneurs tend to try to build too much. "What's the smallest version of your vision," said Bijan.

 

 Putting the killer back in killer app

When X-1 Technologies came out many years ago, I stopped keeping a contact list. When I wanted to find a phone number, I just searched for someone’s name. Desktop search was the first step toward making sense of my inbox, and maintaining email's position as the killer app even beyond the 90's. Today, like Xoopit are helping Webmail services remain relevant as social networks become the primary place to communicate, especially with the younger generations.

 

 Vator Box looks at Xoopit

Our Vator Box (Ezra Roizen, Ackrell Capital and Brian Singerman, Founders Fund) coverage of Xoopit was spot on, in Minute 11:30 Ezra Roizen predicting that Xoopit would be a nice “feature-based” acquisition for one of the large mail providers, Ezra said:  “R&D is being pushed outside the organization, many brilliant entrepreneurs will move outside of the organization and innovate – and that’s good for the mother ship (meaning Yahoo!, Google and Microsoft).”As Brian and Ezra agreed about Xoopit, “being acquired by a big company after a year is a good year!”


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