Big news for a little company: after rumors cropped up earlier this month that Rapportive, the Gmail plug-in that lets you see information and social media updates on your contacts, was acquired by LinkedIn, the company’s CEO Rahul Vohra officially confirmed the reports Wednesday via blog post. Vohra did not disclose the price tag, but the figure is rumored to be in the teens.
So does that spell the end for the uber-popular Gmail plug-in? Not at all, according to Vohra: “When rumours of our acquisition surfaced last week, many asked what was going to happen to the product. Well, we have fantastic news: at LinkedIn, we will support Rapportive, and we will continue to build beautiful products that make you brilliant with people.” (“Brilliant” as in effective, not “brilliant” as in sparkly—I was confused at first, too.)
For the uninitiated: Rapportive is a Gmail plug-in that displays information on a contact when you open an email. For example, you receive an email from John Genericlastname, who you met at a business event last summer along with hundreds of other people you can’t remember. You have trouble placing the name (because it’s so generic), but when you open the email and check out the Rapportive window, you see not only his picture, but where he’s from, his most recent tweets, and the ability to connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google Contact. And in case John Genericlastname is still too forgettable, you can also leave yourself a little note for future reference, such as: “met John at business event; has sweaty hands.”
Rapportive previously raised $1 million in seed funding from a pretty diverse group, including Gmail creator Paul Buchheit, 500 Startups, Charles River Ventures, VentureHacks, Scott Banister, and others. At that time, there was some talk about Rapportive expanding to other email platforms as well, but as of yet, there’s no word on whether that’s still the case.
Image source: Rapportive.com