April 30, 2013

Betaworks makes another technology acquisition, purchases Instapaper

This blog has previously explained that a technology acquisition does not mean the acquired company will disappear. Rather, M&A activity is a chance for two companies to work together and offer more opportunities for their customers.

Last Thursday, Betaworks announced it acquired the read-it-later platform Instapaper. Unlike Digg, which Betaworks bought earlier this year, Instapaper is a paid product. Customers can install a bookmark to save articles and purchase iPhone and Android applications for $3.99 and $2.99, respectively.

Instapaper owner and creator Marco Arment wrote about the acquisition on his blog, and said that he wanted his company to have a chance to grow, which he was not sure he could have done on his own. Additionally, he said that he wanted an opportunity to try out other projects, including mobile applications.  

"We've structured the deal with Instapaper's health and longevity as the top priority, with incentives to keep it going well into the future," he said. "I will continue advising the project indefinitely, while Betaworks will take over its operations, expand its staff, and develop it further."

According to the blog paidContent, the acquisition fits with Betaworks' overlying strategy of investing for the short- and long-term. At a paidContent conference last week, Betaworks CEO John Borthwick said that it is crucial for businesses to take that approach, as it will not pay off to value one over the other.

As this situation further proves, technology mergers and acquisitions are an opportunity for both businesses to move forward. The company being acquired will not disappear, and is instead given a chance to flourish. At the same time, the organization doing the purchasing is making an investment for its future, and providing more ways for its customers to remain satisfied.