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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

January 22, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Bay Area tech companies buy two Seattle startups

San Franciscans came to Seattle for a football game and left with a couple of startups, as two Bay Area companies bought Seattle area tech companies over the past two days.

First Yahoo acquired Seattle-based online marketing startup Sparq. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but seven of Sparq’s nine employees are joining Yahoo and moving to its Sunnyvale, Calif., offices.

“The Sparq  team has built mobile deep-linking technology that makes it easier for people to jump from app to app to discover, consume and engage with content,” Yahoo said in a statement.

Sparq will discontinue its current services, but the company is “thrilled” with the acquisition, founder and

Chief Executive Jesse Chor said in the announcement.

“Words cannot describe how ecstatic we are to be joining such an amazing team with such an inspiring mission. We see endless opportunity ahead,” he said in the post.

Then ServiceSource, a San Francisco-based provider of recurring revenue management services, announced that it’s buying Issaquah-based Scout Analytics. Scout is a 42-person company providing cloud-based analytics for subscription businesses.

Scout was sold for $32 million in cash. That also happens to be how much the company and predecessor companies raised since 2002. It ran as BioPassword until it pivoted to the analytics business in 2009.

“Today, measuring customer return on investment through usage data enables companies to proactively create value for customers and build long-lasting relationships,” Scout President and Chief Executive Mark Upson said in the release. “The combination of Scout Analytics with ServiceSource will drive new levels of actionable insight that will help customer success, sales, marketing, finance and product management teams to win customers for life.”

ServiceSource is retaining all of Scout’s employees and plans to double the size of the Issaquah team over the next year, according to Matt Shanahan, Scout co-founder and senior vice president.

Shanahan said Scout was in the process of raising more money to accelerate its growth when ServiceSource made its move. Joining the larger company will enable Scout to complete its next phase in two years rather than the four it would have taken solo, he said.

ServiceSource was drawn by Scout’s expertise in analytics and the opportunity to tap into the Seattle area’s pool of big-data talent, he said.

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