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Summify, the social news reader which came out of Romania has been acquired by Twitter today. Summify delivers top articles recommended or read by one’s friends based on the analysis of Facebook social graph, twitter feed and Google reader. By August 2011 it delivered over 2 billion articles, but it won’t be doing it for much longer.
Whether or not it is in Romanian spirit, but the team managed not to disclose amount of funding it raised in 2011 and 2010 after its participation in Bootup Labs accelerator in Vancouver, Canada or indeed the current acquisition price. We know however that amongst its investors are Accel Partners, Rob Glaser, Stewart Butterfield, Steve Olechowski, and Canadian super angel Boris Wertz.
According to TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha, it was a talent acquisition for Twitter. Indeed, on its blog the company states that it will stop accepting new accounts and discontinuing certain features. As for the team’s new challenges, it says “We are joining Twitter’s Growth team and will continue to explore ways to help people connect and engage with relevant, timely news.”
On his personal website, Mircea Pasoi, founder and CEO of Summify and previously a member of UberVU team (growing Romanian tech company), states that in 2009 “I got a pretty generous full-time offer from Facebook but I decided to turn it down. I wanted to become an entrepreneur, to follow my own path and to do my own thing.” I suppose Twitter made a better offer then.
I speculate that Pasoi did not quite find the right business model for Summify. According to VentureBeat, at the time of raising a first seed round, he was yet to decide how to make money with the business but was convinced that “anyone who solves the information overload/news personalization problem on a large scale will also be able to monetize such a service”. I do hope that a similar service from Estonia Utopic has the revenue side figured out.
This perhaps is a warning to those who believe that business model is secondary to the technology. Or for those who think that advertisement revenues will save the day.
The startup’s team first moved to Vancouver to participate in the Bootup Labs accelerator and will now relocate to Twitter offices in San Francisco.
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