RIM scoops up Ireland’s NewBay for $100-million

RIM scoops up Ireland’s NewBay for $100-million (via Financial Post)

Research In Motion Ltd.’s recent struggles don’t seem to have dampened the BlackBerry maker’s appetite for acquisitions.

On Friday, RIM revealed it had acquired NewBay Software Ltd., a Dublin, Ireland-based social software company.

Although RIM has not disclosed financial terms of the acquisition, the deal carries a reported price tag of $100-million.
NewBay is best known for its media creation and cloud-access software, which allows smartphone users to create photos and videos, store them online and share them with friends.

The 200-employee firm has signed deals to make its software available to customers of several major telecommunications companies, including T-Mobile USA, Deutsche Telekom, Verizon and AT&T Inc.

According to the Irish Times, RIM plans to maintain NewBay’s facilities in Dublin.

RIM officials said the company has signed an agreement to acquire NewBay, but that the deal has not yet closed.

RIM would not confirm the size of the deal, but it is believed the acquisition cost RIM $100-million of the company’s remaining US$1.4-billion in cash.

“NewBay is likely to form the basis of cloud-based Blackberry content services such as hosted photo and video albums, cloud-based digital vault, online address book and calendar, and other services,” RBC Capital Markets financial analyst Mike Abramsky said in a note to clients on Friday.

“NewBay is likely to be integrated with RIM’s existing cloud services like BlackBerry Protect (back-up, location services, remote wipe) and BlackBerry App World.”

NewBay’s technology is similar to the online storage options offered by Google Inc. with its Android software and Apple Inc.’s iCloud software.

“However, given the timing, RIM is coming later to market than competitive offerings (may take another 6-12 months to be fully integrated) vs. Apple’s iCloud, Amazon’ s Cloud Drive and related services, and Google cloud apps,” Mr. Abramsky said.

“It’s not known yet whether RIM’s offering will match or lag the content and user experience of competitors.”

The NewBay deal is the latest in a string of acqusitions for the Waterloo, Ont.-based technology company designed to enhance the services available to BlackBerry users and developers.

In April, RIM revealed it had acquired Montreal-based Tungle Corp. — makers of a popular social calendar application.

That deal came just one month after RIM announced a deal to purchase Ontario-based startup tinyHippos Inc., creator of Ripple, a cross-platform mobile application development and testing tool.

In February, RIM revealed it had struck a deal to acquire Seattle-based contact management software firm Gist Inc.