Deal Watch: Merger makes a mapping empire

Platial1207.jpgPortland-based Platial calls itself the “People’s Atlas.” It’s a free online resource that allows users to map anything, from their travels to their romances.


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PORTLAND-BASED Platial calls itself the “People’s Atlas.” It’s a free online resource that allows users to map anything, from their travels to their romances. Started two years ago, its mission is nothing less than to “connect people, neighborhoods and nations around the world.”

Frappr, based in San Francisco,  also launched two years ago and was Platial’s competition. Frappr, an online social map community and widget network, has millions of communities such as Gamers with Jobs and Harley Riders.

So it would seem inevitable that Platial would buy Frappr, which it did in mid-October for an undisclosed amount; the deal included Frappr co-founder Kun Gao. The merger creates a dominant social mapping site, with a combined 15 million unique users per month, and 100 million geo-tagged items (location-based information points such as photos, stories or people).

Platial CEO and co-founder Di-Ann Eisnor says it’s a merger of Frappr’s ability to map “who’s nearby” with Platial’s mapping of “what’s nearby,” and it creates a powerfully complete social networking ability.

Eisnor says the appeal of mapping is age-old. “I want to see what is going on nearby. And now it is easy to access the information to do that. At this moment, we are the leaders in social mapping and we plan to continue,” she says.

The company estimates that Platial-Frappr represents 25% of all distributed map widgets on the Internet. And perhaps to quiet the blogosphere chatter about whether Google might one day gobble up Platial, a press release quotes none other than the director of Google Earth and Maps himself, John Hanke: “Platial continues to innovate to serve the needs of this growing community of mapping enthusiasts.”  
Beware the temptation to map your workday.                         


2-OctQ4 ‘07NuView Systems (MA)Cort Software (Bend)ND

5-OctQ2 ‘08Schmitt Industries (Portland)Xtero Datacom (Canada)$1.46m (stock+earnouts)

8-OctQ4 ‘07NLight Corp. (WA)Liekki Corp. (Finland)ND (stock+cash)

9-OctQ4 ‘07Fatburger Corp./ Fog Cutter Capital (Portland)J&R Enterprises, JGT Enterprises (PA)ND

15-Oct4Q ‘07Danaher Corporation (DC)Tektronix (Beaverton)$2.8b (cash)

16-Oct4Q ‘07OnScreen Technologies (Portland)proprietary rights to WayFast power, comm. technology (CA)/ CH CapitalND

17-Oct4Q ‘07Echo Global Logistics (Chicago)BestWay Solutions LLC (WA)ND

18-Oct4Q ‘07Platial (Portland)Frappr (CA)ND

19-Oct4Q ‘07Star Buffet (AZ)JJ North’s Grand Buffet (Grants Pass)ND

23-OctNDNIKE (Beaverton)Umbro plc (UK)$582m

25-OctQ4 ‘07FLIR Systems (Portland)Extech Instruments Corporation (MA)$40m (cash)
2-OctNearsideretail bldg. (Portland) / 23rd & Kearney St.$2.65m

2-OctUnico/(WA)Commonwealth Building (Portland) / Weston$27.7m

10-OctBeardsley Building Development3 office bldgs. (Portland) / Spring Capital Group$18m

17-OctJBJ Holdings IIoffice building (Portland) / SF Schnitzer Investment Corp.$5.25m

17-OctState Investments & Deer Valley Professional CenterTyco Building (Salem) / Tyco Electronics Corp.$4.2m

29-OctScanlanKemperBard Cos. (Portland)Pacific Park Plaza (Hawaii) / Trans Pacific Dev. Co.$85m
28-SepVirogenomics (Tigard)/ Jeff King, COONational Institute of Standards and Technology (MD)$1.9m (research grant)

15-OctUniversity of Oregon (Eugene)/ Dave Frohnmayer, presidentLorry I. Lokey, founder, BizWire (CA)$74.5m (donation)

16-OctAVI BioPharma (Corvallis)/ Alan Timmins, president & COOCharley’s Fund (MA)$2.45m (research grant)

18-OctLundquist College of Business (Portland)/ Jim Bean, deanprivate donors**$2.5m (donation)

18-OctClimax Portable Machine Tools (Newberg)/ Geoff Gilmore, CEOState ECDD (Portland)$5m (conduit revenue bonds)

19-OctOregon Public Broadcasting (Portland)/ Steven Bass, CEOHarold & Arlene Schnitzer Care Foundation (Portland)$1.5m (challenge grant)

30-OctFreeman Mnfg. (Newberg)/ Steve Freeman, ownerState ECDD (Portland)$1.6m (conduit revenue bonds)

** Robert Jesenik, CEO, Aequitas Capital Management (Lake Oswego); Chuck Lillis, co-founder and principal, LoneTree Partners; Eli Morgan, CEO, 2030 Investors LLC (Portland); James Rippey, retired president, Columbia Management Group; Ron Sauer, founder, chairman, Mazama Capital Management; Eric Sorenson, CEO, PanAgora Asset Management (Boston)

List researched by Mark Druskoff

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