Motorola has agreed to purchase two-year-old software startup 280 North, co-founded by three USC graduates. 280 North created a well-respected web development framework known as Cappuccino. As their developers phrase it, "Cappuccino is an open source framework that makes it easy to build desktop-caliber applications that run in a web browser." The rumored sale price is $20 million, and this for a firm that got a single $250 thousand investment two years ago.
So why would Motorola want 280 North? IntoMobile suggests Moto needs to stand out from all its Android competitors, and having your own software can help with that. That's true if the software doesn't degrade the user experience, and MotoBlur, the UI that sits on Motorola's Android handsets, hasn't been as well received as HTC's Sense UI. Perhaps 280 North will help improve where Motorola is going with the Android end-user experience.
Motorola did comment for the record, via this email to TechCrunch:
The transaction provides Motorola with specialized web-app engineering talent and technology that will help facilitate the continued expansion of Motorola's application ecosystem. We believe 280 North will be instrumental in helping us continue to foster the Android ecosystem with innovative web-based technologies and applications. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.