Google, Microsoft E-Mail Synchronizer Cemaphore Acquired

Cemaphore Systems, which makes software to help customers migrate their e-mail, calendar and contact data from Microsoft to Google, or vice versa, confirms it has been acquired. Though the startup declines to say who until the announcement July 28, one strong possibility could be Sparxent, which has ties to Cemaphore. Sparxent, a technology provider for midmarket, is looking to buy companies to fill its systems lifecycle management strategy. Does Cemaphore fit the bill?

Cemaphore Systems, the company that makes software that migrates and synchronizes e-mail, calendar and contacts between Google Apps, Microsoft Exchange and other messaging products, plans to announce July 28 that it has been acquired.

In an e-mail sent to eWEEK, Cemaphore Vice President of Marketing Kim Tchang confirmed the company has been purchased and that the announcement will be made next Tuesday. However, Tchang declined to name the buyer.

Though the buyer remains a mystery, one logical suitor might be Sparxent, which specializes in offering hosted IT management systems for midmarket companies.

While this might seem to come from out of left field for industry watchers expecting Google or Microsoft to make a play for the startup, an examination of the company's most recent press release on Business Wire from July 13 includes the Sparxent boilerplate.

Curiously, Sparxent is not mentioned anywhere else in the release and appears to have no relation to the news, which is about Cemaphore's participation at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference. A check of the same press release on Cemaphore's site shows that the Sparxent boilerplate has been removed.

Also, it turns out Cemaphore and Sparxent share ties. Sparxent board member Ed Ekstrom is a managing partner of vSpring Capital, where he led investments in Cemaphore, according to the Sparxent Website.

A Sparxent spokesperson did not deny the bid, telling eWEEK July 23, "At this point we can't comment on any kind of acquisition rumors." Reached by phone earlier today, Tchang neither confirmed nor denied the buyer was Sparxent. Philippe Winthrop, who is on Cemaphore's advisory board and is also a research director at Strategy Analytics, declined to comment until the purchase is announced Tuesday.

Such a deal would make sound strategic sense for Sparxent, which acquired three companies since it formed in August 2008 and has said it is actively acquiring solution providers to build out its portfolio.

For example, if Sparxent is looking to fortify its "systems lifecycle management" products, Cemaphore could be one option. Cemaphore's software synchronizes users' e-mail, calendar and contact data bidirectionally in real time.