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Investor says Circa was nearly acquired for $500,000

The Circa News app as it appears on an Android tablet. (Photo: Circa/Handout)
The Circa News app as it appears on an Android tablet. (Photo: Circa/Handout)

Circa, the mobile-focused news service that folded last month, was nearly rescued by an unnamed online company for half a million dollars, according to an investor.

In a blog post published Wednesday on the website Medium, Jason Calacanis said a “dotcom” offered to acquire Circa’s news team and platform technology for $500,000, but the deal was blocked by venture capitalists who hoped that “someone else would pay more.”

Circa announced last week it was indefinitely suspending operations after running out of cash. Three months ago, Fortune’s Dan Primack reported that Circa had put itself up for sale after its founders failed to secure a new round of funding. Twitter and Daily Dot Media emerged as interesting parties, according to media reports, but discussions did not progress beyond initial meetings.

Circa’s primary mission was to aggregate news stories published by other organizations into easy-to-digest updates for viewing on mobile phones and tablets. The company spurred other companies, like the New York Times and BuzzFeed, to create similar mobile-oriented applications. Circa launched a desktop version of its service in February.

The Circa News app stopped updating last Monday and was pulled from Apple’s iOS and Android’s Google Play stores over the weekend. The company’s staff of around two dozen editors and software developers were laid off as part of the service’s shutdown.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).