Doodle sees "partial exit" as Swiss publisher Tamedia buys 49% stake

Swiss publisher Tamedia has acquired a 49% stake in Doodle, the Zurich-based online service that enables users to schedule meetings and appointments.

Described as a “partial exit” by Doodle CEO Michael Näf, the deal also sees German VC firm Creathor Venture sell its share in the company, although terms are not being disclosed.

Founded in 2008, Doodle claims 8 million users per-month – an eight-fold increase since Creathor first invested in the company. The service, which makes it easy for users to do things like book an appointment, arrange a conference call or occasions like a family reunion, comes in a free basic version as well as a premium offering for individuals and businesses. It’s available in 29 languages.

As for why Tamedia purchased Doodle, the Swiss media company see synergies between the scheduling service and its online directory, which will enable it to “strengthen Doodle’s position in its home market with regard to advertising and the SME sector”.

Tamedia also operates a number of online titles including 20 Minuten Online and Newsnetz, as well as online market places, and job site Jobup along with FashionFriends.

Despite being partially acquired by Tamedia, Doodle says the company’s “operational lead” will remain with Michael Näf and Paul E. Sevinç as co-owners, executive directors, and board members, while Doodle’s 11-person team will continue to be based out of Technopark in Zurich.