Klout Acquired for $200 M. Because Bad Ideas Can't Fail Anymore

Klout is officially the Kardashian sister of social influence startups. Without showing any demonstrable talent, the company has been acquired by Lithium Technologies for a cash and stock deal valued at almost $200 million, reports Fortune.

Even Lithium's own chief scientist, Dr. Michael Wu, expressed doubts about Klout and its ilk, as Buzzfeed reported last September:

But for companies like Klout, the window to become the trusted industry standard might be narrow. "I don't think these companies have enough computing infrastructure in place," Wu said. "But as these companies get bigger and the demand for these metrics grows, they'll need to add it quickly. If they don't, people will start to believe that influence measurement is meaningless and there will be less money coming their way."

Lithium, which provides "social customer experience solutions" for businesses, expects to IPO soon because it's startups all the way down, folks. The industry that redefined failure as a metric of honor is soft landing itself into a handful of corporations.

Klout, which developed an algorithm that ranked Robert Scoble higher than the President of the United States, was the social media punchline of 2012—when banks and employers were considering vetting candidates by their Klout score. But the joke is on the @haters because these dozens of Klout investors may have made their money back . . . depending on how the public markets value Lithium private stock.

TOTAL$40M
FUNDING TOTAL$40M
Seed, 7/2009 2
Allen Morgan
Auren Hoffman
Nova Spivack
Series A, 4/2010 3
Mayfield Fund
ff Venture Capital
Bobby Yazdani
Lucid Ventures
Zelkova Ventures
Thomas Korte
Paige Craig
Michael Yavonditte
Jason Finger
Tom McInerney
KPCB Holdings
Greycroft Partners
Allen Morgan
Auren Hoffman
Howard Lindzon
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Nova Spivack
$1.5M
Series B, 1/2011 4
Tom McInerney
Paige Craig
Bobby Yazdani
Howard Lindzon
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Greycroft Partners
Jason Finger
ff Venture Capital
KPCB Holdings
Allen Morgan
Auren Hoffman
Lucid Ventures
Mayfield Fund
$8.5M
Series C, 1/2012 5
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Venrock
Institutional Venture Partners
ff Venture Capital
Paige Craig
CrunchFund
KPCB Holdings
Greycroft Partners
Allen Morgan
Lucid Ventures
Mayfield Fund
Zelkova Ventures
$30M
Venture Round, 9/2012 6
Microsoft
Venture Round, 8/2013 7
Draper Nexus Ventures

[Image via Foursquare; table via Crunchbase]