Online word-of-mouth measurement firm BuzzMetrics has been snapped up by a similar Israeli company, Trendum, which boasts VNU as a minority investor.
Financial details of the all-stock deal weren't disclosed, but executives said the combined entity, to be known as BuzzMetrics, will be worth somewhere between $20 million and $25 million.
Over the past few years, marketers have become increasingly interested in gauging consumer sentiment online, leading to the rise of measurement companies such as BuzzMetrics and competitor Intelliseek.
For New York-based BuzzMetrics, the relationship with VNU, parent of such research companies as Nielsen Media Research and ACNielsen, is a huge benefit of the deal. The Nielsen branded companies are expected to package BuzzMetrics' offerings for their existing clients, as well as contribute marketing and research capabilities.
"Our big goal is to make the metrics around buzz be core metrics for the marketing world, and nobody understands that better than the Nielsen companies," said Jonathan Carson, president and chief executive officer of BuzzMetrics, who will keep those same titles in the combined company. "First we need to make buzz metrics a standard, and then make our metrics the standard in the industry."
Carson said the combination will be complementary because the U.S.-based company had focused primarily around client services, while Trendum has developed advanced search technology to scan the Internet for trend information. Trendum has also built strong relationships with media industry clients, while BuzzMetrics's strength has been among CPG businesses. Clients of the new firm will include Comcast, Hewlett-Packard, General Motors and Mazda.
The company will be based in the U.S. and maintain a research-and-development lab in Israel. Together the firms have over 50 employees, about 30 of which are based in the U.S.
Itzhak Fisher, chairman of Trendum, will keep the same role at the combined company. Rich Nelson, who was formerly president of Trendum USA, will be executive vice president of corporate strategy and general counsel of the new entity. Ori Levy, Trendum's co-founder and president of Trendum Israel, will become president of BuzzMetrics Israel. BuzzMetrics' CTO, Braxton Robbason, will become CTO of the new company.
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Pamela Parker is a former managing editor of ClickZ News, Features, and Experts. She's been covering interactive advertising and marketing since the boom days of 1999, chronicling the dot-com crash and the subsequent rise of the medium. Before working at ClickZ, Parker was associate editor at @NY, a pioneering Web site and e-mail newsletter covering New York new media start-ups. Parker received a master's degree in journalism, with a concentration in new media, from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.
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