aQuantive Adds to Tech Arsenal

Online advertising firm aQuantive boosted its investment in its Atlas DMT technology division this week, acquiring usability tech player NetConversions for $4.5 million in cash.

Seattle-based aQuantive also agreed to pay up to $2.5 million in cash over the next two years, depending on how well NetConversions performs. This is the second technology acquisition the company has made in recent months. aQuantive acquired paid search management firm Go Toast in December 2003. aQuantive also operates two agency divisions, Avenue A and i-Frontier.

Seattle-based NetConversions provides technology and analysis that help Web sites improve their users’ experiences and increase sales. The company focuses on objectives like increasing purchase sizes and decreasing abandonment of forms. Its clients include Verizon, Priceline, and Office Depot.

“NetConversions is a great fit for Atlas DMT, as it further enhances a marketer’s ability to not only track Web site behavior, but improve usability and conversion rates through sound, data-driven analysis and recommendations,” said Ona Karasa, chief operating officer of Atlas DMT.

NetConversions offers and uses technology that looks at factors like where people click on a page, how they scroll on a page, the time it takes to fill out forms, and what links visitors use to navigate a site. It gives marketers a visual representation of these factors that they can use to redesign a page, if needed.

The offerings are most similar to what Atlas DMT offers with its Atlas Vital Signs product, but the companies said the two technologies would be complementary. NetConversions immediately becomes part of Atlas DMT under the deal, where it will be known as Atlas NetConversions.

Privately held NetConversions is profitable and had revenues between $1 and $2 million in 2003, according to aQuantive. The dough NetConversion brings in is expected to add $0.01 a share to aQuantive’s earnings for 2004, but the company had already factored that in when it provided 2004 guidance in January. At that time, aQuantive predicted it would bring in $88 to $98 million in revenues this year, with net income of $0.24 to $0.28 per diluted share.

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