Interchange Acquires Swedish Local-Search Firm

In a deal that lands a complementary technology and a launch pad into the European local search market, Interchange Corp. has acquired Sweden-based Inspire Infrastructure 2i AB for $22.5 million in cash and stock.

Interchange plans to integrate Inspire’s local search technologies with its own portfolio of local search solutions powered by the proprietary Keyword DNA technology. It will deploy the expanded product in both the U.S. and Europe.

“The basic strategy for this deal is the growth of our company. We believe in local search, and we believe that expansion into the European market will be good for us. We hit all three in one with this deal,” said Heath Clarke, Interchange’s chief executive, in a phone interview with ClickZ News.

Actual work on integrating the companies’ technologies begins once the acquisition officially closes near the end of the first quarter. After that, Inspire will be renamed Interchange Europe.

Interchange expects to offer the combined product “sometime this year,” Clarke said.

Interchange enables consumers to find products and services in local areas, including a private-label platform offered to publishers of yellow pages, online media, and city guides. Inspire brings local content spidering technologies and established SMS (define) search platforms to the deal, he said.

“When you take their site-spidering classifieds with our distribution network, you get a product that is superior to anything currently available in the United States or Europe,” claims Clarke.

The acquisition fits Interchange’s six-prong plan to expand its services in the U.S. and Europe. Services it’s most keen to enhance include local and national search solutions based on its Keyword DNA technology; low-cost, private-label pay-per-click advertising platforms; wireless search technologies; local search indexing solutions for classifieds, white and yellow pages, and other local data sources; directory assistance call center search technologies; and high-volume search distribution networks.

Inspire currently delivers search solutions in five languages in six European markets: the U.K., Ireland, Spain, Holland, Portugal, and Finland. Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Inspire also has offices in London and Madrid, Spain, with a total full-time staff of 10.

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