Social customer service company Lithium Technologies has acquired online social influence start-up Klout.
Lithium did not disclose the terms or any financial details. However, ClickZ previously covered reports that the deal could be worth $100 million or more and, on March 27, Fortune reported the deal was worth $200 million.
Catapult Advisors served as financial advisor to Lithium on the transaction.
According to a press release, Klout will maintain its consumer offering while Lithium will deliver an expanded product portfolio “built around advocacy, loyalty, and enhanced profiles.”
The combined companies reach more than 500 million consumers across 10,000 interest areas and more than 300 branded communities, Lithium says.
“The combination of Lithium and Klout establishes one of the biggest data footprints of consumer attitudes, preferences, and activities on digital channels,” the brand adds.
Likening its new platform to LinkedIn, Yelp, or eBay, Lithium says it now “brings together both trusted people and trusted content” and “has created an exchange of shared value and a more complete measure of reputation.”
This allows brands to build a better profile of their customers and engage consumers more effectively, Lithium says. It also means consumers can discover which brands to trust and receive rewards for their loyalty.
“Lithium and Klout both have deep expertise and capabilities in driving engagement – combined, our ability to put trust back at the center of the relationship between consumers and brands is unmatched,” writes Lithium president and chief executive (CEO) Rob Tarkoff in a blog post.
“The conversation between consumers and brands should be just that: a conversation, not a shout by brands at consumers. That’s the promise the new Lithium will deliver on,” Tarkoff adds.
As a result of the deal, Klout CEO Joe Fernandez will join Lithium’s executive team, reporting to Tarkoff, and will continue to run the Klout operation as its general manager and as a senior vice president at Lithium.
In addition, Chi-Hua Chien from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers will join the Lithium board of directors.
According to data gathered for the report,‘Communications Infrastructure: The Backbone of Digital,’ 88% of IT professionals and 61% of marketers ranked their company’s current communication infrastructure as 'cutting-edge' or 'good.'
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