Digital MarketingStrategiesReply Buys MerchantCircle for $60 Million

Reply Buys MerchantCircle for $60 Million

Lead marketplace firm Reply has acquired small business network MerchantCircle.

The owner of sites including Contractors.com and iMotors.com has agreed to acquire local business network MerchantCircle. Reply, a firm that connects buyers and sellers of real estate, auto, and home contractor leads and site traffic, purchased MerchantCircle for $60 million in cash and stock.

Reply will consist of the Reply Marketplace platform which offers locally-targeted ads on a cost-per-lead and cost-per-click basis, along with Reply Media, now home to MerchantCircle.com, Contractors.com, Bloglines.com, and iMotors.com. MerchantCircle President and founder Ben Smith will serve as president of the Media arm. Reply’s founder and CEO Payam Zamani will be CEO of the combined firms.

MerchantCircle, which includes 1.6 million local merchants in its network, offers small local businesses marketing services, allowing them to buy leads and create coupons, for instance. Consumers can also post reviews about companies on the site, which will maintain the MerchantCircle name after the acquisition is complete.

MerchantCircle’s Smith expects overall traffic to grow significantly as a result of the pairing, in part because his firm’s traffic is organic while Reply’s is historically paid traffic. “I don’t think there’s a whole lot of overlap on the traffic side,” he said.

As MerchantCircle has focused on organic traffic and building a publisher network, Reply has focused on building a sales force and turning paid traffic into leads, said Smith. “It’s almost like we were separated at birth,” he added.

The companies expect the acquisition to be complete in the third quarter of this year. The companies said in a press release that both firms are profitable, projecting revenues of more than $100 million next year.

“Too many companies, especially large online media companies like Google and Yahoo, focus on building directories rather than a level of engagement with local [businesses],” said Zamani. “That’s really what we are focused on building together.”

According to Smith, the combined companies plan to make another acquisition, though he would not reveal what type of firm they are in the market for.

Related Articles

Behavioral targeting is coming to Snapchat

CPG Behavioral targeting is coming to Snapchat

1y Al Roberts
Search and social media: a look at current trends in digital storytelling

Marketing Search and social media: a look at current trends in digital storytelling

2y Kevin Lee
The 3 reasons online advertising campaigns fail

Marketing The 3 reasons online advertising campaigns fail

2y Tim Nichols
SEO and Strategy Tips for Success with Augmented Reality

Marketing SEO and Strategy Tips for Success with Augmented Reality

3y Dave Lloyd
5 PPC Tips from ClickZ Live Toronto

Conference Coverage 5 PPC Tips from ClickZ Live Toronto

3y Mike O'Brien
Uncovering PPC Best Practices With Allstate Insurance

Conference Coverage Uncovering PPC Best Practices With Allstate Insurance

3y Sarah Ong
[#SESDENVER] Is LinkedIn a Solution for Brands Tapped Out on AdWords?

Conference Coverage [#SESDENVER] Is LinkedIn a Solution for Brands Tapped Out on AdWords?

3y Emily Alford
What Does Ello Mean for Paid Social Advertising?

Data-Driven Marketing What Does Ello Mean for Paid Social Advertising?

3y Mathew Sweezey