April 1, 2014

Lithium Technologies acquires Klout

Social customer service company Lithium Technologies recently announced in a press event that it had purchased Klout, a popularity contest startup. Although the website Re/code first reported on the acquisition in February, the companies didn't announce the technology merger until recently. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Fortune reports that the price was close to $200 million. 

At the press event, Lithium CEO Rob Tarkoff said that the purchase was not about obtaining another asset, but rather redefining the structure of the company. Lithium provides companies tools to build online communities for their customers. Klout is best known for its scores of an individual's influence in social media. 

Klout co-founder and CEO Joe Fernandez took to the company's blog to announce the purchase, writing:

"I want you to know that our mission has not changed—Lithium shares our passion for empowering every person to understand and maximize their impact online. Klout will continue helping people be great online. You will still be able to get insights about your social media performance, find new content to share, and be rewarded with Perks on both Klout.com and our mobile app."

Fernandez will be joining Lithium as the firm's senior vice president and general manager of the Klout business.

Last fall, Lithium raised $50 million in what it said was pre-IPO mezzanine financing. Since its founding, Klout has raised more that $40 million from a diverse group of investors including Microsoft and the CrunchFund. The startup recently relaunched its website, adding content sharing recommendations which could potentially help regular users improve their popularity scores. Although it has had trouble bringing in revenue in the past, the company has claimed that it made profits in the millions in 2013.