March 13, 2014

Priceline buys targeted ad firm Qlika

Priceline Group has purchased Qlika, a small Israeli startup, for $3 million in cash, an unnamed source told VentureBeat. The purpose of the technology acquisition is to help Priceline better target its own ad campaigns in local markets. 

Qlika has six employees and has raised $2 million in venture capital since its founding in 2012. The small staff will now be absorbed into the Priceline Group. This deal mimics many other recent acquisitions in which larger companies are trying to increase the ways that they can monetize mobile advertising space. 

Based in Stamford, Connecticut, Priceline is an online ticketing and reservation company. In recent years, it has made a string of business acquisitions including, Rental Cars, Kayak and Agoda. Priceline's acquisition strategy has been to improve the way in which it reaches customers in different corners of the globe. One of its most successful purchases, Thai travel website Agoda, offers discount hotel bookings across Asia. The site has been a key driver of growth for Priceline in the region. 

Unlike Priceline's other purchases Qlika is not a high-traffic property. What it can offer, however, is more targeted, cost-effective campaigns. Qlika's services are currently utilized by firms that sell advertising packages to local search agencies. It is also used by marketers that are in the lead generation industry looking to target local customers. The company also works with several large brands, allowing franchises to initialize personalized ad campaigns and share the information with their affiliates. 

On Qlika's website, the company's founders describe themselves as a "team of young and restless entrepreneurs" who are experienced in learning algorithms and mass scale systems.