Barclaycard Acquires Social Couponing Startup Analog Analytics
Analog Analytics, the Solana Beach, CA-based entry in the online social coupon business, got its own deal of the day. Founder Ken Kalb says in a recent email to local business leaders that Barclaycard, a member of the Barclays global financial services giant, has acquired the four-year-old company.
As I reported a year ago, Analog Analytics provides its Groupon-like platform as a service for traditional publishers and broadcasters. At that time, Analog Analytics had more than 850 “old media” customers and was increasing revenue at a monthly compounded rate that Kalb estimated at roughly 50 percent.
I sought more details from Kalb over the weekend, but he declined to comment. Still, he must be feeling pretty good about ringing up another sale. Before founding Analog Analytics with Tom Buscher in 2008, Kalb was the CEO of SearchRev, a Palo Alto, CA-based search engine marketing company acquired by AKQA in late 2007.
When I talked with Kalb last year, Hillsboro, OR-based RadiSys (NASDAQ: RSYS) had just acquired a previous startup, San Diego-based Continuous Computing, a Trillium-based wireless infrastructure technology provider, in a deal valued at $120 million.
A spokesman at Barclaycard’s U.S. headquarters in Wilmington, DE, hasn’t responded to my query about the deal.
In the note he sent out last week, Kalb says, “We will retain the Analog Analytics brand and our business model will remain the same, but we will operate as part of the Barclaycard group, with an immediate commitment to increased engineering resources and account management services. The Analog Analytics management team is staying for the foreseeable future to help realize the original vision of providing accountable advertising solutions for publishers and broadcasters in any media, including print, broadcasting, mobile and online interactive.”
Apart from the merits of Groupon’s IPO, which opened at $28 a share on Nov. 4 and is trading today around $9.25 (a 66 percent drop), the deal makes sense—at least based on something Kalb told me last year.
“It’s relatively easy to start a social coupon company,” Kalb says. “But it’s much harder to build a massively scalable platform that can provide social coupons to millions of consumers across hundreds of websites. At the end of the day it’s a cloud-based service, and the guys who have scale will be the ones who survive.”
As a global financial services bank with more than 140,000 employees, London-based Barclays certainly has scale. Barclaycard, which is part of Barclays Global Retail Banking division, says it creates customized, co-branded credit card programs for some of the country’s most successful travel, entertainment, retail, affinity and financial institutions.
In is note, Kalb describes Barclaycard as “a technically innovative company with deep financial resources and a long-term commitment to innovation in payment technologies. Its vision is to make customers’ lives much easier and it continuously explores new ways to help its partners cultivate customer loyalty. This ethos is at the heart of this great collaboration.
“Analog Analytics will help existing Barclaycard customers drive revenue with loyalty and offers programs, and Barclaycard will add national offers, technologies, resources and scale to our existing business to help our customers continue to grow.”