PRESS RELEASE: Lithium Technologies today announced that it has acquired Klout, a pioneer in using big data to measure online expertise. Lithium is the recognized leader in engaging on social networks and building online customer communities for the world’s best brands. Together, the companies reach more than 500 million consumers across 10,000 specific interest areas, and 300+ branded communities. The combination of Lithium and Klout establishes one of the biggest data footprints of consumer attitudes, preferences, and activities on digital channels.
The social web is dramatically changing the way consumers and brands interact. While transparent information is readily available online, it is increasingly difficult to know which content and people to trust. It is confusing for consumers to know who has the right expertise to deliver credible, relevant recommendations. It is equally challenging for brands, who are unsure how and with whom to prioritize engagement, to improve their reputations and grow revenue.
“With Klout, Lithium fully delivers on its vision of building a trusted online connection between consumers and the brands they care about,” said Rob Tarkoff, Lithium President and CEO. “Trust is the currency online. For consumers, a trusted expert provides greater confidence in making purchases and getting advice. For brands, building a trusted reputation allows them to better find and keep customers.”
Lithium’s platform now solves these challenges for both consumers and brands. Like the most compelling models on the web—such as LinkedIn, Yelp, and eBay—the company brings together both trusted people and trusted content. Lithium now has created an exchange of shared value and a more complete measure of reputation.
For brands, this means they can:
- Build a more complete profile of their customers and their needs.
- Establish clear feedback on how consumers value brands, products and services.
- Engage consumers more effectively and enlist their participation in growing the brand and the business.
- Leverage experts for opinions and trusted content.
For consumers, this means they can:
- Discover which people and brands to trust.
- Enjoy a better, differentiated experience from brands they value.
- Receive rewards and recognition from brands for their loyalty and engagement.
“Joining Lithium is a proud moment for Klout,” said Joe Fernandez, Klout CEO. “Lithium shares our passion for empowering every person to measure and maximize their impact online. Together, we can provide a comprehensive measure of trust and expertise for both consumers and brands in our digital age. Lithium is ultimately bringing greater transparency to every aspect of the online relationship.”
Fernandez will join Lithium’s executive team, reporting directly to Tarkoff, and will continue to run the Klout operation as its General Manager and a Senior Vice President at Lithium.
Chi-Hua Chien from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers will join the Lithium board of directors. Chi-Hua serves on the board of directors or co-led the firm’s investments at Klout, Path, Level, Chegg (CHGG), Spotify, and Twitter (TWTR), among others.
“I am thrilled to welcome Chi-Hua to our board. His experience in consumer technology is an ideal complement to our current team and a perfect fit for our new mission around building better customer relationships through online reputation and trust,” Tarkoff concluded.
No other board changes are part of this acquisition. Lithium did not disclose deal terms or any financial details. Catapult Advisors served as exclusive financial advisor to Lithium on the transaction.
“With 100,000 customers and experts already using Crowdsupport, we have an active and passionate customer community,” said Gerd Schenkel, Executive Director of Telstra Digital. “Lithium’s new online reputation system will help us grow our community, allow more of our customers to help each other, and offer differentiated service for customers as they engage with us and help establish our digital presence.”
“Customer profiles are the next big battleground in delivering a continuum of customer experiences in a digital world,” said Ray Wang, Principal Analyst & Founder of Constellation Research. “It’s about knowing who is valuable, trusted, and credible. The combination of profiles with an engagement platform will provide a powerful combination for customers.”
Klout will maintain its consumer offering and continue to deliver Klout Perks to the market. In addition, Lithium will deliver an expanded product portfolio built around advocacy, loyalty, and enhanced profiles. The company will share this future product roadmap and go to market details at LiNC 2014.
About Lithium Technologies
Lithium software helps the world’s best brands build trusted relationships with customers. Lithium helps more than 300 iconic brands— including AT&T, Best Buy, Indosat, Sephora, Skype and Telstra — respond on social networks and build trusted content on a community they own. The 100% SaaS-based Lithium Social Customer Experience™ platform enables brands to build and engage vibrant customer communities to drive sales, reduce service costs, accelerate innovation and grow brand advocacy. For more information, visit lithium.com, or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and our own community. Lithium is privately held with corporate headquarters in San Francisco and offices across Europe, Asia and Australia.