Brand Networks acquires Optim.al for $35 Million
Brand Networks has acquired Optim.al for $35 Million US Dollars, Optim.al is a Social Ad Marketing company who started out with the two character .net domain name and were known as XA.net “XA.net Inc” and then rebranded as Optim.al both domain names however redirect now to OptimalSocial.com which was registered only back in 2011.
It however is no surprise that the company has a DOT COM as their main domain name vs using the hack to stop confusion and probally lost traffic but you wonder how many people have typed in and visited Optimal.com which is owned by Compuware Corp who forward the domain name to their website Compuware.com – Compuware is floated on the NASDAQ and I am sure would sell Optimal.com if they got the right offer.
According to DNN.com back in January 2010 XA.net was bought on Sedo.com for $10,000 USD the company was founded 2008 so I am unsure what their original domain name was prior to XA.net.
The founders appear to own several domain names with DomainTools.com recognising that “firstname.lastname@example.org” is associated with 102 domain names.
The company had raised over $5 million dollars and says its advertisers include Gucci, Sephora, JustFab. and Gilt Groupe.
Brand Networks has raised over $68 million dollars but for a company with this amount of cash they operate on the domain name BrandNetworksInc.com registered back in 2007, The company was founded in 2006. The domain name BrandNetworks.com currently has a lander stating the “brandnetworks.com is currently Under Construction” I am pretty sure they could purchase this domain name from the current owner if they did a simple whois using DomainTools.com and reached out to him with a motivating offer.
What are your thoughts on Domain Hacks?
Do you own any Domain Hacks?
Read more about the sale of Optim.al here
Brand Networks co-founder and CEO Jamie Tedford told me that he sees the two companies as largely complementary. While Brand Networks is trying to address all of a company’s social marketing needs, Optimal has been “laser-focused on ad optimization and insights.”
“We think that the self-serve technology leader in the ability to get [return on investment] from media spend — there’s really no company that was doing it as well as Optimal,” he said.
This is an area where companies like Salesforce.com have been making acquisitions. In fact, when Brand Networks raised a $68 million round (its first outside funding!) earlier this year, Tedford cited the need to compete as an independent company against bigger competitors – so the acquisition also helps Brand Networks by growing its headcount.
“There is a race to scale, if you will,” Tedford said. “Not scale for scale’s sake, but scale to help the biggest brands and biggest agencies as social becomes more important, more measured, and more measurable.”
Optimal founder and CEO Rob Leathern (pictured above) will become chief product officer at Brand Networks, and he said the entire 40-person Optimal team will become part of the combined company, resulting in a combined headcount of around 175. Optimal is headquartered in San Francisco, while Brand Networks is based in Boston, so Optimal is supposed to become “the hub” of the company’s West Coast operations.
Founded in 2008, the smaller company was previously called XA.net, but eventually took on the name of its optim.al social ad campaign manager. It says its advertisers include Gucci, Sephora, JustFab. and Gilt Groupe, plus it recently won the grand prize in the Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer Innovation Competition.
Optimal has raised $5.1 million in equity (I reported on a $7 million Series B earlier this year, but Leathern said $2.5 million of that was debt from Silicon Valley Bank) from investors including Neu Venture Capital, DoubleRock, The Social Internet Fund, Siemer Ventures, Signal Ventures, and James Altucher (who’s a columnist at TechCrunch).