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After Kristen posted today on a suggested mashup, I thought it would be interesting to look at 5 great acquisition targets for 1st quarter 2007. I do not have financials for any of these companies, so I am working from a base of technology and visability. For each company I list, I have also listed a possible buyer along with my commentary on why the purchase makes sense. Do you agree or disagree?
Acquisition target 1: Renkoo
Possible buyer(s): Evite, Yahoo or Meetup
Why: Evite is still stuck in Web 1.0. Upcoming.org (owned by Yahoo) is pretty strong for tech, but lacks the mainstream audience. Meetup is awesome for group meetup planning and organization but is missing the 1-1 connection ability. Renkoo's technology to help when you know who but not where or when could really benefit all three of these organizations.
Acquisition target 2: CrazyEgg
Possible buyer(s): Any large web shop. Ogilvy, BBDO, etc.
Why: I think of this more as a defensive play than anything else. CrazyEgg is tops when it comes to web site testing and every agency should be using their service when testing new client web sites. USAToday for example should have used the CrazyEgg service with the relaunch this past weekend. So why do I say this is a defensive purchase? Because, while there are other players in this market, CrazyEgg is leaps and bounds ahead and gobbling up this offering will keep other agencies from utilizing it and it could be a good point of differentiation from other agencies.
Acquisition target 3: ConceptShare
Possible buyer(s): Any large web shop. Ogilvy, BBDO, etc.
Why: Same reasoning as with CrazyEgg. I am willing to bet that a buyout of ConceptShare would be a rounding error for the large agencies but again would keep the competitors away from the service. This tool speeds up production and any agency would be more productive by using ConceptShare.
Acquisition target 4: Viddler
Possible buyer(s): YouTube (Google), Metacafe, Any current television network
Why: Viddler has some really innovative technology with regard to video. They continue to improve the service as well and frankly, I enjoy using their service more than any other current video service. Yeap, YouTube is the big one, but that does not mean they are the best. Viddler has better sized video windows, a better picture quality, time based tagging/commenting and a more seamless friends section. YouTube needs this, Metacafe needs this and even more importantly, the television networks that are attempting to enter this space need this. Imagine being able to tag precise times on a 24 or Lost episode?
Acquisition target 5: MyDesignIn
Possibly buyer(s): Home Depot, Lowe's
Why: Kristen wrote about MyDesignIn this morning. Back in a former life, I negotiated a deal to get this type of technology for a consumer site I was working on. The technology was not as good as what MyDesignIn offers and this is now a pretty robust tool. I could easily see a Home Depot or Lowe's purchasing this type of app for three reasons. First, it keeps the competitor away. Second, it allows for a strong branding experience along with a long user session for additional branding and advertising options. So you design your kitchen, print it out and a coupon for 10% off shows up on the bottom for use at the purchaser. Lastly, it will allow Home Depot or Lowe's to start to embrace socialness when it comes to the Web. They will gain a first mover advantage.
I came across two websites that offer very distinctive and specific services, MyDesignIn and Krillion (both in Beta). And after getting to know more about their features, and being able to speak with the people behind these companies, I thought that MyDesignIn and Krillion could end up working very well together as a sort of mash-up.
MyDesignIn is an online home design tool that allows you to re-create room layouts (in flash) and drag-and-drop photos of sinks, stoves, sofas, etc. onto the layout for an architectual representation. The photos used are ones you've collected with their bookmarking tool from manufacturers' sites like Kohler, or retailers' sites like Pottery Barn.
Interestingly enough, MyDesignIn is a social network as well. So adding photos to the larger collection of furniture and appliances only offers greater variety for the entire community. Room layouts can be saved and shared as well. If you don't have the time to draw your own L-shaped kitchen using MyDesignIn, you can take someone else's and modify it accordingly. Windows and doors are easily added, removed, and re-sized. The end result is a comprehensivly scaled blueprint of your room, and this can be printed or emailed to your friends and family, or contractor and designer. Others can also be invited to collaborate on the design, making furniture arrangement suggestions as well as other possible changes.
Among the things they'd like to do in the future is add local search results for the products used in members' designs.
That's where I thought Krillion could come into play.
Krillion is a search engine that specifically finds appliances locally. They have an extensive search process that sifts through maps, addresses, images, price points, manufacturers and retailers to offer up the best local search result list one could imagine. You'll not only get the closest places to find that Whirlpool refridgerator, but you'll get the prices of each search result (among other useful details), along with a click-to-call feature that will direct you to the necessary department, not the basic customer service line. This search for a specific loaction in addition to a specific product makes this an Actionable Local Search. It's designed for the ready-to-buy consumer that has already spent a lot of time researching the item they'd like to buy.
Why MyDesignIn and Krillion are such a good fit
MyDesignIn and Krillion have very similar values and objectives. Their user-base are consumers that have or are willing to spend a good amount of time preparing for their next steps. Their models are invaluable to advertisers, as their demographic is most likely of a higher socio-economic status, and is nicely targeted by MyDesignIn and Krillion services. The end user for both of these services is inevitibly driven to local offline locations, providing business for local retailers and precious data that can be used for analytics and marketing.
For Krillion to be able to provide the search results for the very objects users are inserting in their designs on MyDesignIn, this added value provides a means to an end for both services. As Krillion aims to be included in the search indexes for which we typcially get our search results from anyway, MyDesignIn may find themselves utilizing Krillion's search finess regardless.
This article was written by Kristen Nicole, who writes for 606tech.com.