eLocal Acquires Felix and CityGrid to Further Expand Performance-Based Advertising Platform (Press Release) ­
eLocal Acquires Felix and CityGrid to Further Expand Performance-Based Advertising Platform
January 04, 2019 09:58 AM Eastern Standard Time
CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--eLocal today announced the acquisitions of Felix and CityGrid.

@eLocal acquires Felix and CityGrid to expand its performance-based advertising platform for local, regional and national service businesses #adtech #paypercall #payperlead

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eLocal, Felix, and CityGrid have separately been leaders in providing performance-based advertising for local, regional and national service businesses for over a decade. Together, they become one of the largest players in the pay-per-call and pay-per-lead industry.

As a result of this acquisition, along with its acquisition of Ring Router in October 2018, eLocal can now offer pay-per-call and pay-per-lead solutions within the Home Services, Legal, Insurance, Medical, and Financial verticals.

The combined eLocal, Felix, and CityGrid offering leverages the best aspects of each individual organization. “We are excited to now partner, rather than compete, with two of the early leaders in performance-based marketing,” said Bruce Aronow, CEO at eLocal. “eLocal has built an extraordinarily robust performance-based advertising platform and we intend to continue leveraging our technology and operational infrastructure to strategically expand and grow.”

The combined management team, with representation from each organization, has significant depth of experience and is well-positioned to execute on a shared vision. “There were tremendous synergies between what eLocal and Felix have built,” said Jill Labert, who assumes the role of Chief Revenue Officer at eLocal. “By leveraging the best-in-class aspects of each organization, we expect to deliver significant value to our clients and publishing partners.”

Fueled by an infusion of growth capital from LLR Partners in late 2017, eLocal is focused on continuing to augment its organic growth through targeted acquisitions. “Ring Router, Felix, and CityGrid are an important first step in our vision, as we continue to look for strategic acquisitions in 2019 and beyond,” Aronow added. “Piece by piece, together, we’re building something exceptional here, and this is just the beginning.”

About eLocal

eLocal is a fast-growing, 10-year-old performance-based advertising company, whose mission is to connect consumers with local businesses. eLocal has been at the forefront of a changing advertising industry by offering pay per call and pay per lead advertising solutions to businesses of all sizes. In 2017, eLocal’s founders won an EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for E-Services, while, for the second year in a row, the company itself ranked among the fastest-growing in the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Soaring 76. Learn more here.

Kristy DelMuto, LLR Partners, 215-344-1372 kdelmuto@llrpartners.com

Release Summary
eLocal acquires Felix and CityGrid to expand its performance-based advertising platform for local, regional and national service businesses.

Recent Philly M&A: LLR Partners, SICOM, eLocal, Tabula Rasa, CrossBeam

Tom Paine

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One substantial Philadelphia area exit I missed earlier in the year (September) was the acquisition of Lansdale-based SICOM Systems by Atlanta-based Global Payments for $415 million.

Founded in 1987, SICOM makes software that helps run quick service restaurants. Burger King and many of its franchisees are major users, though that arrangement is not exclusive for either party. SICOM has approximately 300 employees according to LinkedIn, half of whom are out of Lansdale. It made a couple of acquisitions while under LLR, including one as recently as last June.

LLR Partners had acquired SICOM in 2016. No word on what LLR paid for it, although its website says $250 million is tops for any one investment.

(Correction: though I got that $250 million figure from somewhere on the LLR website, LLR tells me: "The accurate figure is that we invest between $15 million and $100 million of growth capital in companies with up to $100 million in annual revenue". Which I took to mean LLR's acquisition price for SICOM probably didn't exceed $100 million or thereabouts. Pretty good turnover for two years.) Although that's simplistic; LLR probably put
more money in, such as for SICOM's acquisitions.

The acquirer, Global Payments (NYSE: GPN), is one of the leading payment processors in the world. Global Payments acquired Heartland Payment Systems, another former LLR portfolio company, for $4.3 Billion in 2016. There's a pattern here.

Heartland, which was formerly headquartered in Princeton, now calls Oklahoma City HQ.

In more recent news, LLR portfolio company eLocal (Conshohocken) started the New Year off by roughly doubling its workforce (from 50 to 100) by acquiring two companies from Barry Diller's Interactive Corp: CityGrid and Felix .

Felix supports a pay-per-call model, and CityGrid provides a local content and advertising network to help brands manage their presence and promote business across hundreds of local information sources. These additions will enhance eLocal's web-based local marketing products.

Moorestown, NJ-based Tabula Rasa ( NASDAQ: TRHC ), which went public at $12.00 in September 2016, has been a pleasant surprise since the IPO, now trading at $61.27. It now has a market cap of $1.25 billion. Tabula Rasa provides data and analytical software which helps to improve healthcare outcomes.
It agreed to acquire Brisbane Australia-based DoseMe for up to $30 million in total consideration. DoseMe's expert systems monitors and calculates the optimal patient IV dosage considering all the meds the patient is receiving. Combined with other Tabula Rasa products, the acquisition will boost its entry into the hospital market.

Bob Moore's (RJMetrics) new startup, CrossBeam , has a brilliant premise: a system to aid companies in building partner ecosystems to help in selling its products or services. Identifying and maintaining the right data sources, as well as a way to help identify possible matches, is key. CrossBeam will likely learn by eating its own dog food.

But its got the seed financing to get moving; a Form D filed last month shows CrossBeam has completed a $3.35 million round , with investors not indicated at this time. It was First Round Capital and others , the Inquirer reported today.