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Constant Contact Adds Social CRM Capabilities With Acquisition of Bantam Live

Constant Contact, Inc. announced the acquisition of Bantam Live, a contact management and social CRM provider owned and operated by privately held Bantam Networks, LLC. Under the terms of the deal, which closed on February 15, 2011, Constant Contact acquired substantially all of the assets and assumed certain liabilities of Bantam Networks for a cash purchase price of $15 million, subject to certain post-closing adjustments.

New York-based Bantam Live will provide Constant Contact a social CRM platform built on a Ruby on Rails® platform. Bantam Live's social CRM technology is focused on offering a unified repository of data across all channels, including clicks, email opens, survey responses, event participation and social media interactions. It will play a crucial role in how data is captured, reported and analyzed for Constant Contact's more than 400,000 small business customers, helping them better track, measure and increase customer engagement, according to a company release.

The acquisition marks an important step in Constant Contact's ability to offer small organizations a platform to launch and monitor customer engagement campaigns across multiple channels, including email, social media and events. By understanding how their customers share, refer, endorse and engage across all channels, small businesses will be able to engage their customers and drive business success. Social CRM functionality will eventually be built into all of the company's products, including a paid social media marketing offering, which the company expects to release in the second half of 2011.

"Building highly-engaged customer relationships is the number one pain point for small organizations,” said Gail Goodman, CEO, Constant Contact. “To do this, they need a unified view of their contacts across all channels, from email addresses to social media connections, to event registrations. With the Bantam Live acquisition and our internal development initiatives, we are building a platform that delivers a targeted approach to building stronger customer relationships and cultivating new ones — the number one business driver for small organizations. Armed with better, targeted insight, small organizations can more easily turn prospects into customers or members, and fans into advocates."

Constant Contact will integrate Bantam Live's Ruby on Rails-based technology with Constant Contact's Java-based SaaS solution to serve the evolving technology needs of its growing customer base.

The entire Bantam Live team will stay based in New York City, working from a new Constant Contact development office to be opened this year. While Constant Contact integrates the social CRM technology into its core engagement marketing services, Bantam Live will be free of charge to active Bantam Live customers.