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Connexity Acquires Consumer Analytics Company

Dublin-based Experian, a credit information provider, has sold two of its consumer-facing divisions in a simultaneous transaction, the company announced Monday.

An analytics service called Hitwise is being sold to Connexity, a Los Angeles-based marketing services company formerly called Shopzilla, while Simmons, a consumer research company, is being sold to Connexity’s private equity parent, Symphony Technology Group.

The transactions were worth $47 million plus a further potential of up to $5 million based on an earn out.

“We are pleased that Symphony Technology Group will continue to develop these businesses and thank the management team and employees for their support and wish them every success in the future,” said Experian Chief Executive Brian Cassin. Experian bought Hitwise for $240 million in 2007.

For its part, Connexity said that this acquisition reflects Connexity’s latest pivot toward becoming a digital marketing platform — a break from the days when it focused on its online shopping engine, Shopzilla. The company, which acquired PriceGrabber and Become.com to further expand its focus on website traffic patterns, changed its name to Connexity in September 2014.

“Hitwise’s shift from website analytics to audience-based analytics aligns perfectly with our audience activation approach at Connexity, which is focused on delivering highly-targeted audiences created from our expansive shopping network,” said Bill Glass, Chief Executive of Connexity, in a statement.

“The combination of AudienceView’s clickstream and panel-based data with Connexity’s programmatic audience targeting will enable our customers to research, understand and identify their target audiences, and their behaviors, and eventually, in the same interface activate those audiences.”

AudienceView, the behavioral analytics platform of Hitwise, provides companies with demographic insights on consumers across mobile platforms.

“To have a dedicated search around shopping, it was making less and less sense every year,” said George Simpson, a spokesperson for Connexity. “The company decided, ‘what’s the asset we have?’ And what they have is the ability to see an enormous amount of shopping transactions.”

Hitwise, which collects data from over 7 billion URLs daily, will now operate as a stand-alone business of Connexity, although the company said there may be plans to create an integrated product in the future.

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