After raising about $40 million and running for about half a decade, the once-buzzy startup Klout has been acquired by Lithium Technologies, according to a report by Re/code’s Kara Swisher and Liz Gannes.
The acquisition, according to that report, is in the “low nine figures” — a soft landing of sorts given that when Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers led the most recent funding round in 2012, the company raised $30 million at what was around a $200 million valuation.
In addition to its fading buzz, Klout was set back by a number of executive departures, including Chief Operating Officer Emil Michael, who left the company in September last year to join Uber. Most recently, Head of Business Development Matt Thomson left the company to join Fitstar in December last year, according to his LinkedIn profile — though rumblings of his imminent departure came as early as last September as well.
According to a number of people who worked with CEO Joe Fernandez, the company was defined in part by his obsession with finding a high-level exit in the vein of other large social companies. The phrase “we’re social” became a running theme throughout the course of the company, even though its data was a potent business tool that was never fully realized into a product that the company could sell to marketers.
That makes Lithium Technologies a good fit as a company acquiring Klout. The company provides customer experience management software that ties in with social networks, which is nicely congruent with Klout’s tech — which tracks “influence” of individuals on various social networks like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and the like.
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