Social TV App Philo Acquired by Social Advertising Platform LocalResponse

written by: Richard Kastelein

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LocalResponse, the first social advertising platform that aggregates public posts and “check-ins” across multiple platforms to help brands and businesses reach their customers, announces today its acquisition of Philo Media Corporation (Philo), backed by North Bridge Venture Partners, DFJ Gotham and angels in digital media and entertainment. Philo was a leading check-in service for television before its pivot to, helping television and theatrical studios disseminate advertising to consumers across social media during tune-in.

"We are very pleased to have found a new home to connect the social TV and check-in ecosystem" says Philo CEO David Levy, who will become an advisor to LocalResponse. "We have been consistently impressed with LocalResponse’s product offerings and the team is excited to catalyze the LocalResponse platform"

Cory Bergman over at Lost Remote notes this is probably the first of many Social TV M&A's on the horizon as the highly fragmented space consolidates:

The acquisition underlines the importance of data in the social TV world and the wide-ranging applications of it. Data is the driving force behind many social TV startups — those that create it and others that analyze it — and I think it’s safe to predict many more acquisitions in the months to come.

More from LocalResponse:

“Philo’s pivot into the social advertising space was so interesting we had to take a close look” says LocalResponse CEO, Nihal Mehta. “The Philo engineering team, particularly the leadership abilities of CTO, Jessica Lowe, will help LocalResponse satisfy increasing customer demand and take our platform to the next level.”

LocalResponse recently signed its 25th major advertiser to its brand platform, which helps brands and advertising agencies respond to a consumer in time and place context across social media, and soon across new location-targeted, real-time distribution channels. In July, LocalResponse revealed some results of its first, major brand campaigns, with remarkable statistics, preforming 100 times better than traditional online media buys, including a 60% redemption rate.


And Miso CEO Somrat Niyogi talked to Adweek:

"I don't think anyone in this space has fundamentally got it right," he said. And yes, he's including Miso in that statement, too. Niyogi said that's why his Google Ventures-backed startup is trying to experiment with new features (such as reality TV voting) as quickly as it can. And that's also why he said it makes him "crazy" whenever he hears about a new TV check-in startup that's "not doing anything new."

"Is it just about the check-in?" Niyogi said. "If that's all you're doing, what happens if Facebook decides to build TV check-ins?"

So, if no one hasn't figured it out yet, why all the activity? Niyogi said it's because entrepreneurs believe (and all the data suggests) that devices like smartphones and tablets are going to build a huge "second-screen" audience for TV over the next few years.

"The key is making ad dollars reach consumers, and the second screen is the way to make it happen," Niyogi said. "Hopefully, we're the solution, but we still have a long way to go."

Leena Rao from Techcrunch talked to Local Response chief executive Nihal Mehta and adds:

LocalResponse is backed by Verizon Ventures, Metamorphic Ventures, Extreme Venture Partners, Charles River Ventures, BOLDstart Ventures, Jim Pallotta, Greycroft Partners, and others. Mehta says the company is looking to raise another round but has also received a number of acquisition offers. In fact, he’s considered a number of term sheets and offers at the moment. It’s unclear which way Mehta will go, but LocalResponse is certainly on to something when it comes to using engaging advertising on social networks for both small businesses and brands.

Philo’s Chief Technology Officer, Jessica Lowe, will become the new CTO of LocalResponse, and two other developers, Christopher Sanson and Brian Renzenbrink, will join the LocalResponse engineering team in New York City.

“It’s an exciting space at an exciting time” says Jessica Lowe. “I’m extremely happy to be here to break new ground for social advertising.”

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