In one of the first major acquisition deals in local of 2018, Reputation.com has acquired SIM Partners, the companies announced yesterday.
Reputation.com, which helps businesses “turn customers into brand champions,” works with top commercial organizations such as McDonald’s, Ford, and Hertz. Its reputation management platform allows big-brand partners to monitor reviews at hundreds or thousands of consumer-facing locations, optimize those reviews, and potentially keep customers coming back. Meanwhile, SIM Partners‘ platform and automated local software helps its partners create a clear and compelling presence on a variety of digital channels so that they can best connect with local consumers. Its backers included River Cities Capital Funds and Jump Capital.
As Andrew Shotland suggests on Local SEO Guide, that “some combination of SIM’s team and its Velocity system (a kind of store finder in a box + listings management solution) was the big appeal.” And that “perhaps SIM’s focus on Healthcare also had some allure.”
Shotland goes on to put the deal within the context of talk for the past few years (including in a panel at Street Fight Summit last year) of a grand consolidation within the local search and digital marketing space — with an emphasis on companies that can claim lots of locations.
“Any company looking to service multi-location brands and/or SMBs at scale will need some kind of listings solution,” writes Shotland. “And for those companies looking to go public, the market seems to value the ability to manage millions of locations.”
There are indeed a lot of local marketing companies out there, and with the acquisition, Reputation.com and SIM Partners will make the case that the their combined platforms will make a compelling case against the other industry heavyweights that are bulking up around them.
SIM Partners will bring to the partnership expertise in health care, perhaps an area of elevated interest at the moment as the state of Obamacare is not entirely certain and corporate giants such as Amazon and JP Morgan are looking to get into the industry.