Neustar Buys Aggregate Knowledge for $119 Million

Buy Boosts Neustar's Campaign Measurement Capabilities

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Telecom services firm Neustar has acquired analytics firm Aggregate Knowledge for $119 million in cash and stock as it looks to augment its campaign measurement capabilities.

Lisa Hook, Neustar
Lisa Hook, Neustar

Though it's been around for 18 years, the Virginia-based Neustar is a relative newcomer to marketing. The company only realized the value of its data for marketing around three years ago when clients asked the phone number management and caller ID provider for information that could help them better understand their customers or potential customers.

Now, Neustar hopes the purchase of San Mateo, CA's Aggregate Knowledge will fill a void by providing measurement analytics. The firm already offers audience segmentation and campaign planning services.

While seeking a potential acquisition to plug that gap, Neustar noticed many of its clients using its Neustar platform "right next to Aggregate Knowledge, so they were trying to integrate our services themselves," said Lisa Hook, Neustar president and CEO. According to Ms. Hook, the two firms currently have an 85% client overlap.

Aggregate Knowledge looks at CRM data along with third party data to measure campaigns and show channel attribution in real-time.

In 2010, a communications services client of Neustar asked, "Can you figure out where I should put my retail store?" said Ms. Hook. "We hadn't thought about using our assets in that way." Neustar works with clients in telecom, financial services, entertainment, retail and ecommerce.

The company routes phone calls and text messages, so it has data on phone numbers and what locations calls are made from. Neustar now uses that information to determine a customer score and what types of products to market to certain people. It combines its call location data with demographic data or integrates the information with client CRM data. The scores might be used to help a customer service rep know whether to suggest a pricey laptop or a mid-tier tablet to a potential customer, for instance.

Aggregate Knowledge has around 70 employees, according to Ms. Hook, who suggested there won't be many staff changes after the acquisition is finalized. One change: Aggregate Knowledge CEO David Jakubowski will now head up Neustar's marketing services team and Ms. Hook will stay on in her current role. Sales execs will report to Neustar SVP of Sales, Alexander Berry.

Founded in 2006, Aggregate Knowledge raised nearly $64 million since it was founded in 2005. Investors have included First Round Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caulfiend & Byers, DAG Ventures, OVP Venture Partners and Foundation Capital, according to Crunchbase.