Klout Snapped Up by Lithium Technologies

March 27, 2014

Social-sharing company Klout has been acquired by Lithium Technologies, the companies announced on Thursday.

The news comes after weeks of speculation that Lithium Technologies, which provides social customer service management for companies such as Spotify, Skype and Sephora, was close to reaching a deal with the startup. Terms of the acquisition were not announced, but it was confirmed that it was a stock deal. Fortune previously reported the deal would cost $200 million.

“We are confirming today that we did indeed close the announcement of Klout,” a Lithium spokesperson announced during a presentation in San Francisco.

Klout will continue to operate out of its San Francisco headquarters for now and eventually move to the Lithium Technologies offices nearby.

Klout gives individual registered users a Klout score (from one to 100 — the higher, the better) based on their ability to spread messages across social networks including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The company also identifies topics users are “influential” about, such as technology or fashion. Brands can use the service to identify individuals who may be able to amplify messages about their products or services.

Klout cofounder Joe Fernandez said the mission of the company won’t change:

“It will maintain a brand and destination,” Fernandez said during the presentation. “[We will] keep evolving it with the assets that the combined company nows has.”

He elaborated in an official blog post that users will “still be able to get insights about your social media performance, find new content to share, and be rewarded with Perks on both Klout.com and our mobile app.”

The news doesn’t come as a huge surprise to some. “Klout has created and dominated a niche,” said Mark Schaefer, the author of Return On Influence: The Revolutionary Power of Klout, Social Scoring, and Influence Marketing. “They developed strong brand equity and customer relationships so it is not unusual that they would be an attractive acquisition target.”

Schaefer added that Lithium Technologies would be interested in Klout’s data to better connect and understand consumer influence.

“What Klout does seems simple but it is insanely complicated in practice,” he said. “They have had many Ph.D. mathematicians finding ways to sort through billions of pieces of data that can indicate social connections and topical expertise. Certainly this is still a developing field but Klout offers significant intellectual property to a new company.”