CrowdGather Gathers LeFora
Signaling industry consolidation, forum network CrowdGather on Monday announced the acquisition of forum host provider Lefora. Financial terms of the all-stock transaction were not disclosed. The combined properties will offer a search engine- and social media-friendly network of forum communities that serve an estimated 90 million monthly page-views.
Since its launch in mid-2008, Lefora has built up a user base of over 100,000 forum communities. While it targets technical novices, Lefora is actually known for its own strong technical infrastructure.
"We now have advanced forum technology, coupled with the scale of distribution across multiple verticals that we believe is compelling to advertisers," CrowdGather CEO and founder Sanjay Sabnani said of the deal.
In conjunction with the deal, Woodland Hills, CA.-based CrowdGather has also acquired a license to use the technology of embeddable forum technology provider Tal.ki.
As of March 16, CrowdGather claimed to be serving over 80 million page views and reaching 4.5 million unique users monthly.
As several recent deals show, CrowdGather clearly isn't waiting to grow its business organically. The company acquired digital ad agency ADISN last month for $5.5 million in stock, along with forum provider Freeforums.org in March for $1 million in cash and stock. Two years ago, CrowdGather acquired a forum site for hobbyists named Zealot.com.
In general, people who contribute to online forums are more engaged in "influential" activities -- both online and offline -- than people who don't use forums, according to a recent study conducted by market research company Synovate Forum marketer PostRelease.
Those who contribute to online forums were 10 times more likely than non-contributors to also publish a blog, and were nine times more likely to take an active role in organizing offline events or meet-ups for group that originally met online. Meanwhile, forum-users were 3.5 times more likely to proactively recommend a particular purchase to someone else, 3.5 times more likely to share links about new products, four times more likely to post online ratings and reviews, and almost twice as likely to share advice -- offline and in person -- based on information they had read online.