According to Tsavo co-founder and CEO Michael Jones, the company paid over $1 million for the El Segundo, Calif.-based Better, but he declined to be more specific. Backed by the publicly traded American Capital investment fund, Tsavo is hot on the acquisition trail, most recently taking over select assets from Canadian online media firm MoxyMedia.
"The two deals represent the two areas where we're investing," said Jones, former co-founder and CEO of Userplane. "Better builds on our agency business, and MoxyMedia ties into the content assets we're building. ... The Better acquisition enables us to take our content monetization technology, paired with Better's traffic generation services, and provide content publishers with growth and increased revenue, through a single services engagement."
Two years ago, Jones sold Userplane--which makes text, voice and video chat software--to AOL for a reported $40 million. With regard to Tsavo's content strategy, Jones is looking for small- to-mid-sized content sites within the general consumer lifestyle vertical. "That's where we are now, but we'll be tightening up those perimeters in the future," Jones said.
In addition, within the next six months, Tsavo plans to roll out a relevancy engine, which will run across its owned-and-operated content sites. Founded in 2004, Better provides services like SEO and PPC management for a list of clients, including Paramount, DreamWorks and Closet World.
Better's founder Ben Padnos had previously worked at Yahoo and launched a collegiate online sports network, FANSonly.com, as part of another company that was later acquired by Viacom and rebranded as the CBS College Sports Network.
Meanwhile, Tsavo recently named Mike Macadaan as vice president of product and design. Most recently vice president of design at AOL, Macadaan previously held product and content roles for such companies as TechTV, Intuit and GO.com. Tsavo also is celebrating the opening of its corporate headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif.