Local.com Buys Krillion; Will Integrate Retail Information

Finally, we have the long awaited merger of a directory with a retail solution. Today, prior to its earnings call, Local.com announced it would integrate product and store availability into its growing suite of women-oriented services by acquiring Krillion.com. The sale price was $3.5 million.

When it was launched in 2006, Krillion was a real pioneer in bringing search engine optimization to the fore for products. It was built on the idea of tying products closely to vertical shopping categories. Some of its initial ideas didn’t work. SEO, for instance, proved to be a poor substitute for destination traffic when it comes to retail. But the company has continued innovating.

Local’s acquisition cost appears to have been well below Krillion’s $9.1 million capitalization, per peHUB. But it is more than a good deal. It gives Local entry to shopping, and pits it against other shopping-driven initiatives, including eBay, via its $75 million acquisition of Milo.com. Other major competitors include JiWire, Wishpond and now SaleLocator, a privately funded initiative. ShopLocal, of course, remains the granddaddy in the space as it ventures beyond the traditional domain of weekly store circulars.

Krillion comes with a rich set of features that should help Local right away. These include an archive of product images, and information on current pricing, manufacturer/ retailer discounts and real-time in-stock information.

It also has a structured index of 70,000+ products for 1,200 brands across a number of vertical categories, which now include appliances, baby gear, consumer electronics, computers, tools, video games and home & garden. More than 50,000 retail locations are tracked.

Most of this can now be neatly tied into Local.com’s expanding suite of services, which include Local’s directory, the Octane 360 SMB network, the Rovion rich media ad network, and Deals (via Spreebird, the newly announced brand for its deal a day). In addition to the Local properties, Krillion can continue to serve its own network, which includes Consumer Reports, SuperPages, ShopSavvy, Topix, Yp.com and The Find.com.

Under terms of the deal, Krillion CEO Sherry Thomas-Zon becomes Local.com’s VP, local shopping, and the 13-person company remains headquartered in Mountain View rather than relocating to Local’s Southern California location.

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