Why Did Broadly Acquire About.me?

Broadly‘s acquisition of About.me announced today seems to be a bit more about acquiring the About.me team than about the product.

We reached out to Josh Melick, Broadly’s Co-founder and CEO, and he offered us this take: “First, we really liked the team. I’ve known Mindy for two years and wanted her to come on as our VP product – but then as we got to know the whole team we wanted them all,” Josh said. “The product synergies are obvious as well, really the same mission just different pieces.”

“Mindy” is Mindy Lauck, About.me’s CEO who will now take over the product role at Broadly, which sells a suite of messaging and reviews management products, all accessible through the Broadly app. Reviews management is Broadly’s product origin.

About.me adds a web presence component to the Broadly offering. And Lauck’s job will be to make Broadly’s offering “support the full range of the small business owners’ needs” according to Broadly’s press release announcing the deal. This sounds like Broadly is moving in the direction of having a more robust product suite. More products are a great way to increase ARPA and reduce churn, but they could create challenges for Broadly’s inside sales process that depends on a short sales cycle to keep customer acquisition costs within an acceptable range.

“It’s really a great product fit – we’re both helping small businesses raise their visibility, communicate who they are, and capture new leads. The team synergy is icing on the cake. The acquisition is the next in a series of accelerations for us – including our recent $10M Series B, being named #107 on the Inc. 500 list, and launching our web chat feature,” said Broadly spokesperson Leslie Hobbs.

Terms of the deal were not announced. However, it’s probably a safe bet that terms were more modest than the estimated $35 million that AOL paid for About.me back in 2010 (an acquisition that occurred a mere four days after About.me’s launch). That whirlwind romance failed, however, and About.me was later spun out of AOL to become an independent company.

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