Plum District, the hyperlocal deals site built by moms, for moms, has just acquired Spotivate, a startup led by ex-Googler Anthony Lee and former Telenav engineer Jorge Chang that launched out of AngelPad to offer local experiences to parents. The terms of the deal were undisclosed.
For those of us who don’t have miniature terrors traipsing through our lives, here’s a little background on Plum District: The company was founded in 2009 by Megan Gardner as a local deals site that is not only dedicated to moms, but actually powered by moms. Plum District lets local moms hop on board as regional sales people who would then source the deals in their neighborhood for the site.
The company saw a number of large investments, namely from Kleiner Perkins and General Catalyst, which has led to a total of $30.6 million in funding over the past few years. Plum District even dabbled in some acquisitions, picking up DoodleDeals Inc. and Chatterfly in 2011.
But then the hyperlocal deals market went through its own winter, as clarified by Groupon’s more recent tribulations, but Plum District held on. The company reorganized a bit, with a relatively large round of layoffs in August of 2012, and then founder and CEO Megan Gardner stepped down, making room for ex-Googler and longtime member of Plum District’s leadership team Susan Kim to take the helm.
Things have been quiet, but seemingly smooth, at Plum District ever since.
The Spotivate acquisition is the first big deal under Kim’s leadership, but seems like a strong fit and a good way to expand into experiential goods like summer camps, ballet lessons, etc. The deal began as a partnership between Plum District and Spotivate, wherein Spotivate content was being distributed through the Plum District network.
According to Kim, the open rate on emails increased by 50 percent, and the click-through rate doubled. That said, it wasn’t long before both Spotivate and Plum District were discussing a merger of some kind. Lee relays that after Plum District made an offer, a number of other offers came in as well (alongside the option to continue Spotivate), but Plum District felt like the right fit.
Both Lee and Chang will move over to Plum District, as VP of Product and VP of Engineering respectively, and both seem pleased to get back to developing excellent products instead of running a business from the top-down.