Pay per call advertising service VoiceStar has been acquired by local advertising company Marchex.
Terms of the deal are as follows:
Marchex total anticipated investment to acquire VoiceStar will be $28 million, consisting of approximately $20 million in transaction consideration and $8 million in company investment. Specifically, transaction consideration consists of approximately $12.9 million in cash consideration and Marchex will issue approximately $7.1 million in restricted stock that is subject to vesting over two-and-one-half years from closing to certain employees of VoiceStar; and company investment consists of $8 million relating to products, infrastructure, human resources and other items through 2008. The acquisition is expected to close by October 1, 2007.
VoiceStar helps track how effective your newspaper and online advertising campaigns are at generating calls to your business. To do this, they sell advertisers a block of phone numbers ($10/month/number) to be placed in news papers or on websites. Each number is unique to an advertising campaign and can be linked through a softswitch to your existing phone lines.
For instance, the number from a newspaper campaign can be routed to a specific department or only accept calls during business hours. VoiceStar then tracks calls from these numbers as they are routed through their softswitch to your phone line. They can then compile data on the return on investment from each of these campaigns distinguished by phone number.
VoiceStars primary clients are advertising networks, who use the service to help individual advertisers. As of this past February, they claimed 400 clients with 20,000 individual advertisers working through those clients.
Other competitors include Ingenio and eStara. Google has also dabbled in click to call.