Constant Contact Buys Social CRM Startup Bantam Live For $15 Million In Cash

Online marketing company Constant Contact has acquired social CRM startup Bantam Live for $15 million in cash, subject to certain post-closing adjustments.

Bantam Live, which has raised $1.7 million in funding, provides an online workspace for business teams that has “social CRM” features, which include a real-time dashboard stream of messaging and workflow activity along with a native CRM application. Members can share information, track activity, and manage contact and company relationships both inside and outside the organization via a real-time activity stream.

Bantam extends a company’s sales outreach and customer relationships out to the social Web. For instance, with Bantam, a user can search Twitter, import a new contact with one click, initiate task workflows with team members to engage this new contact, and then converse with the new contact for lead generation. Bantam also integrates with Facebook as well.

The company debuted its product at TechCrunch’s RealTime Stream CrunchUp two years ago and exited beta early last year.

Bantam’s CEO and founder John Rourke told us that he was pursued by a couple of public companies to be acquired but chose Constant Contact because it was the best fit.

Bantam Live’s technology will help offer a communciations and social CRM product to Constant Contact’s more than 400,000 small business customers, helping them better track, measure and increase customer engagement. Social CRM functionality will eventually be built into all of the
company’s products, including a paid social media marketing offering, which the company
expects to release in the second half of 2011.

Last year Constant Contact acquired social email and messaging manager Nutshell Mail.