Google continues to enhance its business in e-commerce and providing a portal for users to search and find things to buy alongside ads for those products. Today it was announced that Google has bought Channel Intelligence, a provider of technology to companies to enable customers to buy their products online, for $125 million in an all-cash deal.
CI is active globally in 31 countries, working with 850 retailers like Best Buy and Target. It has also been a partner of Google Shopping for years already, specifically on its Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) with Product Listing Ads (PLAs) products.
The rise of a number of sites offering free services, with revenues generated via referral networks alongside those services, has boosted Channel Intelligence’s star. In addition to working with Google, CI also integrates with other platforms like Facebook’s and provides widgets that companies can run alongside products covering services like giving options for sites to buy a particular product (“Where-to-Buy”), where to find a particular product (“Product Search Engines”) and an e-commerce back end (“Shopping Engine”).
The news was announced on CI’s homepage, where the company said that “All CI services will continue to offer the excellent client service and great performance that our clients have come to expect over the years.” It has been in business since 1999 and says that it currently tracks some 15% of all U.S. online transactions, driving some $2 billion in sales every year through referrals.
ICG Group, the publicly-listed backer of Channel Intelligence, also announced the news with further details about the transaction. It says that it will realize some $60.5 million from the deal, and that “a portion of ICG’s proceeds will be held in escrow and will be subject to potential identification claims.” Aweida Capital Management, the other co-owner of CI, will receive the remainder of the proceeds.