CCMBenchmark group, one of France’s the top 10 online media conglomerates who also own such properties as Linternaute, Journal du Net, and Comment ça Marche, have decided to broaden their portfolio with this week’s announced purchase of Touchvibes. Although the purchase price hasn’t been announced, Les Echos speculate that it likely didn’t exceed €10 million. Although fairly small with revenues of €2.5 million in 2012, they did achieve 100% revenue growth over 2011 and are estimating to grow to €4 million in 2014 according to Les Echos. This will give CCMBenchmark a nice bump on their 2012 revenues of €30 million. Although the online advertising market has been very difficult the past couple years, CCMBenchmark has actually done quite well in a very difficult environment, achieving 7% revenue growth in 2012.
While most CCMBenchmark’s properties are basically media properties which, consequently, have a heavy reliance on end-user/consumer focused advertising, this purchase increases their footprint in the B-to-B space. As highlighted by CCMBenchmark CEO Benoit Sillard, a strong case could be made that the B-to-B online advertising and promotion space is grossly underdeveloped at the moment. Touchvibes has looked to capitalize on this opportunity by offering a range of online marketing solutions enabling companies to better target and market to current and potential customers. This strategy has paid off well for them with rapid revenue growth (noted above), an affiliate network that now totals 1200, over 250 affiliate campaigns, and an impressive, international client list that includes the likes of Microsoft, HP, Dell, Mercedes, and Getty Images.
One question is whether CCMBenchmark is also expecting that this acquisition will help them expand into markets outside of France. At the moment, none of their media properties have even an English ‘version’ or (with the exception of Droit-Finance) versions in other languages. In addition, unlike Touchvibes, CCMBenchmark doesn’t even appear to have an English language version of its own site, a bare minimum for doing business abroad. It would make a lot of sense for CCMBenchmark to leverage Touchvibes’ more international know-how and customer portfolio to start expanding its reach to new markets.