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Arbitron Acquires Zokem For $11.7M In Cash

Zokem_LogoNews just out regarding Zokem, the Finnish mobile analytics company, has been acquired by Arbitron a NYSE listed public company for $11.7M in cash. Zokem is a provider of custom and syndicated mobile research panels, plug-and-play mobile media measurement tools and software building blocks for mobile device tracking. Arbitron Inc. is an international media and marketing research firm working in the radio, television, cable and mobile industries together with advertising agencies and advertisers around the world. Arbitron's market cap by today's closing price is a little over $1 billion.

Zokem started off by providing a lifestreaming tool in 2009 that we back then questioned might be a little bit too much. We've known the founders and people behind Zokem ever since and it's been great to follow their development.

A few years ago the company pivoted from the concept of lifestreaming to mobile analytics after it realised it was standing on an interesting technological asset. They were able to analyse a consumer's use of her phone in great detail - something that very few companies were able to do. From there on, Zokem has developed their offering by adding consultative services as well. Needless to say the pivot paid off in a great way.

All in all, Zokem has raised just a few million euros in financing. A little over a year ago the company announced a nice 2M euro investment. Before this, there haven't been any significant investment rounds, comparable to last summer's round. While the pay-off isn't a huge multiplier to the amount of money investment - it's still a very good return. This feeling was also shared in Zokem's board's unanimous decision to accept the acquisition offering.

Zokem will operate as Arbitron Mobile, which will be led by Hannu Verkasalo, Zokem founder and CEO. There is also a possible additional earnout for Zokem of up to $12 million based on future financial performance.

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Markku M: July 28, 2011

Congrats to Zokem, the founders and the investors, brilliantly done!

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Fredi August 02, 2011

I got the chance to interview Hannu about the exit and I thought I would share it with you.

http://www.rahoituskone.fi/blog/item/31-zokem-aquired-by-arbitron-for-117musd-exit-interview

If you don't have time to watch the whole interview, this was probably the most intersting part:

Q: Would you have survived without funding?

Hannu: "It would have been impossible for us to grow to this extent without external funding, so I think that it was neccessary...."

"We are happy that we did raise both rounds of funding. It accelerated everything, and in the end of the day one of the key things to our exit was the speed to market. "