ROKT Acquires CalReply
ROKT, the transaction marketing company, has acquired CalReply, the leader in calendar marketing solutions. Under terms of the agreement, CalReply becomes an operating unit of ROKT maintaining the strong CalReply brand. In addition, Brad Lindenberg, CalReply’s founder and CEO, joins ROKT’s Board of Directors.
“CalReply is a valuable addition to ROKT’s transaction marketing toolset as it offers our partners and marketers a superior way to reach customers in a time sensitive, mobile first approach,” Bruce Buchanan, ROKT’s CEO, said. “A key driver for bringing CalReply and ROKT together was the fact that a majority of ROKT’s partners are e-commerce providers looking to establish new high engagement communication channels.
“Since 70% of the transactions ROKT processes are for event-based activities, CalReply’s calendar experience will allow us to deliver even greater value by extending customer engagement to the mobile calendar after a transaction.”
CalReply is the largest and fastest growing provider of calendar marketing solutions with more than 4 million subscribers. It handles calendar marketing for many of the world’s biggest brands, including ESPN, FOX, MLB, NASCAR, ITV and UFC, among others. The acquisition by ROKT will enable further investments in the expansion of CalReply’s platform and core capabilities.
The ROKT-CalReply combination will help marketers reach active mobile consumers when their receptivity to messages is highest. For example, someone buys tickets to a concert and is then asked if she wants to add the event to the calendar on her mobile phone. Not only does she now have that but the ticket seller can place information about related events and other messages into her mobile calendar. The ROKT platform can be used to precisely target audience segments of calendar subscribers with personalized messaging that is relevant and timely.
Like many startups CalReply’s path to success was not a straight line. It began as BuyReply, an e-commerce platform which let consumers purchase items from offline media. Despite raising $1 million, Lindenberg and his team found they had to rework their business model to find a product-market-fit. Now, in a dominant market position, CalReply is joining with ROKT to achieve even more.
“It’s exciting to be joining Bruce, Justin and the rest of the ROKT team. In many ways, this is the logical next step for CalReply,” Lindenberg said. “Beyond both starting out in Australia, having a common investor in Square Peg Capital, the synergies to be realized by blending our approaches are profound. ROKT has turned e-commerce into a powerful media opportunity for brands. CalReply will amplify that by harnessing the power of the mobile calendar.
“In a digital marketing world plagued by bot fraud, click fraud and ad blocking both ROKT and CalReply avoid all of those pitfalls. Transaction and Calendar Marketing present unique moments to reach hard to get audiences when they are highly engaged. The results will speak for themselves.
“It has been a great ride with CalReply. I want to thank our incredible teams in New York and Sydney, as well as our board for all their support, particularly Bonnie Boezeman, David Liberman and Michael Rom. In addition, let me acknowledge the early support of Adrian MacKenzie and Srdjan Dangubic; without their early commitment to the business, we would not be here today,” Lindenberg said.