Feb 10, 2022 - Economy

Subscription tech company Piano acquires SocialFlow

Illustration of a Black hand holding a phone with squares and money in the background.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Piano, a subscription technology company that helps publishers monetize their websites, has acquired SocialFlow, a company that helps publishers monetize their social media content.

Why it matters: The integration will help Piano's customers reach readers on social media who are willing to pay for subscriptions. Before the deal, Piano primarily helped publishers market to possible subscribers on their websites or apps.

Details: Almost the entire staff from SocialFlow, about 25 people, will move over to Piano as a part of the deal, per Piano CEO Trevor Kaufman. Deal terms were not announced.

  • SocialFlow has two businesses: one that focuses on organic social media marketing and the other that focuses on paid. Piano is increasingly getting into paid marketing as a subscription acquisition tool.
  • The organic business will help Piano optimize the tools and data it offers to publishers to better engage potential subscribers on social media with free content.

The big picture: The acquisition will help Piano beef up its capabilities and scale ahead of an eventual financial liquidation event.

  • "We may seek to raise more capital and we see the company as a public company at some point," said Kaufman.
  • Piano has around 650 employees and is profitable. It is approaching $100 million in revenue and expects to hit the number by the end of Q2 2022, per Kaufman.
  • About 38% of Piano's business comes from North American publishers and about 40% are from Europe. The remainder is split between Asia and Latin America.

Flashback: Prior to this deal, Piano has acquired a few other companies. In 2019 it acquired Cxense, a Norweigan company that had a real-time data management platform. Last March, it bought AT Internet, a French analytics company.

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