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Lithium Technologies snaps up social media barometer startup Klout

Social media-focused customer services management firm Lithium Technologies is all set to acquire Klout, a startup which gauges social media influence and offers advice on how to increase it.

This nugget was unearthed by Re/code, who spoke to sources claiming that the deal has been signed, but not closed, with a mix of cash and Lithium stock involved to the apparent tune of a “low nine figures.” In other words, in excess of $100 million (£60 million).

Klout was founded in 2008, and moved to San Francisco the following year (where Lithium also resides). It boasts some 500 million scored profiles, and claims to have chewed its way through 200TB of data in the quest to determine who the biggest social media personalities and brands are.

Klout has tried to sell itself from various angles, one of which is so-called Klout Perks, whereby companies offer various goodies to social movers and shakers in exchange for tweets to raise their profile.

Lithium develops social customer experience software for the enterprise world, aiming to engage consumers more deeply with brands. The company’s management software is used by the likes of Best Buy, AT&T, HP, and Paypal.

Both San Francisco-based companies would seem like a good fit on the face of it, although Klout’s performance has been put under scrutiny at times (including a memorable episode where Barack Obama’s social influence rating was questioned).