e-Rewards Acquires Peanut Labs

Texas-based online research company e-Rewards has bought San Francisco start-up Peanut Labs for its social media capability.

Peanut Labs specializes in surveys for monetization on social media. The publishers of social media applications and communities can earn money by offering market research surveys to their users. In return, the users earn virtual currency – and later this year, this is to include Facebook Credits as well.

Peanut Labs said the deal would increase the inventory of surveys available to publishers by more than tenfold. The company is to cease charging publishers for CPA offer monetization programs for the remainder of 2010 and will pay its partners 100% of revenue earned from CPA offer transactions.

After the deal is finalized, Peanut Labs will join forces with Research Now, the global online sampling and online data collection company owned by e-Rewards. The Peanut Labs brand name will be retained under the e-Rewards umbrella for San Francisco customers, while the Seattle-based market research survey business will become part of e-Rewards’ Research Now as of January 2011.

Peanut Labs co-founder and chief executive Ali Moiz said the deal was exciting. “Combining Peanut Labs sampling capabilities in social media with Research Now’s global online panels, our clients will now have access to the largest and most diverse global respondent universe available to support online research projects,” he said.

For e-Rewards president and chief executive Chris Havemann, the deal extends the company’s reach into social media platforms. “Peanut Labs will accelerate our social media strategy while enhancing the global capabilities we offer to researchers,” he said.

Peanut Labs has grown its respondent pool from 20 million consumers in 2007 to over 240 million consumers to date, including partners as diverse as Bigpoint, Changyou, Nexon, Playspan, Pogo, Rockyou, Playdom, and Playspan.

The deal is expected to complete in October and financial details were not disclosed.