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FOBI AI inks letter of intent to acquire US online coupon and advertising platform Qples

Qples is a cash flow positive business that is expected to generate around $1 million in revenue for 2021, followed swiftly by $2 million in 2022

Fobi AI - FOBI AI inks letter of intent to acquire US online coupon and advertising platform Qples
FOBI said the synergistic deal is expected to be completed in August after due diligence and exchange approvals

Fobi AI (TSX-V:FOBI, OTCQB:FOBIF) Inc, a provider of real-time data analytics through artificial intelligence (AI) to drive customer engagement, revealed that it has signed a binding Letter of Intent (LOI) to acquire Qples, a dominant player in the coupon industry with strong relationships with top consumer brands. 

The company noted that Qples is a cash flow positive business that is expected to generate around US$1 million in revenue for 2021, followed by US$2 million in 2022, prior to any impact from the acquisition. 

The deal is expected to be completed in August, subject to customary due diligence and exchange approvals, said FOBI. 

READ: Fobi AI strikes new deal with global marketing agency GPJ to implement its Wallet pass solution for major clients

Qples is a next-generation provider of digital coupons, and the first coupon provider to sign on to The Coupon Bureau’s universal digital coupon AI 8112 project. Qples recently announced the launch of the Grocery Coupon Network mobile application, the first IOS and Android app to allow consumers to discover, save and redeem both print@home and universal digital coupons in one place.

As a result, consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands are able for the first time to deliver manufacturer-level digital coupons into any digital platform and track the performance through detailed data and analytics.

“Through its proprietary coupon delivery platform, Qples provides brands with data about the offers and the consumers such as name, gender, location, point of origin and much more,” said the company. In a nutshell, Qples provides a disruptive and cost-effective way for brands to accurately market to consumers across social, local, and mobile channels.

Moreover, unlike load-to-card coupons that must be clipped and used at a specific retailer, universal digital coupons can be used anywhere.

The Qples acquisition is a key step in FOBI’s strategy to connect CPG brands and retailers, as well as become a leader in the grocery, convenience and pharmacy verticals, where FOBI has announced major pilots.

The company also pointed out that with the recent integration of FOBI’s Wallet pass and the new Universal Digital Coupon standard AI (8112), the acquisition is a “great fit” to power a coupon service. FOBI’s receipt marketing and e-receipt capabilities, enables coupons to be printed at the till or delivered digitally through email or FOBI’s Wallet pass.

“This is the final piece of the puzzle that enables a new revenue stream for FOBI, selling coupons to CPGs, which is complementary to FOBI’s core software-as-a-service (SAAS) business,” said the company. 

In a statement, FOBI CEO Rob Anson said: "The acquisition of Qples gives FOBI powerful abilities to offer a coupon management platform to CPGs and a seamless end-to-end solution for our customers, allowing us to attack the market from both ends.”

“With this acquisition, we gain a turnkey asset that immediately plugs into the FOBI solution stack, enabling us to leverage and add greater value to existing revenue contracts with CPGs. As a cash flow positive business on the cusp of a major breakout, Qples is a perfect example of FOBI’s ideology of Partner, Build or Buy." 

Meanwhile, Qples President Eddy Watsonstates said joining forces with FOBI makes “perfect sense.”

“It creates new opportunities for Qples by coupling our industry-leading coupon technology with FOBI’s vast portfolio of complementary products,” added Watsonstates.

In June this year, FOBI appointed Richard Lee, former VP of strategic alliances at NielsenIQ, as its new SVP of strategy and corporate development to sharpen FOBI’s roadmap for mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

“With his deep knowledge of the market research and data and analytics industry, Richard will continue to work with Senior Management and focus on further M&A opportunities,” said the company.

Lee said the deal “aligns very well” with FOBI’s growth strategy as it sets out to work across the various retail verticals and build a collaboration model between retailers and CPG brands. 

“The acquisition of Qples brings additional capabilities that interface with our current suite of services and strengthens our position to help connect the CPG and retail industry,” added Lee.

FOBI's recent private placement and warrant exercises injected $10.4 million in working capital to fund current growth and further strategic acquisitions. 

Contact the author Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive

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