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Bankrate.com Acquires Lead Company

FastFind acquisition to propel lead services

November 21, 2005

By MortgageDaily.com staff

Bankrate.com Inc. has made an acquisition that it says will make it a player in the lead services arena.

North Palm Beach, Fla.-based Bankrate will acquire Wescoco LLC, which operates as FastFind, according to an announcement today. The deal, which will cost Bankrate $10 million, is expected to close by the end of the month.

San Francisco-based FastFind sells leads to lenders, including mortgage and home equity lenders, the announcement says. FastFind touts its leads services at www.FastFind.com.

"This acquisition rapidly propels Bankrate into the lead aggregation sector and will add a new revenue stream to our business," said Bankrate CEO Thomas R. Evans in the statement. "We believe we are strategically positioned to take advantage of the shift of spending from traditional outlets to the Internet."

Bankrate announced in October it would adopt a pay-per-click pricing model for its existing lead service with tiered pricing.

Bankrate will also acquire consumer mortgage publisher MMIS / Interest.com for $30 million, according to a separate announcement today. That deal is also expected to close this month.

Among other things, the Interest.com acquisition will increase the company's "lead aggregation potential," Evans added.

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