Bankrate, Inc. (NYSE:RATE) on Wednesday announced the acquisition of Caring, Inc., owner of online senior care resource Caring.com for $54 million in cash, subject to adjustments.
The Caring team will join Bankrate, Inc. and continue to operate the company.
“We’ve been approached over the years by a number of companies interested in making an entry into the senior living market,” Andy Cohen, co-founder and CEO of Caring.com, told SHN.
One of them—Bankrate—approached the company last fall during a round of fundraising and asked if it would consider a sale, he says. “Like any venture-backed company, that was not our plan; we were planning to keep growing the company, but they made an offer,” says Cohen.
At $54 million, it was an offer Caring.com couldn’t refuse—and Cohen says it seemed like a good fit.
“We really like their approach to the different categories they play in, as they have a number of sites that provide consumers with objective information,” he says. “It’s similar to what we do in senior housing: provide consumers with objective information so they can make an informed decision.”
Sites under the Bankrate umbrella span credit cards to insurance, allowing consumers to get the best quotes to determine their next step. But beyond operational similarities, Caring.com also appreciated Bankrate for its strength.
“Bankrate’s extensive consumer footprint, editorial leadership, distribution partnerships and financial resources will allow Caring.com to reach millions more family caregivers, which will provide increased numbers of referrals to our partners,” Cohen said in a statement.
Beyond the expertise Caring.com can now leverage, there’s also long-term stability.
“People can be confident we’ll be in it for the long haul. Providers are always worried when they work with start-ups—’Are they gonna be around next year?'” says Cohen. “If they were worried before, they don’t have to be anymore.”
More than half of Caring.com’s 2013 revenue was generated through referral fees from senior housing and care providers (51%), along with subscription (23%) and display (26%) revenue. Referral fee revenues will comprise a higher percentage in 2014, according to Cohen.
With Bankrate’s backing, Caring.com expects faster growth and increased traffic beyond the more than 2 million visitors a month it reports already getting.
“We think it will definitely accelerate our growth. Bankrate reaches a large audience of boomers and has 14 million unique visitors across its sites,” Cohen told SHN. Many of the sites skew toward boomers, he says, and attract audiences similar to the adult child audience on Caring.com.
“The Caring business is a great fit for Bankrate,” said Kenneth Esterow, president and CEO of Bankrate, Inc., in a statement. “Caring’s ability to attract an audience of family caregivers through its editorial content, robust tools and professionally trained senior living advisors is a great complement to Bankrate’s proven approach.
The acquisition represents a “tremendous” opportunity for Bankrate, according to Esterow. The senior housing market is valued at $60 billion, already half the size of the $120 billion apartment market—and growing twice as fast, he added.
“Our social mission remains, and we’ll continue to operate as Caring.com,” notes Denise Graab, social marketing and online community director for Caring.com. “There are 43 million people in America caring for someone 50+ and we want to reach as many as we can.”