Brand Spins Off Startup: Why VaynerMedia Snapped Up Mondelez-Incubated Betabox

betaboxVaynerMedia, a social and digital marketing agency, acquired Mondelez-owned startup Betabox on Wednesday for an undisclosed sum.

The platform distributes CPG product samples to ecommerce providers, who can then layer on a creative call to action through mobile landing pages. This creates a digital feedback loop for VaynerMedia to track engagement with sample-sending campaigns.

“Betabox enables us to make sampling more 2015, where we’re collecting data from people that are actually getting the products in hand,” VaynerMedia founder Gary Vaynerchuk told AdExchanger. “We then having the ability to remarket to them or extract more IP.”

“This platform makes sampling a hell of a lot more measurable,” he added.

Vaynerchuk was quick to point out that the Betabox platform lends itself to social and digital communication, which has been VaynerMedia’s bread and butter since it began in 2009.

“Anyone who doesn’t realize the world is mobile-first is looking backward at [his or her] own peril,” he said. “For VeynerMedia [this acquisition] shows an expansion of our … capabilities outside of where we started, which is heavily social. We’re sticking technology into something we do well already.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Betabox founder Sonny Byrd has joined VaynerMedia to head up the new Betabox division, which Byrd said will ditch the Betabox name and be known as Vayner Sampling.

Looking forward, “The first step is to roll out the service and platform to VaynerMedia’s existing brands,” explained Byrd. “Over the next few months we will be developing product sampling campaigns for several of our clients. From there, we will continue expanding the offering so that it becomes a regular part of our CPG client’s quarterly and annual plans.”

The concept for Betabox originated from Mondelez’s Mobile Futures initiative, which was established in 2012 to create and incubate mobile ventures by pairing startups with Mondelez brands. Creative genesis for Betabox came from Mondelez, and venture development firm Prehype stepped in to help build and launch the platform.

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