Qwerly sells out to Fliptop, its main US competitor

Qwerly originally pitched itself as a ‘DNS for people’, not dissimilar to About.me. But in May it pivoted, shutting profiles in favour of doubling down on its growing API business which integrated its social data into CRM suites, customer support systems, email clients and address books. Other companies then used the data to personalize communications.

Now Qwerly has pivoted again – in the form of a sale to social intelligence provider Fliptop, Inc, based out of the US. The latter was Qwerly’s its largest competitor in Europe. Financials details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Qwerly was founded about 18 months ago by Max Niederhofer to help companies mine the social web. He says over 2,500 companies are using its API-based product (see chart), making requests for over 20 million profiles per month. At $50 per 1,000 profiles, the business was cash-flow positive and growing.

The reasons for selling, says Niederhofer, that because 90% of Qwerly’s customers in the US and wanted web-based interface to their data, not an API service. Fliptop has that, in addition to US-based sales, support and venture funding.

However, Niederhofer and CTO Phil Jackson are not staying with Fliptop and both plan to stay in in London: “There’s just way too much opportunity in Europe right now,” Niederhofer told me.

It’s interesting he should say this. As a serial Angel investor and entrepreneur Niederhofer knows better than most the opportunities in Europe right now. And the US market is pretty saturated.