Great news for Andy Cohen, the founder of and the venture investors.

Yesterday, a Senior Housing Forum partner, announced they were purchased by Bankrate Inc. for $54 million dollars.   This is obviously great news for Andy Cohen, the founder of, and the venture investors who bet on It is also great news for the senior living industry. I got a chance to visit with Andy about the deal. He is pleased with the sale because Bankrate is a company that has a history of purchasing companies like that help consumers make complex buying decisions. Their mode of operation is to purchase successful emerging companies that have great growth potential and provide additional resources that will help them continue to grow, utilizing the strengths of their existing team. I asked Andy what we should expect to see that would be different. For him and his team the big win is that they will have additional resources to grow more rapidly. This means being even better at serving consumers and senior living providers.

Deal Details was founded as a venture backed technology company. As is true with every venture backed company, the big payoff for the venture investors arrives when the company is sold.   In high profile cases, like Facebook, Google and Twitter, the sale comes in the form of a public stock offering. More frequently these emerging companies are purchased by a larger company that sees tremendous additional growth potential.

The Timing

When venture investors invest in a winning company they almost never go looking for a buyer, but rather just keep growing and growing; knowing that at some point someone will see what the company has become and what is still to come and make an offer. In this case it was Bankrate that saw the potential and made a terrific offer to the investors.

What it means for the Senior Living Industry

Perhaps the most important takeaway from this sale is that online lead aggregation/generation is here to stay. It is likely to become a more important and powerful force in how consumers find senior living options and make move-in decisions. There has been a predominate view that pay for move-in websites are an expensive drain on the senior living sales budget. But what often gets missed is that senior living consumers like and trust these on-line resource websites. As websites like become more potent, many senior living companies will find it  becomes easier to absorb the cost as they reduce their spend on traditional marketing efforts (direct mail, newspaper ads, print directories) and that the quality of the leads coming from these sites will make the sales team much more effective. Finally, I am predicting that we will see more of these kinds of deals being announced as the industry grows, matures and becomes more sophisticated. The challenge we all face is figuring out how to move with and even take advantage of these changes. What are your thoughts on the impact of this sale to the industry? Steve Moran

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