Social sharing upstart Spreadly buys rivals ahead of U.S. push

The German company behind the social sharing service Spreadly has bought its second rival platform in a month, ahead of a Stateside push.

Ekaabo picked up Yigg, a six-year-old clone of the old Digg, a few weeks ago. Now it’s bought Mister Wong, a Delicious clone of a similar vintage, for an undisclosed sum. Both buys are intended to shore up usage of Spreadly, and will help as the firm prepares to try cracking the U.S. market.

“We started to think about these acquisitions at the end of last year,” CEO Marco Ripanti told me. “We saw that our Spreadly sharing buttons need more publishers than were putting the button on the site.”

Yigg and Mister Wong may be barely known elsewhere, but they are both reasonably popular in Germany.

Yigg has around 300,000 users. Mister Wong has just under two million users, “nearly 60 percent” of whom are active. Most are German, but Ripanti noted that the service was meeting some success in China, Spain and Russia. Its less successful French version, he added, will be shut down.

As for Mister Wong’s existing U.S. users – all 60-70,000 of them – the acquisition will bring a benefit. Until now, the service has cost $2 a month there (this may explain the low user numbers) but Ekaabo intends to turn it free “in the next weeks”.

Spreadly itself is an analytics-centric service that promises to monetize social sharing. It lets publishers offer targeted deals to the sharers. It’s quite similar to RadiumOne’s, albeit older – indeed, Ripanti sees that platform as a copy of his own.

The other big competitors it will find in the U.S. are the far more entrenched ShareThis and AddThis. Going up against those two will be tough, particularly after having boosted user numbers through acquisitions rather than organic growth.

At the moment, Spreadly lets users share with one click to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Flattr. Ripanti said more services (including Yigg and Mister Wong) will be added in the coming weeks, and the U.S. push will happen within the same timeframe.