Beltsville, Md. – Vocus, the Beltsville, Md.-based developer of marketing and public relations software, said it has paid $169 million to acquire North Carolina-based iContact, a provider of cloud-based email and social marketing software.

Under the deal, the company paid $91 million in cash, $9 million in common stock and $79 million in redeemable convertible preferred stock.

Vocus said the acquisition will add email to its marketing suite, which already includes search marketing, social marketing and publicity modules, centered around a recommendation engine.

iContact’s software is used by more than 70,000 small to mid-sized businesses to create and send professional-quality email campaigns. The platform is integrated with Facebook and Twitter, allowing users to launch campaigns and offers across social networks, as well.

iContact was founded in 2003 by Ryan Allis and Aaron Houghton while they were students at University of North Carolina. The company’s operations and staff will remain in Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

This article was also published in Potomac Tech Wire.

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