TOKYO -- Japanese market research company Macromill has acquired Netherlands-based MetrixLab for roughly 17 billion yen ($154 million), hoping to cultivate more global markets outside Japan.
Founded in 1999, MetrixLab boasts a strong client base of global corporations. It gathers data from some 3.5 million consumers centered in Europe and the U.S. Macromill, which tracks 1.2 million consumers, will be able to serve global corporations in more of the world's major regions.
MetrixLab's sales are projected at 55 million euros ($69.4 million) for the year ending Dec. 31. Its big-name clients include Netherlands-based Heineken, 3M of the U.S., and French company Danone. MetrixLab carries out research using information technology, employing such methods as analyzing social media activity and tracking consumers' movements via location data on their mobile phones.
Macromill, founded in 2000, is the largest Internet research company in Japan. Its sales came to roughly 23 billion yen for the year ended June 30. The acquisition puts it on a par with Intage Holdings unit Intage as one of Japan's largest market research companies.
Global manufacturers of foods, beverages and daily goods are increasingly using market research to tweak products or develop new offerings for particular geographic areas. Now, with even more consumers to study, Macromill will strengthen its framework to respond to such demand.
The Japanese market for consumer research services is on the scale of 180 billion yen annually and has been struggling to grow at 1-2% a year. On the other hand, the global market is on the scale of 4 trillion yen.
Macromill will also consider acquiring companies with sales of around 3 billion yen, mostly in the U.S. It will open a location in Singapore before the end of the year.