September 5, 2018

Ideanomics acquires social media marketing platform

Students walking through UConn's former West Hartford campus in 2016.

The New York fintech planning to build a West Hartford innovation hub announced Tuesday it acquired a marketing platform for social media users.

Ideanomics said its purchase of Grapevine Logic Inc. allows the company to pair its blockchain and AI technology with the social media marketing platform, which hires celebrities to market brands online.

Ideanomics, formerly Seven Stars Cloud, said it would pay $2.4 million to acquire Grapevine, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing. Ideanomics CEO Bruno Wu owns 34.5 percent of Grapevine, the filing says.

Grapevine's network of over 4,700 brands -- including Coca-Cola, Loreal and Walgreens -- have engaged with more than 177,000 social influencers, reaching over 3.2 billion followers on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Blockchain, Ideanomics officials said, will be used to track digital assets, record transactions and establish contracts betweens users and brands and facilitate the trading of digital currencies, or tokens.

"We believe Grapevine's existing global ecosystem will be the foundation for a broad application of blockchain technologies throughout the media and entertainment industry and be the cornerstone of our consumer digital asset business line," Wu said.

In July, Ideanomics announced plans to create a $280 million tech hub for blockchain technology and artificial intelligence at the former UConn campus in West Hartford.

The project, supported by a $10 million state loan, will bring 330 jobs to the campus, which will become the fintech's headquarters for technology and innovation. SSC will retain its corporate headquarters in New York.

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