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Purch, a network of digital media publications, is acquiring comparison-shopping app Consumr, VentureBeat has learned.

Consumr describes itself as an app for discovering products, reading reviews, and comparing prices. With support for scanning QR codes and barcodes, it simplifies making comparisons and doing research while standing in the aisle of a real-world store. In other words, it is a potential boon for people who are “showrooming,” or visiting retail stores in order to check out products but then purchase them online.

The companies did not state the price of the acquisition.

Consumr (which initially had one less vowel, and was called Consmr when it launched) received some glowing early reviews, including one from TechCrunch, which called it a “Yelp for products.” Unlike Yelp, however, Consumr has been pretty quiet for the past six months. Its Twitter account, with just over 2,700 followers, wasn’t updated at all between October 8 and February 25, a gap that fell right across what you’d expect to be the app’s biggest opportunity, the holiday shopping season. The app is well rated, however, with 4.5 stars in the iTunes App Store.

Purch, known as TechMedia Network until last year, is the parent company of Tom’s Hardware, TopTenReviews, and other sites. It’s been on a bit of a buying spree the past 18 months, picking up BestofMedia in mid-2013 and acquiring Anandtech at the end of 2014. As of December, it was claiming that its entire network reached 100 million readers monthly, and was on track to make $100 million in revenue for the year.

Purch is now focused on matching brands with consumers, and claims that its network drives more than $1 billion in transactions annually. It has more than 350 employees, and is based in New York.


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