Melbourne IT plugs AU$1.25m into Tiger Pistol for SMB social edge

Melbourne IT has made an AU$1.25 million one-off investment in social media marketing platform Tiger Pistol in a bid to offer its SMB customers a social media edge.

Australian internet technology services provider Melbourne IT has invested AU$1.25 million in social media marketing company Tiger Pistol.

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)-listed Melbourne IT told investors in a statement (PDF) on Thursday that it had made the investment in Tiger Pistol — in the form of a convertible note on commercial terms — as part of a deal that will see it offer Tiger Pistol's services to its small to medium-sized business (SMB) customers.

Melbourne IT said that the investment was made to "cement the strategic partnership and guarantee security and access to products", and that it would offer the service to both its existing customers with established websites, and its new customers.

"The relationship with Tiger Pistol takes us into new territory, and is a key component in a much broader solution set for businesses that have a presence and want to get found," said Melbourne IT CEO Martin Mercer. "This is part of Melbourne IT's strategy of providing a suite of 'Do-It-For-You' solutions for SMBs to enable them to be successful online.

"Many small businesses need help to successfully engage with their customers on social media. Tiger Pistol enabled Melbourne IT to manage a business' social media presence and to take advantage of advertising opportunities on social media," he said.

Mercer said that the company is assembling a broad suite of solutions for small businesses that want to get found online.

"It's no longer sufficient to focus exclusively on traditional web presence," he said.

Melbourne IT also announced on November 27 that it had attained premier consulting partner certification from cloud provider Amazon Web Services.

Mercer said that the certification distinguishes the company as one of only 28 AWS partners around the world to have achieved the premier consulting partner status.

"Seen together, the agreement with Tiger Pistol and the partner consulting partner certification from Amazon Web Services ... signal our commitment to delivering solutions that enable businesses to be successful online," said Mercer. "This news is a precursor to further solutions we plan to bring to market."

Melbourne IT posted a net loss after tax of AU$4.6 million in August for its first-half financial results report (PDF) for the financial year 2014-15. However, it recorded earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of AU$3.6 million from revenue of AU$59.6 million for the six-month period.

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