Mothercare is buying investment fund Fleming Media out of their Gurgle.co.uk joint venture (announcement). The baby products retailer will now take full ownership of the pregnancy-and-parenting social network.
Gurgle.co.uk was founded by the pair in 2007 to let first-time parents share advice and experience, including blogs, chat, video and Q&A. It added sites in the U.S. and India last year. The site claims 300,000 monthly uniques and 100,000 members.
Why buy the remaining 50 percent? Gurgle says: “By leveraging the opportunity for greater reach with Mothercare, Gurgle will now be able to offer advertisers additional ways to communicate with close to 100 percent of consumers in this key opinion-forming life-stage.
“Gurgle will retain its independent tone of voice, but will take selected opportunities to integrate further within Mothercare … We see Mothercare as our big sister who offers expert advice at every step.”
Mothercare’s PR company tells us that, with Mothercare also owning Early Learning Centre, Gurgle had developed in to a third brand for the group, which has used it to communicate with young mums and mums-to-be.
Expectant parents are an evergreen target market to which not only Mothercare but other brands could advertise their products. Gurgle also has a new line of books on HarperCollins available via Mother.com and Amazon.