E-centives Tapping Into Promotion Site's Membership

Online direct marketing infrastructure firm e-centives Inc. will provide promotion services for BidCentives Inc. retail Web site BidCoins.com, e-centives said yesterday.

BidCoins will encourage its members to opt in to receive e-centives offers.

"We get access to a very loyal audience," said e-centives spokeswoman Stephanie Tew. "BidCentives is getting 60,000 or so new members every month. Our merchants get access to these new users."

Ira Becker, vice president of strategic alliances at e-centives Inc., Bethesda, MD, said, "With a strong loyalty rewards platform and network of partner sites, BidCentives has [proved] to be a valuable customer acquisition tool."

Last month, e-centives signed an agreement to buy Commerce Business from Inktomi Corp., Foster City, CA. Inktomi reportedly transferred employees, equipment and technology associated with its commerce division to e-centives, in exchange for up to 19.9 percent of e-centives' outstanding shares of common stock.

Late last year, e-centives made its initial public offering on the SWX New Market in Switzerland in an attempt to avoid punishing conditions that most dot-coms are facing on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

E-centives was the first U.S. company to have its primary listing on the SWX when its IPO of 3.7 million shares, worth about $49.5 million, was made in October.

Shares were trading late yesterday at $13, down more than 10 percent from the previous seven-day period and down 14 percent from the previous 30 days.

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