adds lead generation capability through acquisition

July 27, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News, the UK’s largest independent affiliate marketing network, has acquired online lead generation provider Lightstate in order to access its market leading technology and experienced management team and expand’s offering to both its clients and affiliates.

Founded by internet entrepreneur Shakil Khan, Lightstate collects consumer information from its partnerships with financial services sites, portals and comparison sites. Consumers complete online application forms providing financial information and their contact details. These are pre-qualified by Lightstate and delivered to the advertiser who can contact the consumer and advise them on the products available to suit their specific needs. This complements’s aim to deliver quality leads to advertisers using affiliate marketing techniques to generate leads on a cost-per-acquisition basis. The business has gained momentum in the financial services sector and plans to extend the service to other verticals.

Lightstate will be renamed leads and will operate as a subsidiary of, with Kevin Cornils CEO of and founding COO Steve Brown joining its board of directors. Lightstate’s other management team includes JP Jones who led the research and development team at The Search Works and The Technology Works for two years, Tim Sparks as a financial data and behavioural analyst and other professionals.

Lightstate’s technology will be integrated with’s technology including its online and offline tracking products, and its recently overhauled management area, which offers best of breed campaign analytics for affiliates and merchants.

Commenting on the acquisition, Kevin Cornils, CEO of explains, ‘This acquisition will make us the market leader in technology for lead generation, giving us more choice of products to offer to merchants and affiliates. It also enhances our relationships. Shakil Khan is well-known in the online industry - as Google’s first independent UK advertiser he was a pioneer of the paid search market in the UK and he sold his previous business to He has a good understanding of the best way to connect to consumers online, in the UK and internationally having spent a year studying the market in China on behalf of UK entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley-based VCs.’

Shakil Khan, MD of buyatleads adds, ‘ has a similar approach to ours. It is the biggest independent affiliate network in the UK but has retained its entrepreneurial spirit. It has an excellent client base and strong relationships with affiliates, facilitated by good technology. The acquisition will accelerate our growth as’s infrastructure will have a dramatic impact on our reach and contacts.’

This is’s first acquisition. Founded in 2002, has become the largest independent affiliate network in the UK through organic growth. It received a £7.3 million investment from Esprit Capital Partners in 2006 which was followed by a raft of appointments including Bruce McLaren as Chairman, Kevin Cornils as CEO, Tyson Pearcey as Affiliate Development Director, Peter Mycock as Sales Director and Louise Green as Client Services Director. The company opened a second office in London to be near its main agency contacts, rebranded and launched a new marketing strategy, and has won a slew of new clients including, HMV and Nokia.

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Established in 2002, is the UK’s largest independent affiliate marketing network. drives online sales growth for 200 of the biggest brands across all sectors through its leading network of 6,000 good quality affiliates, supported by industry leading commercial and technical innovations. A pioneer of the open network, encourages merchants (advertisers) and affiliates (publishers) to communicate directly, to ensure the success of affiliate programmes. Clients include AA, Butlins, Carphone Warehouse, Capital One, Egg, John Lewis, M&S, Powergen, Sky, T-Mobile and has experienced 250% growth in turnover year-on-year since 2004. In March 2006, secured its future growth following a £7.3 million investment from Esprit Capital Partners. Bruce McLaren, renowned for leading as International CEO to a successful sale to AOL Time Warner, was appointed Chairman. Former MD Kevin Cornils was recruited as CEO.

For further information please contact:
Joanna Burton
Head of PR and marketing
T: 020 7299 8380