AOL Invests in Online Billing Cross-Seller

America Online said it has made an investment in niche online marketing platform, which allows companies presenting reports or bills online to cross-sell related services.

The Seattle-based company, geared for financial service institutions and ISPs, operates via an opt-in model. The company’s software analyses a customer’s monthly spending patters and recommends additional products, plans or services. Revenue generated through the new service is shared between XpenseWise and the client.

“We believe XpenseWise will offer an innovative service for online customers, making it easier to use the Internet to find customized solutions to managing household expenses,” said AOL investments vice president Ron Peele.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although XpenseWise is expected to provide its services in some capacity to AOL’s members.

“AOL’s investment in XpenseWise supports our belief that the online expense management category is growing in popularity, and becoming mainstream,” said XpenseWise co-founder and chief executive officer Stephen Litzow. “This investment will allow XpenseWise the opportunity to deliver its unique, timesaving household planning methods to AOL’s 24 millions users

XpenseWise recently announced that it had finished an initial round of funding, led by TD iCapital, a venture fund sponsored by TD Capital and financial services giant TD Waterhouse.

The news continues a recent surge in interest in niche marketing platforms built around online bill presentment and analysis.

Encirq’s “Illuminated Statements” provides a similar product, enhancing online credit card bills with additional purchase information, as well as promotions and ads based on users’ demonstrated affinities. Last week, the company netted $37 million from Chase Capital, GE Capital, and others.

Unlike Encirq, which maintains all personally identifiable material offline, on a user’s hard drive, XpenseWise requires that users submit their personal and bill data to the company, although it says this is only for analysis, and that it will not sell individual member data.

“With the emergence of electronic bill paying, consumers will be seeking ways to optimize their household service plans. XpenseWise is targeting this opportunity,” Peele said.

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