Brand Networks, a Boston-based provider of software solutions and digital marketing services, said on Thursday that it has raised $68 million in financing from private equity firm AEA Investors. Investment bank Petsky Prunier acted as financial advisor to Brand Networks for the transaction.
BOSTON, MA–(Marketwired – Jun 6, 2013) – Brand Networks, a leading provider of integrated social software solutions and digital marketing services, has raised $68 million in growth financing as a minority investment from AEA Investors, a leading global private equity firm with more than $6 billion of assets under management, to accelerate product development, sales growth and global expansion. AEA will also provide Brand Networks with additional capital going forward as needed for strategic growth initiatives and acquisitions. Two partners from AEA will be joining Brand Networks’ Board of Directors. Additionally, AEA has appointed Kurt Holstein as an independent board member. Holstein is a former P&G executive and co-founder and COO of interactive marketing agency Rosetta, which sold to Publicis for $575 million in 2011.
Brand Networks also announced today the launch of its Social Marketing Stack™, the first fully integrated platform enabling marketers to manage content publishing, applications, ads and social insights at scale through one consolidated technology stack. The stack integrates with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other social platforms to help brands build more profitable customer relationships.
Serving Fortune 1000 clients including American Express and Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Brand Networks delivers technology and services that drive measurable return on social marketing investments and enables marketers to unify social marketing efforts and consolidate spend. In addition to publishing, applications, ads and insights offerings, the Social Marketing Stack™ supports customized, local or store-level publishing and media amplification; Brand Networks already serves some of the largest brands and retailers globally with this innovation.
Brand Networks was founded in 2006 by former Arnold Worldwide advertising executive and word-of-mouth marketing pioneer, Jamie Tedford. Tedford partnered with technology entrepreneur Mike Garsin, who serves as founding partner and CTO to bring the agency and technology worlds together. The founders bring deep expertise in marketing services and extensive enterprise software experience. Their collaboration over the last six years has led to the development of unmatched solutions that address complex business challenges previously unmet by self-service social SaaS providers. The company is a Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer (sPMD), qualified by the Facebook PMD program, and has received all four Facebook PMD badges.
“AEA has a long track record of identifying and helping build companies that are highly differentiated in their market. We’re thrilled to have an experienced investment partner that understands the strength of our vision to fuse services with technology to create a comprehensive offering for brands and agencies to grow market share and drive sales through social media,” said Tedford, CEO at Brand Networks. “This investment will allow us to scale proven solutions to new market segments and continue to develop new products and services.”
“The world doesn’t need another self-service-only SaaS vendor for social marketing,” said Holstein. “We’ve spent more than a year looking for the right technology-enabled marketing platform to invest behind. We believe Brand Networks has what it takes to create a new standard within the crowded social marketing ecosystem: a powerful combination of best-of-breed software and client-focused services that enable large companies to benefit from social marketing at scale. That simply hasn’t existed before.”
Brand Networks is cash flow positive with triple digit revenue growth year over year since 2010. The company now has 135 employees across five offices in Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, Rochester and Toronto.
Investment bank Petsky Prunier served as exclusive financial advisor to Brand Networks.
About AEA Investors LP
AEA Investors LP was founded in 1968 by the Rockefeller, Mellon, and Harriman family interests and S.G. Warburg & Co. as a private investment vehicle for a select group of industrial family offices with substantial assets. Today, AEA’s investors include a global group of prominent individuals, family groups, and large institutions. AEA’s over 60 investment professionals operate globally with offices in New York, Connecticut, London, Munich, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The firm manages funds that have over $6 billion of invested and committed capital including the $2.5 billion AEA Fund V Program which invests in leading middle market companies. AEA Private Equity invests across four sectors: consumer products & retail, services (including marketing), value added industrial products, and specialty chemicals.
About Brand Networks
Brand Networks is the leading provider of integrated social software solutions and digital marketing services for the world’s most liked brands. Brand Networks delivers enterprise-ready social applications with its Social Marketing Stack™, which harnesses the integrated power of social networks to generate stories at scale, build brand loyalty and foster more profitable customer relationships. As one of just thirteen Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developers, Brand Networks is only the second company to be awarded all four PMD badges: Ads, Pages, Apps and Insights. Brand Networks is headquartered in Boston, MA, with offices in Los Angeles, New York City, Rochester, and Toronto. For more information, please visit www.brandnetworksinc.com.
About Petsky Prunier LLC
Petsky Prunier is one of the leading investment banks in the internet, marketing, media, technology, information, healthcare, and service industries. The firm’s mergers and acquisitions and private placements advisory services reflect a unique blend of product specialization and industry expertise. Together with strategic consulting firm Winterberry Group, a Petsky Prunier company, the organization represents one of the largest industry-specific advisors providing strategic and transactional services. Securities transactions are processed through Petsky Prunier Securities LLC.