Marlin Equity Partners has acquired Rocky Hill, Connecticut-based Clarus Commerce, a provider of premium loyalty programs for retailers. No financial terms were disclosed. The investment was made alongside Norwest Venture Partners, a previous backer in Clarus. As a result of the transaction, Norwest will hold a minority stake in Clarus.
Rocky Hill, CT — July 8, 2019 — Clarus Commerce (“Clarus”), the only company specializing in building, managing and optimizing premium loyalty programs, today announces its acquisition by Marlin Equity Partners (“Marlin”), a global investment firm with over $6.7 billion of capital under management. The investment was made alongside Norwest Venture Partners (“Norwest”), who was a prior investor in Clarus and will hold a minority stake in the company.
The investment validates retailers’ increasing need for programs that drive higher customer engagement and brand advocacy, and consumers’ desire for incentives catered to their unique needs and wants. An increasing number of these retailers, including Restoration Hardware, Wayfair, Lululemon Athletica and CVS, have identified premium loyalty programs as a key ingredient in achieving these goals.
“The investments from Marlin and Norwest are a testament to our leadership and innovation in the rapidly growing premium loyalty market,” said Tom Caporaso, CEO of Clarus. “Retailers have recognized that building customer loyalty is no longer just about points and discounts, but also strengthening relationships with consumers long-term by offering programs that build a deeper, more meaningful connection to the brand. We are excited to work with both firms to enhance our capabilities for retailers and drive our next stage of growth.”
Premium loyalty programs are gaining momentum among retailers because they provide customers with instant, 24/7 access to top-tier benefits. Instead of earning discounts or coupons after they’ve completed a transaction, a retailer’s most dedicated customers can pay an annual or monthly membership fee to get what they want, when they want it.
“Clarus is a pioneer in the growing premium loyalty market with an outstanding history of success,” said Alex Beregovsky, a managing director at Marlin. “The company’s strong customer base and partner network are a testament to the value proposition that Clarus brings to both retailers and consumers. We are thrilled to partner with an exceptional management team to seek new partnerships, invest in the product roadmap and further accelerate the company’s growth.”
Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed. Raymond James acted as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal advisor to Clarus. William Blair & Company, LLC acted as financial advisor and Goodwin Procter LLP served as legal advisor to Marlin and Norwest. To learn more about the value of premium loyalty and Clarus’ solutions for retailers, visit www.claruscommerce.com
About Clarus Commerce
Clarus Commerce is the only company solely focused on building, managing and optimizing customizable premium loyalty programs for retailers. The company provides the full suite of services needed for a successful loyalty program, which includes the technology platform, client services, strategy, creative, marketing, analytics, IT and operations. Clarus Commerce was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. For more information, please visit www.claruscommerce.com.
About Marlin Equity Partners
Marlin Equity Partners is a global investment firm with over $6.7 billion of capital under management. The firm is focused on providing corporate parents, shareholders and other stakeholders with tailored solutions that meet their business and liquidity needs. Marlin invests in businesses across multiple industries where its capital base, industry relationships and extensive network of operational resources significantly strengthen a company’s outlook and enhance value. Since its inception, Marlin, through its group of funds and related companies, has successfully completed over 140 acquisitions. The firm is headquartered in Los Angeles, California with an additional office in London. For more information, please visit www.marlinequity.com.
About Norwest Venture Partners
Norwest Venture Partners is a leading growth equity and venture investment firm managing more than $7.5 billion in capital. Since our inception, we have invested in more than 600 companies. The firm invests in early to late stage companies across a wide range of sectors with a focus on consumer, enterprise, and healthcare. We offer a deep network of connections, operating experience, and a wide range of impactful services to help CEOs and founders advance on their journey.