Strattam to partner with management on investment in Blacksmith Applications

Strattam Capital agreed to partner with management of Blacksmith Applications, Inc., on an investment in the software-as-a-service provider for the consumer packaged goods industry. Strattam is purchasing a majority stake in Blacksmith from existing shareholders. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

Press Release

Blacksmith Applications, Inc., the leading trade spend management Software as a Service (SaaS) platform for the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Strattam Capital, a modern private equity firm with a unique engagement strategy.

Strattam will partner with Blacksmith’s management team to make an investment that will support expansion of the product suite in response to growing customer demand. Under the terms of the definitive agreement, Strattam is purchasing a majority ownership position from existing shareholders. The company’s leadership team, led by Founder and CEO Paul Wietecha, will retain a significant ownership stake.

“Our partnership with Strattam is a terrific development for Blacksmith, our employees, and our customers, who trust our easy-to-use, scalable platform with their most critical information every day,” said Paul Wietecha, who, along with the rest of the Blacksmith management team, will remain in his current position. “Strattam’s sector focus, collaborative approach and expertise with data-driven software models make this an ideal partnership. Together, we will strengthen our leadership position in the food services market and expand our data analytics capabilities into other areas of the CPG industry.”

The market for trade spend management applications has expanded significantly as transaction complexity in the CPG industry has increased. The Blacksmith platform, used by many of the world’s largest and most recognized brands, enables customers to better manage their contracts, more effectively deploy pricing discounts and promotional offers and gain insight into the effectiveness of their trade spend. Blacksmith’s business intelligence enables organizations to plan, execute, settle and analyze pricing programs to ultimately increase their revenue and profitability. The Blacksmith platform processes more than $4 billion in trade spend on behalf of customers every year.

According to Gartner Inc. research, CPG manufacturers spend upward of 25% of revenue on trade promotions, and the complexity of managing this spend continues to increase. Historically, homegrown systems or spreadsheets were used to manage these trade spend decisions. As the volume of transactions has grown, these systems have not scaled and do not adequately provide key constituents – sales, finance, marketing, IT – with insights into trends, opportunities and emerging areas of risk. Trade promotion management is a mission critical capability for CPG companies.

“Over its 16-year history, Blacksmith has developed a unique solution for managing complex promotional transactions, making it a valued partner to its world-class customer base,” said Strattam Capital CEO Bob Morse. “We see enormous potential in Blacksmith and are thrilled to partner with Paul and his team to expand the company’s product offerings and execute on the next phase of its growth.”

Completion of the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2016.

Canaccord Genuity is serving as Blacksmith’s financial advisor and Gesmer Updegrove LLP is serving as the company’s legal advisor. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is serving as Strattam’s legal advisor.

About Blacksmith Applications, Inc.
Blacksmith Applications is a leading provider of trade promotion and pricing management solutions to consumer product companies in the retail, foodservice and convenience store markets. Blacksmith’s customers manage their discounts and promotions through a profit-based workflow model and comprehensive claim validation process. Delivered through software and consulting services, the Blacksmith suite of solutions provides improved control, comprehensive analytics and highly efficient workflow tools. For more information, visit www.blacksmithapps.com.

About Strattam Capital
Strattam Capital is a modern private equity firm that takes an innovative and focused approach to investing in high-potential companies within the business information technology market. Our entrepreneurial-minded team applies our operational engagement strategy to deliver a better future for our companies. To learn more visit www.strattam.com.