GCP funds email marketing agency Trendline Interactive

Growth Catalyst Partners has made an investment in Austin, Texas-based Trendline Interactive, an email marketing agency. No financial terms were disclosed. In addition to the investment, Trendline has acquired Inbox Pros, an email deliverability and privacy consulting firm.


CHICAGO, IL — September 5, 2018 — Email marketing innovator, Trendline Interactive, a leading full-service email marketing agency announced today an investment from Growth Catalyst Partners (GCP), a lower-middle market private equity firm that invests in information, marketing, and tech-enabled services businesses.

As part of the investment, Trendline announced the acquisition of Inbox Pros, an industry leading expert in email deliverability, privacy, and compliance offerings. The acquisition firmly establishes Trendline as a leading full-service email marketing agency with a comprehensive professional service offering consisting of email strategy, technology, creative, execution, analytics, deliverability, and compliance services.

“Consumers today demand increasingly relevant and personal email experiences. At the same time, new privacy laws, such as GDPR, require companies to rethink how they handle consumer data. It is imperative that deliverability, privacy, and compliance experts work directly with marketing strategists to help enterprises navigate this increasingly complex email marketing landscape,” said Morgan Stewart, Trendline CEO and Co-founder. “The acquisition of Inbox Pros adds a critical component that email marketing and digital agencies have traditionally ignored.”

Founded in 2014, Inbox Pros quickly established itself as the industry-leading expert in email deliverability, privacy, and compliance, as well as deliverability training and certification. “You can build your email database, plan out a great strategy, and develop spot on creative, but if your messages don’t get to the inbox, it’s all for nothing,” said Chris Arrendale, Trendline’s new Chief Privacy Officer and founder of Inbox Pros. “That’s where Inbox Pros steps in.”

When Morgan Stewart and Andrew Kordek started Trendline Interactive in 2010, it was based on the belief that assembling the best talent, with expertise across strategic, operational, technical, and creative functions would allow them to dramatically improve the effectiveness of enterprise email programs. Clients like AARP, USA Today, Allstate, Carnival Cruise Lines, WebMD, and Banfield Pet Hospital can attest to that.

“Email remains the backbone of marketing automation platforms and is a critical marketing channel for large enterprise organizations. The combination of Trendline Interactive and Inbox Pros helps create a leading middle-market email marketing agency that is well positioned to help large enterprises navigate the increasing growth and complexity of the segment,” said James O’Callaghan, Vice President of GCP. “We’re excited to make the announcement official and leverage our relationships to further accelerate Trendline’s growth.”

With the investment, GCP is partnering with the existing management teams of both Trendline and Inbox Pros to help accelerate growth initiatives for the combined platform. Jim TenBroek, Scott Peters, and James O’Callaghan will co-lead the investment for GCP, and the transaction was proprietarily sourced. Dickinson-Wright LLP served as legal counsel to Growth Catalyst Partners. McGinnis Lochridge represented Trendline Interactive, and Patel Burkhalter Law Group acted as legal counsel to Inbox Pros.

“Email is a lot harder than it looks. Our team of experts has multiple examples of triple-digit performance improvements for some of the largest brands in the world,” stated Andrew Kordek, Trendline’s Chief Strategist and Co-founder. “Our partnership with GCP insures we have the resources we need to scale as we look to provide best-in-class services to a growing roster of enterprise email marketing clients.”

About Growth Catalyst Partners
Growth Catalyst Partners, a lower middle-market buyout firm focused on information, marketing and tech-enabled services businesses, was founded by veteran private equity investor Jim TenBroek and leading investment banker Scott Peters, who have led hundreds of transactions and successful investments in services businesses for over 20 years. GCP’s strategy involves targeting growth segments of industries and identifying market leading companies with breakout potential. GCP often partners with top executives within those industries and provides capital and expertise to the incumbent management teams of the targeted businesses. For more information, visit www.growthcatalystpartners.com.

About Trendline Interactive
Trendline Interactive is a full-service email marketing agency providing true end-to-end email solutions for enterprise organizations. Trendline’s team consists of experts in strategy, operations, technology, creative, analytics, deliverability, and privacy. We apply proven methods to create efficient and flawless email programs that drive demonstrable bottom line results for clients. Trendline is headquartered in Austin, TX, with offices in Chicago, IL, Portland, OR, and now Atlanta, GA.

About Inbox Pros
Founded in 2014 by Chris Arrendale, Inbox Pros is the leading email deliverability and privacy consulting firm in the United States. They evaluate mailing infrastructure set-up, email authentication, sender reputation, bounce and complaints, list quality and permissions, email compliance, and message content. Inbox Pros also provides ISP remediation, domain specific volume and policy guidelines, and email industry updates, in addition to the world’s first and only Email Deliverability Certification Class. Inbox Pros is a member of M3AAWG, IAPP, EEC, AMA, and other professional email organizations.