HGGC portfolio companies Selligent, a Belgium-based marketing automation and data management solutions provider and Redwood City, California-based StrongView, a contextual marketing company, have merged. No financial terms were disclosed. The newly merged entity will operate under the Selligent name. Selligent CEO Andre Lejeune will serve as CEO for the combined company, while StrongView CEO Bill Wagner has been tapped as an operating partner at HGGC.
BRUSSELS AND REDWOOD CITY, October 15, 2015 – Selligent, Europe’s rapidly growing marketing automation and data management solutions provider, today announced that it will merge with StrongView, a U.S. leader in contextual marketing solutions. Combining Selligent’s omnichannel campaign management and targeting expertise with the enterprise email marketing capabilities of StrongView creates a global leader in B2C digital marketing technology. While financial terms of the private transaction were not disclosed, the combined company will be poised to grow as a debt-free business with substantial cash on its balance sheet.
Selligent, which is headquartered in Brussels, and StrongView, based in Redwood City, CA, are both owned by HGGC, a middle market private equity firm with deep investment experience in enterprise and marketing services technology. The merged company will carry the Selligent name. Selligent CEO Andre Lejeune will lead the combined company’s management team as CEO and StrongView CEO Bill Wagner will move into an Operating Partner role at HGGC.
Recognized by Forrester Research, Inc. as a leading provider of email marketing solutions, StrongView’s powerful enterprise-grade technology will significantly deepen and broaden Selligent’s existing omnichannel campaign management capabilities. Together, the Selligent and StrongView technologies give current and future customers access to a broad and robust suite of digital marketing solutions from a single global provider.
“We are excited to bring our investments in Selligent and StrongView together to create a global marketing technology powerhouse,” said Rich Lawson, CEO and Managing Partner of HGGC, who will serve as Chairman of the combined business. “With its broad roster of US-based enterprise and mid-market clients and its best-in-class email technology, StrongView is the perfect complement to Selligent’s omnichannel marketing platform, which is currently deployed mostly in Europe. As a result of this merger, marketers will benefit from an innovative global technology platform that enables brands to recognize and act on consumers’ fast-changing circumstances before, during, and after each moment of engagement.”
“We are thrilled to further enhance our software solutions with the addition of StrongView’s powerful email marketing capabilities. As one company, we will be very well positioned to provide brands in Europe and the U.S. with efficient and effective always-on consumer-first marketing,” said Lejeune. “Most important, our combined offering will enable brands to create rich experiences across channels and grow meaningful customer relationships over time.”
The growth of marketing technology providers like Selligent underscores the rapidly increasing demand for digital engagement solutions. Forrester predicts that digital marketing will grow at a 12 percent CAGR over the next four years, reaching $103 billion by 2019.
Selligent provides full, end-to-end customer lifecycle management in a single solution for hundreds of companies in retail, financial services, publishing and travel, and other sectors in 19 countries, primarily in Europe. The Company has experienced sustained, strong, recurring revenue growth—45 percent in 2014—and an impressive 94 percent customer renewal rate. StrongView was named a leader by Forrester Research Inc. in “The Forrester Wave™: Email Marketing Vendors, Q3 2014,” where it was top-ranked in strategy and had the highest possible score for categories such as queries and segmentation, campaign performance testing, dynamic content, data integration, and security.
Selligent was acquired by HGGC in July 2015, and StrongView was acquired in September 2015. The merger of these businesses is the latest example of a key HGGC strategic advantage – employing its extensive network and capital resources to help middle market businesses bolster their growth platforms through geographic expansion and complementary combinations. HGGC previously combined iCongo, an eCommerce software and services provider, with hybris, a larger multi-channel commerce business, to create the world’s largest independent eCommerce software company, which was later sold to SAP.
Selligent is a global marketing automation provider that powers audience engagement programs for nearly 700 leading brands in retail, financial services, automotive, publishing and travel with an omnichannel marketing platform that includes enterprise-strength email capabilities. The solution empowers brands to create meaningful omnichannel communications across email, site optimization, social, mobile and customer care at a competitive price point that makes Selligent the best value in the market.
The platform uses rich data analytics to provide 360-degree audience insights and offers customer journey mapping capabilities to deliver optimal audience engagement to customers and prospects alike. Serving brands in more than 20 countries around the world, Selligent works with companies ranging from the mid-market to large enterprise, often partnering with its extensive network of agencies and MSPs. Selligent has offices in Silicon Valley, Boston, New York, London, Belgium, Paris, Munich, Barcelona, and Australia.
HGGC, which was named 2014 Private Equity Firm of the Year by Mergers & Acquisitions magazine, is a leading middle-market private equity firm with over $2.4 billion in cumulative capital commitments. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., HGGC is distinguished by its “Advantaged Investing” model that enables the firm to source and acquire scalable businesses at attractive multiples through partnerships with management teams, founders and sponsors who reinvest alongside HGGC, creating a strong alignment of interests. Over its history, HGGC has completed nearly 50 transactions, including global platform investments, strategic add-on acquisitions, recapitalizations, and liquidity events with an aggregate value of over $10 billion. More information is available at www.hggc.com.