US group swoops on BlueVenn in $54.3m cash buyout

BlueVenn2UK cloud-based customer data platform specialist BlueVenn has been snapped up by Nasdaq-listed US digital transformation company Upland Software in a deal which includes an upfront cash payment of $51.9m (£37.3m) and an extra $2.4m (£1.7m) payable next year, depending on performance.

The two companies have been partners virtually since BlueVenn was launched in 2013 by two former SmartFocus directors – Steve Klin and Neil Thomas – as well as Blue Sheep chiefs Iain Lovatt and Mark Jameson and sat within Blue Sheep, operating in the UK, the US and internationally.

Last September, BlueVenn signed an agreement to acquire the assets of Blue Sheep, which had provided B2B data hygiene services, segmentation and marketing database solutions for UK businesses for more than 25 years.

However, the move saw the company move away from these services to concentrate on its CDP operation, which provides its global customer base with the ability to securely access all of their online and offline consumer data sources – from in-store to email to mobile – in one centralised location.

BlueVenn claims this unified view unlocks unique insights into buying behaviours and allows companies to optimise omnichannel marketing campaign performance which is compliant with regulations such as GDPR and CCPA.

Recent research carried out by the company claimed that firms which have collated and analysed customer data, both online and offline, have witnessed double digit growth over the past year, as well as a marketing spend ROI of 32:1.

Klin, who is CEO of BlueVenn, said: “Over the last seven years, BlueVenn and Upland have built a very successful partnership, integrating our technologies to provide incredible value to our mutual customers. By now joining Upland, we are helping marketers around the globe elevate their customer engagement capabilities. I look forward to the next evolution of this market at Upland.”

Through this acquisition Upland’s claims that by using its customer experience marketing (CXM) product suite, clients will now be able to securely unify their consumer data, unlocking the insights needed to create omnichannel digital engagement strategies – whether on email, mobile application, SMS, or online – to drive their business forward, all from a single vendor.

Upland chairman and chief executive Jack McDonald said: “BlueVenn is a highly strategic acquisition and a big step forward for Upland in the customer experience category. Centralising customer data has been a persistent challenge for enterprises since today’s digital consumer uses text, email, mobile applications, and websites to interact with the brands, products, and services they love.

“BlueVenn will sit at the centre of our CXM offering and deliver a single view of the customer that will drive better engagement across every digital channel.”

Upland expects the acquisition to generate annual revenue of approximately $15.5m, of which $13.2m is recurring. It is expected that BlueVenn will generate at least $6.8m in adjusted EBITDA annually once fully integrated.

For the full year ending December 31 2021, Upland expects reported total revenue to be between $299m and $311m. Full year 2021 adjusted EBITDA is expected to be between $94.4m and $100.4m.

Results International acted as exclusive financial advisor to BlueVenn.

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