Sprinklr, the New York-based social media management firm that helps companies deal with multiple accounts on Facebook and Twitter at a global level, has acquired TBG Digital, one of Facebook's larger ad-buying clients. TBG — based in London and New York — had functioned as Sprinklr's ad media-buying arm for some time.
The deal signals that the marketing ecosystem that has grown up around Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other large social media platforms is maturing into a phase where global scale at the so-called "enterprise" level is seen as an advantage. For example, Sprinklr previously acquired Dachis Group; Brand Networks (probably Facebook's fifth biggest advertising client) acquired Optimal; and Marin Software (probably Facebook's second-biggest advertiser) has more than 500 employees, also.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, the new company now employs nearly 500 people globally serving 650 companies on more than 20 social media platforms. About 100 people came from TBG; 400 came from Sprinklr. The combined company processes more than $100 million in annual media spend, the companies said in a statement. Its clients will include Vodafone, Dell, Heineken and Zynga (from TBG) and Microsoft, Intel, Virgin America, and IHG (from Sprinklr).
The deal is interesting because Sprinklr is planning an IPO, and TBG — with its Facebook ad buying business — bolts on a revenue stream that Sprinklr previously lacked. Neither company has disclosed revenues or other financial details. However, Business Insider's best guess — based on both companies' history — is that TBG was likely profitable while Sprinklr was still in its unprofitable startup investment growth phase. Sprinklr had taken a total of $68 million in venture capital funding.
Sprinklr's future as an enterprise social media management company — via an IPO — is the worst-kept secret in the world of adtech. Sprinklr CEO Ragy Thomas is known to want to build "a $10 billion company." TBG, by contrast, has been a rather curious beast. Started by CEO Simon Mansell in the bedroom of his mother's house in the U.K. back in 2001, TBG has grown largely on the power of its own revenues and now has offices in London, New York, San Francisco and Hamburg. We hear it has been fending off acquirers for years.
Here is the official press release:
Sprinklr Acquires Leading Paid Social Company, TBG Digital; Helps Brands and Agencies Maximize Social Reach
Serving $5bn Market Opportunity, Acquisition Creates World’s First Enterprise Converged Media Solution
New York, NY, August 14, 2014 Sprinklr, the leading independent end-to-end social relationship infrastructure, today announced the acquisition of a top global paid social solution, TBG Digital.
The combination of TBG Digital and Sprinklr provides large brands with the world’s first converged social media solution. As the only enterprise provider with the full set of capabilities across paid, owned and earned social media, Sprinklr enables enterprises to:
? maximize reach across paid, owned and earned social content
? integrate planning of content and campaigns across paid, owned and earned channels
? conduct automated optimization and amplification of organic content with paid budgets
? rapidly determine and close the loop on the ROI of digital advertising
Converged media is a critical need for large brands according to the Altimeter Group1. The number of major social media sites has exploded in the last 3 years to over 200, while simultaneously, the number of Facebook Pages “liked” by a typical user grew by 50%. The future demand for extending social reach shows no signs of slowing with social media initiatives poised to consume nearly 18% of total marketing budgets in 5 years with an additional $5 billion forecasted in paid social media alone.
“Understanding how media spend works across all channels and touchpoints is important to us,” said Gary Evans, Director, Online Sales and Marketing, Sky, the UK and Ireland’s leading home entertainment and communications company. “More and more of our customers and potential customers are connecting with us via social and it’s pretty clear that the only way to manage all of this effectively is through great, integrated technology.”
Recognized by Forrester Research as “the most powerful technology on the market,” Sprinklr released the industry’s first integrated paid social media module in April. With TBG Digital, Sprinklr adds 10 years of experience serving large clients such as Vodafone and Dell and a strong pedigree of innovation to round out the converged media solution. TBG Digital was an early adopter of ad campaigns on Facebook and was also one of the first 3 firms to join Twitter’s Marketing Platform Partner Program.
Until the announcement by Sprinklr of a converged social media solution, enterprises have been “forced into integrating disparate systems, which handicaps their ability to use ... tools to provide a consistent customer experience,” according to Altimeter. With a Sprinklr converged media solution that is purpose-built for large enterprises, brands and their agency partners can focus on managing and optimizing social reach across all touchpoints instead of playing the role of systems integrator or spreadsheet wizard.
“We’ve worked with some of the most innovative companies in the world when it comes to social,” said Simon Mansell, CEO of TBG Digital. “While many companies approached us about converged media, only Sprinklr had the proven ability to convert our domain knowledge into actionable software that can be deployed to thousands of brands globally.”
“Simple converged media management is the dream that brands have been asking for,” said Ragy Thomas, CEO and Founder of Sprinklr. “This is another milestone along the path we’ve intentionally taken since the beginning, to bring large companies closer to their customers in a nimble, scalable, and passionate way. Our goal is to continue to be the most complete social infrastructure for large brands.”
Subject to customary closing conditions, Sprinklr now:
? serves more than 650 enterprise brands
? processes more than $100 million in annual media spend
? employs nearly 500 people across the US, UK, France, Germany and Asia
? supports over 20 social platforms and customer data sources
? maintains formal relationships with all of the major social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google. ?
Initial customers of Sprinklr’s new converged media solution have seen a 25% improvement in performance. Existing clients may contact their success manager for more information. Prospective clients are invited to attend a webinar on August 21st and may register here, visit www.sprinklr.com, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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