Brandwatch, an online consumer intelligence and social media listening platform, was acquired by Cision, known for its media monitoring and media contact database services, for $ 450 million in a combined cash and stock transaction. TechCrunch anticipates that Brandwatch’s key leadership team will continue to exist. The move brings together two large companies to offer a wide range of services, from PR to marketing to online customer loyalty. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.
Cision has a media contacts database of around 1 million journalists and media companies and claims to have over 75,000 customers. Brandwatch applies AI and machine learning to a practice known as “social listening”.
Brandwatch raised a total of around $ 65 million along the way. It was funded by Serie A by Nauta Capital, followed by Highland Europe and then Partech.
In a statement, Giles Palmer, Brandwatch Founder and CEO, said, “We have always built Brandwatch with ambition… Now is the time to take the next step – join a significant company to run a company and a range of products creating that can have an important global impact. “
Abel Clark, CEO of Cision, said, “The ongoing digital transformation and widespread adoption of social media are rapidly and fundamentally changing the way brands and organizations interact with their customers. This is why PR, marketing, social and customer care teams are fully incorporating the unique insights that are now available into consumer-centric strategies. Together, Cision and Brandwatch will help our customers better understand, connect, and connect with their customers on each channel. “
Brandwatch was on a near-case study of a journey from fundraising to acquisition to merger, but was less characteristic of a well-funded tech company and did much of it from its hometown of Brighton on the south coast of England.
Giles Palmer’s funding journey began with Angel funding in 2006. In 2010, Brandwatch raised $ 1.5 million from Durrants, a marketing and public relations firm, and a Series A round from Nauta Capital. In 2014, a Series B round led by Highland Europe raised $ 22 million. This was followed by a Series C financing of $ 33 million, led by Partech Ventures in 2015.
With the war chest, the company acquired BuzzSumo, a platform for content marketing and influencer identification, for an undisclosed sum in 2017. And in 2019, Brandwatch merged with a similar company, Crimson Hexagon, to create a company with an ARR of around $ 100 million. It also acquired the London-based SaaS research platform Qriously.
Brandwatch was recently named a Leader in Forrester’s Guide to Buying Social Listening Solutions.