CX Investment and M&A Activity in the News

A Spate of High-Profile Acquisitions Have Taken Place in the Last 15 Days

The Medallia buyout on July 26 by private equity firm Thoma Bravo—discussed in a separate Dash Network article —was not the only big transaction in the CX world in recent weeks.

On July 19, Zoom Video Communications announced it was acquiring Five9 in a deal that will combine Zoom’s broad communications platform with Five9’s contact center as a service (CCaaS) solution toward building a forward-looking customer engagement (CE) platform. The all-stock transaction, worth some $14.7bn, will mark Zoom’s official entry into the CCaaS space, already populated by heavy hitters, such as Cisco and AWS. The deal also marks a big push from Zoom to play in the huge enterprise IT market, where businesses prize unified solutions. Meanwhile, Five9 offers cloud-based contact center solutions featuring software to manage and optimize customer interfacing, while also leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to provide integrated video, voice, social, and SMS/chat channels for customers to engage with enterprises in real time. Both companies are headquartered in Silicon Valley: Zoom operates out of San Jose; Five9 is located in San Ramon.

Also on July 19, the immersive employee wellbeing company Limeade announced its acquisition of TINYpulse, the maker of employee listening software. The acquisition brings together two companies, both based in Washington state, that are committed to helping their customers create healthy employee experiences. The transaction comes at a time when companies are ostensibly increasing investments to better understand employee sentiment and wellbeing.

For its part, the North Carolina startup Pendo said on July 27 it has raised $150m in Series F funding, increasing the company’s investment total to $356m and its valuation to $2.6bn, with an initial public offering (IPO) potentially on the horizon. During the previous round of funding in 2019, the company had been valued at $1bn. Leading the funding round is B Capital Group, the venture capital firm started by Facebook billionaire and co-founder Eduardo Saverin, with dual headquarters in Los Angeles and Singapore. Pendo’s platform helps developers gather data on how customers use their applications.

A day later on July 28, Danish company Dixa announced a Series C funding total of $105m, led by equity investor General Atlantic with participation from Notion Capital  and Project A. The Dixa CE platform lets brands unify channels in a single system, equipping customer service agents with tools like cross-channel prioritization, routing capabilities, and integrations. Using what it describes as a multi-experience approach, Dixa emphasizes empowering customer service agents with tools and standards for them to personalize service, satisfy customers, and drive business.

Finally, Qualtrics scooped up omnichannel conversational analytics provider Clarabridge on July 30 in a $1.1bn stock transaction. Qualtrics, a giant player based in Utah with a market cap of more than $20bn, provides software for voice of customer (VoC) management and customer experience management (CXM). While most Qualtrics software uses online surveys to gather feedback directly from customers, the AI-powered platform and software from Clarabridge collects feedback indirectly from unstructured sources, such as social media, email, support calls, chats, and product reviews, to gauge how customers feel about their experience with a brand. The Clarabridge buy comes on the heels of the July 20 acquisition by Qualtrics of Usermind, the marketing software startup based in Seattle, Washington. Headquartered in Virginia, Clarabridge was named in May this year by Forrester as one of 12 significant providers of customer feedback management platforms alongside Qualtrics.

Author Information

Alex is responsible for writing about trends and changes that are impacting the customer experience market. He had served as Principal Editor at Village Intelligence, a Los Angeles-based consultancy on technology impacting healthcare and healthcare-related industries. Alex was also Associate Director for Content Management at Omdia and Informa Tech, where he produced white papers, executive summaries, market insights, blogs, and other key content assets. His areas of coverage spanned the sectors grouped under the technology vertical, including semiconductors, smart technologies, enterprise & IT, media, displays, mobile, power, healthcare, China research, industrial and IoT, automotive, and transformative technologies.

At IHS Markit, he was Managing Editor of the company’s flagship IHS Quarterly, covering aerospace & defense, economics & country risk, chemicals, oil & gas, and other IHS verticals. He was Principal Editor of analyst output at iSuppli Corp. and Managing Editor of Market Watch, a fortnightly newsletter highlighting significant analyst report findings for pitching to the media. He started his career in writing as an Editor-Reporter for The Associated Press.


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