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CX M&A: Acquisitions by HubSpot, Vista Equity, Sharpen Tech, and Cendyn

Companies Acquired Include Clearbit, EngageSmart, Plum Voice, and PUSHTech Also: New Funding for Cogito

CX M&A: Acquisitions by HubSpot, Vista Equity, Sharpen Tech, and Cendyn

CRM Firm HubSpot Completes Acquisition of B2B Data Provider Clearbit

HubSpot, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based provider of a customer relationship management (CRM) platform for scaling businesses, has completed the acquisition of Clearbit, the business-to-business (B2B) data provider headquartered in Boston, in a deal to help expand the data capabilities of the HubSpot platform.

HubSpot unifies first-party customer data and connects it with native marketing, sales, and service engagement tools. For its part, Clearbit helps businesses enrich customer records with more than 100 firmographic, demographic, and technographic data points from public and private data sources that include social profiles, company websites, crowdsourcing, and more.

Related Article: HubSpot Invests $7.5 Million to Support Two Black-Led Banks

The acquisition enables HubSpot to bring rich third-party company data into its system to make it the central source of reliable information for go-to-market professionals and to provide front-office teams with comprehensive context surrounding their customers and prospects.

Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed, but with the deal completed, Clearbit will now become a wholly owned subsidiary of HubSpot and integrated as an offering within HubSpot’s customer platform.

Vista Equity Partners Acquires Customer Firm EngageSmart for $4.0 Billion

Global investment firm Vista Equity Partners has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire EngageSmart, a provider of vertically tailored customer engagement software and integrated payment solutions, in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $4 billion.

Under the terms of the agreement, EngageSmart stockholders will receive $23.00 per share in cash upon completion of the proposed transaction. Affiliates of Vista will hold approximately 65% of the outstanding equity, and affiliates of private equity firm General Atlantic, an EngageSmart partner, will hold approximately 35%.

Transaction negotiations were led by the Special Committee, a group within the EngageSmart Board of Directors comprising independent directors. Following the unanimous recommendation of the Special Committee, the EngageSmart Board of Directors unanimously approved the merger agreement with Vista and agreed to recommend that EngageSmart stockholders vote to adopt the merger agreement.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024. The definitive agreement included a 30-day “go-shop” period, which permitted the Special Committee and its financial advisors to solicit and consider alternative acquisition proposals until expiration of the period on November 22, 2023.

Sharpen Technologies Acquires Plum Voice

Cloud contact center provider Sharpen Technologies has acquired Plum Voice, the voice-based customer interaction technology firm.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the acquisition enables Indianapolis-based Sharpen to expand its capabilities in interactive voice response (IVR) and conversational AI. The Sharpen platform helps organizations improve CX by optimizing agent and employee performance through context-based routing, reporting, and dynamic scripting.

The merger reflects the ongoing investment of Sharpen in innovation to meet the changing needs of its customers, according to the executives of Teleo Capital Management, which has a majority control investment in Sharpen.

Boston-headquartered Plum Voice, founded in 2000, has built a strong reputation for delivering voice technology solutions that enhance customer engagement and streamline business processes. Its suite of solutions, including voice automation, speech recognition, and omnichannel capabilities, has been adopted by organizations across various industries to improve customer service, increase efficiency, and drive digital transformation.

Cendyn Acquires Spain’s PUSHTech

Cendyn, the software maker for the hotel marketing and advertising industries, has acquired PUSHTech, the provider of a customer data platform (CDP) and CRM services for the hospitality industry.

The acquisition solidifies the stated mission of Boca Raton, Florida-based Cendyn to empower hoteliers to optimize revenue streams through PUSHTech’s advanced CRM strategies. Headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, PUSHTech offers an integrated solution for the hospitality industry, allowing users to unify, segment, and take control of their database to increase direct bookings, improve guest loyalty, and automate guest journeys.

“By seamlessly integrating PUSHTech’s next-generation technology into Cendyn’s portfolio, we are poised to elevate the industry’s standard for hoteliers seeking to amplify their sales and marketing CRM capabilities,” said Jack Blaha, CEO at Cendyn.

Carlos Moncho, CEO at PUSHTech, said the combination of Cendyn’s CRM heritage and the technology advancements of PUSHTech will drive CRM innovation. “With a combined focus on driving loyalty and profitable revenue for our customers,” he noted, “we’re excited about the opportunity this acquisition offers to our industry.”

Cogito Secures New Funding to Empower Better CX

Cogito, a provider of AI-powered coaching and guidance in real time for the contact center, has secured new funding to help advance features aimed at better supporting contact center agents and improving CX.

The amount of the new funding has not been disclosed, but the funding round includes repeat commitments from two major investors. The Cogito platform combines emotion and conversational AI to provide coaching, supervisor visibility, and CX monitoring.

Related Article: Medallia and Cogito Partner; Medallia Reaches AI Milestone

“Regardless of which end of the phone you sit on, contact center interactions are becoming increasingly convoluted, placing undue burdens on customers, agents, and contact center organizations as they seek new ways to alleviate frustrations and solve complex issues faster,” said Josh Feast, CEO and co-founder of Boston-based Cogito. “Humans alone cannot solve these challenges, but human-aware AI systems have the potential to dramatically improve both employee and customer experiences.”

The new funds were provided by Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Telcom Ventures, Schechter Private Wealth, Safar Partners, and Lions Capital Corp. The funds will fuel innovations aimed at reducing employee and customer complexities and at improving overall customer satisfaction.

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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