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M&A and Funding: Havas, System1, Sendinblue, Omnicom, Upflowy, and Tattle

French and Australian CX Firms Make Waves on M&A and Funding Fronts

CX mergers and funding

In this roundup, two French firms and an Australian startup are among the latest newsmakers in M&A and new funding activity. The French giant Havas Group—among the world’s largest advertising and communications organizations, employing 20,000 people and operating in 100 countries—recently hit the headlines as the buyer in an eight-figure acquisition deal. The second French entity, Sendinblue, has been on a purchasing spree, making its fourth acquisition in six months earlier in the month. The Australian startup, meanwhile, is Upflowy, backed by several Australian venture capital (VC) firms but whose lead investor in its current funding round is American. The remaining key players in this roundup are US companies System1, Omnicom, and Tattle. Details follow.

Havas Group Buys Inviqa

Havas Group, the  French communications conglomerate headquartered in the western Paris suburb of Puteaux, has purchased digital experience agency Inviqa in what Havas said was an eight-figure deal. Inviqa, which has more than 150 employees across 8 offices, will be integrated into Havas CX, the dedicated customer experience network of Havas Creative. The move, Havas says, will expand its scale and capabilities in experience design, software engineering, technology consulting, and e-commerce.

Following completion, Inviqa will merge with the existing UK-based digital experience agency of Havas, ekino London. The combined company will retain the Inviqa brand and will be led by Inviqa founder and chief executive Yair Spitzer. Meanwhile, ekino will continue to operate as a standalone brand within Havas CX in non-UK markets, including France, New York, and Singapore.

Inviqa, founded in 2007, will be headquartered within the Havas UK Village in London’s King’s Cross district. It will also keep its locations in other parts of the UK, including Leeds and Liverpool, while European offices, such as those in Berlin and Munich, will collaborate with local Havas Creative agencies.

System1 Acquires CouponFollow

System1, the provider of a customer acquisition platform based in the Los Angeles area, has acquired CouponFollow, one of the largest coupon destinations for online shoppers and the New York City-based provider  of a coupon-code search engine and digital coupon tools.

The acquisition, valued by  System1 at “up to $115 million,” according to a press statement from the company, accelerates System1’s e-commerce efforts and provides a suite of shopping-related products to integrate across System1 product lines. Through CouponFollow, the acquisition is also expected to bolster System1 efforts to build out its direct-to-advertiser relationships. In turn, the System1 RAMP platform will help grow the coupon-code search engine of CouponFollow.

“With e-commerce’s continued spending growth, we see a tremendous opportunity to leverage our RAMP customer acquisition platform to further scale the CouponFollow business,” says Michael Blend, co-founder and CEO of System1.

Sendinblue’s Fourth Acquisition in Six Months is MeetFox

Sendinblue, the French-based provider of a digital marketing platform for small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs), has acquired MeetFox, the scheduling and video conferencing software company headquartered in New York City, as its fourth acquisition in six months. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition of MeetFox enables Sendinblue customers to integrate a scheduling component through various channels, including websites, apps, email, social media, and direct messaging, allowing the scheduling of in-person and online appointments via Sendinblue automation. MeetFox also allows SMBs to host video meetings on their own websites and share branded video links with clients. Moreover, the MeetFox video conferencing solution can be used in tandem with other similar conferencing solutions, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet.

The MeetFox features will be integrated into the Sendinblue platform in the next 12 months. The acquisition comes on the heels of Paris-headquartered Sendinblue’s purchase last September of the three e-commerce marketing firms of Metrilo, Chatra, and PushOwl.

Omnicom Group Announces Acquisition of TA Digital

Global marketing communications provider Omnicom Group recently announced the acquisition of TA Digital, the digital experience consultancy based in San Francisco specializing in CX and digital commerce solutions for enterprise clients. Financial terms of the transaction are not known at this time.

TA Digital will join Omnicom Precision Marketing Group (OPMG), the digital transformation and customer relationship management (CRM) specialist practice area within New York City-based Omnicom, with the acquisition expected to deepen Omnicom’s consulting and commerce expertise. TA Digital services will be closely aligned with those provided by OPMG agency Credera, a global boutique consulting firm focused on strategy, innovation, data, and technology.

“We’re continuing to expand our dynamic customer experience offerings. TA Digital gives our clients access to professionals with great skills and expertise in digital content and commerce,” says Luke Taylor, CEO of OPMG.

CX Startup Upflowy Raises $6.6 Million

Australian CX startup Upflowy, the provider of a customer conversation platform, has raised $6.6 million as the company looks to strengthen its product offering and hire more employees. San Francisco lifecycle investor Counterpart Ventures led the round in its first Australian-based deal, with pre-seed investors Tidal Ventures, Global Founders Capital, Black Nova Group, and Antler Australia doubling down on the two-year-old company in Sydney.

Upflowy says that 60% of the fresh capital will be spent on expanding the company’s platform capabilities in predictive personalization and other data science areas. The rest of the funds will be used to increase employee headcount for the company’s Australian and US operations.

Upflowy helps marketers and other customer-facing businesses improve their online conversation rates through a no-code platform for more engaging sign-up and onboarding flows. It also aims to optimize sales-lead funnels by moving prospective customers through the funnel in smarter ways.

Tattle Closes $5.5 Million Funding Round

New York City-based Tattle has raised $5.5 million in Series A funding to expand its presence in other brands, finance continuing innovation, and bolster internal teams for technology and client support.

Seed-stage investor firm Contour Venture Partners led the funding round, joined by a host of prominent hospitality category leaders, including Tom Colicchio, celebrity chef and restaurateur; Jeff Uttz, former chief financial officer (CFO) of fast-casual restaurant chain Shake Shack; and current and past executives from food and service brands Evergreens, Pokeworks, and Chipotle.

The Tattle platform is built with an open application programming interface (API) for collecting guest feedback and measuring satisfaction across all-digital ordering channels, including dine-in, take-out, delivery, and drive-through. Powered by AI, Tattle recommends the operational area with the greatest impact for improvement across restaurant locations to increase guest satisfaction and brand revenue.

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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