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M&A News: StackCommerce, Kantar, and Gupshup are Among Buyers in April

Acquired Companies Included The Fascination, Blackwood Seven, AskSid, ExecVision, Vibbio, and BundleB2B

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Among the mergers and acquisitions that took place toward the end of April are the six buyouts highlighted in this roundup involving the areas of e-commerce, unified marketing measurement, conversational intelligence, sales enablement, webcasting, and video creation. Details follow below.

E-Commerce: StackCommerce Acquires The Fascination

StackCommerce, the provider from Venice, California of an e-commerce and content platform for digital publishers and brands, has acquired The Fascination, the Virginia Beach-based online marketplace for mission-driven brands and direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the acquisition will be advantageous to both parties.

For StackCommerce, the platform will gain access to The Fascination’s DTC client base, adding premium DTC brands like Brooklinen, Allbirds, and Warby Parker in a big step toward StackCommerce’s quest to build an all-in-one commerce solution for content creators of all sizes. StackCommerce powers the e-commerce shops of digital publishers like Mashable, TMZ, Yahoo, and CNN. The acquisition will also enable StackCommerce to produce in-depth, extensively tested product reviews—the kind for which The Fascination is known.

For The Fascination, a curated online marketplace featuring some 200 companies, acquisition will provide its brand partners access to the paid editorial placements of StackCommerce publishers. The acquisition will also enable wider exposure for The Fascination to consumers on a scale that otherwise would have taken years to build.

Unified Marketing Measurement: Kantar to Acquire Blackwood Seven

Kantar, a major data analytics and brand consulting company headquartered in London, has reached an agreement to acquire Blackwood Seven, the Copenhagen, Denmark-based marketing measurement and optimization company. Commercial terms of the transaction were not immediately known, which would accelerate plans by Kantar to bring its global client base a unified marketing measurement solution for gauging the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and their impact on driving conversions.

When completed, the acquisition will give Kantar’s clients access to the granular analytics provided by Blackwood Seven, whose technology solution is used for budget setting, competitor analysis, reduced customer acquisition costs, brand equity measurement, and minimized customer churn. Blackwood Seven offers highly scalable, AI-powered, cookie-less unified marketing measurement globally, its advanced analytics producing insights on marketing return on investment (ROI) that enable marketers to optimize their investments and predict business outcomes.

The transaction, anticipated to complete by the end of April, is Kantar’s sixth acquisition since Bain Capital, the US alternative investments firm from Boston, took majority shareholding in December 2019.

Conversational AI: Gupshup Acquires AskSid

Gupshup, the provider of a conversational engagement platform headquartered in San Francisco, has acquired AskSid, a conversational AI provider based in India, for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition strengthens Gupshup’s AI-powered conversational solutions for the e-commerce, retail, and consumer goods industries through the integration of AskSid’s deep-domain, full-stack AI technology.

Headquartered in Bengaluru, also known as the Silicon Valley of India and a significant center of India’s IT sector, AskSid enables global brands like Danone, Wolford, and Himalaya Wellness to deliver AI-powered conversational shopping experiences. The AskSid solution can also automate more than 90% of support conversations with a self-service model.

Gupshup, which aims to provide better customer engagement through conversations, is used by many large and small businesses in the emerging markets to build omnichannel conversational experiences. Gupshup provides a single messaging application programming interface (API) for more than 30 messaging channels, as well as AI-powered voice solutions, a toolkit for building conversational experiences, and more than 500 integrations with customer relationship management (CRM) and e-commerce automation systems.

Sales Enablement and Conversational Intelligence: Mediafly Acquires ExecVision

Mediafly, the provider headquartered in Chicago of a sales enablement and revenue intelligence platform, has acquired ExecVision, the provider from Arlington, Virginia, of a conversation intelligence (CI) platform. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Mediafly will add ExecVision technology to its Revenue360 suite for sales enablement, interactive content management, and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered forecasting. The ExecVision CI technology extracts actionable insights from customer-facing conversations to help marketing, sales, and post-sale teams design targeted coaching playbooks, optimize campaigns, and generate revenue.

Webcasting and Video Creation: ON24 Acquires Vibbio

ON24, the company from San Francisco that makes products and services based on webcasting and virtual events technology, has acquired Vibbio, the provider of a video-creation platform for workplace communications based in Oslo, Norway. Financial terms of the deal are not known.

With the acquisition, ON24 will integrate Vibbio into its platform for users to leverage Vibbio  across their webinar, event, and personalized content marketing activities and generate more first-person data. On the integrated platform, customers will be able to create short- and long-form videos to promote digital events; reuse event content by creating highlight clips that can be available on-demand; produce assets for social media engagement; or deliver personalized messages for landing pages or email and account-based marketing campaigns.

E-Commerce: BigCommerce Acquires BundleB2B

BigCommerce, the Austin, Texas-based provider of an e-commerce platform offering software as a service (SaaS) solutions to retailers, has acquired BundleB2B, the operator of an e-commerce platform also based in Austin that provides next-level business-to-business (B2B) functionality for BigCommerce merchants. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

As long-time partners, the two companies have been working to deliver BigCommerce B2B Edition, a solution offering advanced B2B functionality for onboarding, support, and contract services. The new deal follows the recent acquisition by BigCommerce of B2B Ninja, a quoting solutions provider.

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