June 22, 2020
The U.S. private equity firm, Crest Rock Partners bought a controlling stake of Unbounce Marketing Solutions Inc. for CAD $52,000,000.
Unbounce, which was founded in Vancouver in 2009, is a marketing automation company. Its software allows small to medium sized merchants to create ‘landing pages’ on the internet, which then prompts users to buy the advertised products and services. Unbounce’s software has been used to convert more than a billion web visits into transactions. Prior to this deal, Unbounce, which employs over 200 people and annually generates USD $24,000,000 in revenue, had raised less than CAD $1,000,000 in outside equity funding.
In 2018, Unbounce invested in building machine learning powered robots to help its customers better pinpoint landing pages, which further enhanced the company’s offerings. In response and in the wake of PE investing levels hitting record highs in recent years, Unbounce began receiving unsolicited offers of investment from PE firms. Unbounce ultimately agreed to an offer from Crest Rock, a U.S. based PE firm, citing the firm’s ability to help accelerate Unbounce’s growth.
Unbounce and Crest Rock negotiated the transaction prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the transaction closed on June 12, 2020 under the same terms the parties had previously negotiated. While Unbounce co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”), Rick Perreault declined to confirm the exact terms of the deal, Crest Rock acquired between 69% to 75% of Unbounce’s shares in exchange for CAD $52,000,000. Early investors of Unbounce received about two-thirds of the total of Crest Rock’s investment for their shares (approximately CAD $34,320,000), while the balance of the investment (approximately CAD $17,160,000) went directly to the company. Rick Perreault will remain as CEO of Unbounce.
This is another example of the Canadian technology ecosystem getting attention and traction on the global stage.
Author: Matthew Erdman