Ardian increases its investment in Jakala by acquiring a 60% stake in the company alongside founder Matteo de Brabant, management, and legacy partners with the objective of becoming one of the world leaders in Martech

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22 February 2021 Buyout Italy, Milan

Milan, 22 February 2021 – Ardian, a world-leading private investment house, announces the acquisition of a majority stake in Jakala, the first marketing technology, or ‘martech’, group in Italy and one of the top five in Europe.

Jakala operates in a rapidly changing market, assisting its clients, particularly large corporations, to make the best use of technology and data to enhance and develop their business through innovative sales and marketing projects.

Ardian first invested in Jakala in 2018 through the Ardian Growth team led by Laurent Foata with a minority stake acquisition. With this new investment from its buyout fund together with the growth fund, Ardian confirms its confidence in a fast-growing company with an innovative business model.  The Equity Club, promoted by Roberto Ferraresi and Mediobanca, H14 managed by Luigi, Eleonora and Barbara Berlusconi, PFC, holding company of Marzotto’s family (represented by Guglielmo Notarbartolo), and current management of the Group, will reinvest in the company alongside Ardian and Matteo de Brabant (who retains 25% through Jakala Holding).

With Ardian’s support, Jakala will have the financial resources and support necessary to accelerate its growth strategy in Italy and abroad notably through build-ups. In line with its investment philosophy based on the full support of entrepreneurs to support the growth of companies with great potential and create value for all stakeholders, has decided to further support Jakala, a leader in the martech sector which is expanding internationally thanks to the acceleration of the data and digital transformation process.

Jakala Group was founded in 2000 through the vision of Matteo de Brabant, Founder and Chairman. It was the first company in Italy to combine marketing and technology, and it merged on 2014 with Seri System, and one year later Value Lab joined the Group, creating an integrated group in the world of Sales & Marketing services. Following the entry of Ardian and the other shareholders into Jakala’s capital in 2018, the Group accelerated its expansion opening in new markets including USA, UK, Brazil and Poland. During this time the firm conducted crucial acquisitions: Volponi, which enabled Jakala to strengthen its position in the world of engagement, and 77 Agency, one of the largest independent international digital media & performance agencies.

The Group has more than 1,000 employees, 60% of whom are under 35 years old and half of whom are women. It has a turnover of EUR 300 million, 35% of which is generated internationally in the 12 European countries in which it operates. The Group has experienced strong organic growth but has also closed 10 acquisitions, which has allowed the integration of new expertise. Over the last 5 years, EBITDA has grown significantly at an average rate of 25% per year.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Jakala showed great resilience because of its innovative approach, and 200 new hires were made.

The Ardian Buyout team in Italy, with Managing Directors Marco Bellino and Yann Chareton, and Jakala’s top management, led by founder and Chairman Matteo de Brabant and CEO Stefano Pedron, commented: “Jakala’s uniqueness and expertise make it a key player in the digital marketing sector at an international level with huge growth prospects in different geographic areas. The support of an investor such as Ardian, Europe’s leading private equity fund, will be fundamental in facing a new phase of growth. Between Jakala and Ardian there is a full sharing of objectives and values, an important example is the B Corp project.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory consents.


Ardian is a world-leading private investment house with assets of US$110bn managed or advised in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The company is majority-owned by its employees. It keeps entrepreneurship at its heart and focuses on delivering excellent investment performance to its global investor base.
Through its commitment to shared outcomes for all stakeholders, Ardian’s activities fuel individual, corporate and economic growth around the world.
Holding close its core values of excellence, loyalty and entrepreneurship, Ardian maintains a truly global network, with more than 700 employees working from fifteen offices across Europe (Frankfurt, Jersey, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Zurich), the Americas (New York, San Francisco and Santiago) and Asia (Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul). It manages funds on behalf of more than 1,000 clients through five pillars of investment expertise: Fund of Funds, Direct Funds, Infrastructure, Real Estate and Private Debt.


  • Jakala:

    • M&A Advisor: Mediobanca
    • Legal Advisor: Gatti Pavesi Bianchi Ludovici and lawyer Giuseppe de Franciscis
    • Financial DD: New Deal Advisor
    • Tax DD: Gatti Pavesi Bianchi Ludovici
  • M&A Advisor: Arma Partners (Lead) and Vitale&Co Legal Advisor: Giovannelli e Associati (Corporate), Gattai, Minoli, Agostinelli, Partners (Financing), Gitti

    • M&A Advisor: Arma Partners (Lead) and Vitale&Co
    • Legal Advisor: Giovannelli e Associati (Corporate), Gattai, Minoli, Agostinelli, Partners (Financing), Gitti and Partners (Structuring)
    • Strategic DD: Roland Berger
    • Legal DD: Giovannelli & Associati
    • Financial DD: KPMG
    • Tax DD: Gitti and Partners


ARDIAN – Headland

VIKTOR TSVETANOV +44 207 3435 7469


Categories: News


Zisson acquires rising marketing tech star Socialboards

Verdane Capital

Zisson today announced the expansion of its customer dialogue offering through its acquisition of Socialboards, one of the fastest-growing marketing technology companies in Norway. Socialboards gathers all customer dialogue in social media, live chat, and emails in one inbox. Together, Zisson and Socialboards will deliver improved customer center solutions to the market.

“We are pleased that Socialboards’ team and technology will be part of Zisson. We have collaborated well for a long time. We have seen how sought after their solutions are, at the same time as our customers have asked for integration with Socialboards’ technology. Together, Zisson and Socialboards cover all customer communication channels. This merger strengthens our in-house competence and will bring even better solutions to both existing and new customers”, says André Jensen, CEO of Zisson AS.

Socialboards is one of the most exciting marketing technology companies on the Norwegian market. The company grew its revenue over 45% in 2020, and has numerous large and well-known companies including DNB, REMA 1000, NorgesGruppen, Sport1, Avinor, VikingLine (SE), PostNord and Berg Hansen as customers.

Anne Kristine R. Grude, CEO of Socialboards, shares her excitement on now being a part of Zisson: “Our technology and Zisson’s solutions create a completely new, common platform for systematisation and analysis of customer inquiries in larger contact centers. Together with Zisson, we look forward to providing even more companies the right tools for good customer dialogues.”


The acquisition of Socialboards comes after a very active 2020 for Zisson, which has delivered socially critical solutions during the pandemic to several private companies and public institutions like Helse Nord; pandemic information telephones, and customer centers with switchboard functionality to several public institutions like NTNU, Ålesund Municipality, Oslo Municipality, and more. Zisson has also continued to grow in Sweden, following acquisitions there in 2019.

André Jensen continues: “We experienced a sharp upswing in demand for our contact center solutions in 2020. With Socialboards on the team, we aim to grow through sales to both new and existing customers in Norway, Sweden, and internationally in 2021.”

Zisson’s and Socialboards’ subscription revenues amounted to NOK70 million in 2020. Zisson is supported by Verdane, a specialist growth investor who partners with ambitious Northern European technology-enabled companies to help them grow internationally.

“The underlying digitalisation of customer communication has been further strengthened as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Zisson covers a growing need in the market, and we are delighted with both the company’s development and that Socialboards’ team and technology
will now merge with Zisson’s on its continued growth journey”, says Nils Vold, Partner at Verdane’s Oslo office.


About Zisson

Zisson is an innovative IT company with offices in Oslo and Stockholm, which develops and operates contact center and switchboard solutions. Zisson was established in 2007 with the ambition to simplify and improve communication between companies and end customers. Our vision is simple – to be the preferred solution for all businesses with a professional customer journey approach!


About Socialboards

Socialboards AS was established by Anne Kristine R. Grude and Erik Platou Lundquist, who have worked together on customer service solutions since 2007. The idea around the service “Socialboards” was created in the period when the customer dialogue really changed
after the introduction of social media, and Socialboards has since then worked purposefully to build a product that makes customer service a better experience in all channels – both for the consumer, and the customer service heroes who work daily with the customer journey in
companies in and outside Norway’s borders. Current customers include some of Norway’s most celebrated customer service departments, including DNB, REMA1000, NorgesGruppen, Sport1, Avinor, Telia, and many more.

Press contact

André Jensen, CEO


Categories: News


Blackstone to Invest in Liftoff to Help Fuel Future Growth


Partnership will further accelerate Liftoff as a leading performance marketing platform

NEW YORK and REDWOOD CITY – December 22, 2020 – Liftoff, a global performance-based mobile app marketing optimization platform, announced today it has reached a definitive agreement for a majority investment from private equity funds managed by Blackstone (NYSE:BX, “Blackstone”). This strategic partnership marks a new phase in Liftoff’s continuing mission to develop industry-leading technology and product solutions that help marketers grow their engaged user bases through initial and ongoing engagement efforts.

Founded in 2012, Liftoff partners with mobile app marketers to grow their platforms globally. Liftoff’s best-in-class technology solutions deliver more than one billion engaging ads each day to high value users in more than 90 countries and across more than 500,000 mobile publishers. As content consumption increasingly shifts to mobile devices, the company is well positioned to serve the high-growth mobile app ecosystem as a leader in programmatic user acquisition and retention. Liftoff has been included on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies in the U.S. in each of the last four years. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, Liftoff has additional offices in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Berlin, London, Paris, Singapore, Seoul, and Tokyo.

Blackstone has been an active investor in digital content and advertising technology, including recent investments in Ancestry, Bumble, and Vungle. Liftoff’s partnership with Blackstone reflects a shared belief in the future growth potential of the industry and long-term vision to build on Liftoff’s leadership position. Blackstone’s investment will help enable Liftoff to further accelerate investment priorities, expand its global footprint, and fuel future growth initiatives.

Sachin Bavishi, Managing Director at Blackstone, said: “Liftoff is a market leader and a key growth partner for many of the world’s leading mobile app developers through its extensive global reach and strong programmatic capabilities. This investment reflects our high conviction in both mobile content and mobile advertising, and we believe that Blackstone’s extensive resources and expertise will help enable Liftoff to further capitalize on its strong momentum and significant growth potential. We are very excited to partner with Liftoff’s talented founders to continue to provide best-in-class solutions to the industry.”

Martin Brand, Co-Head of U.S. Acquisitions for Blackstone’s Private Equity Group, said: “Liftoff is an independent leader in the marketplace for mobile ads. Blackstone has significant experience investing in the fast-growing mobile ecosystem, and we are excited to back Mark and his team as they continue the rapid growth of Liftoff.”

“We’re excited to be partnering with Blackstone, one of the premier private equity firms in the world,” said Mark Ellis, CEO and co-founder of Liftoff. “Blackstone’s expertise will be invaluable as we continue to scale our company globally, expand our product offerings and help more mobile marketers build a growing audience of engaged users for their mobile experiences.”

The transaction is expected to close early next year, subject to customary closing conditions. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC served as financial advisor and Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP served as legal advisor to Liftoff while LUMA Partners LLC served as financial advisor and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as legal advisor to Blackstone. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

About Liftoff
Liftoff is a complete mobile app marketing platform that helps companies acquire and retain high quality mobile app users at scale. Liftoff uses prediction intelligence and unbiased ML to find engaged users at scale for mobile app marketers, creative testing to deliver the most engaging ad experience and a unique cost per revenue model to optimize for LTV goals. Liftoff is proud to be a long term partner to leading brand advertisers and app publishers since 2012. Headquartered in Redwood City, Liftoff has a global presence with offices in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Berlin, London, Paris, Singapore, Seoul, and Tokyo.

About Blackstone
Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, and the communities in which we work. We do this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Our $584 billion in assets under management include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, life sciences, growth equity, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis. Further information is available at Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone.


Matt Anderson

Dennis Mink

Categories: News


PromoRepublic raises $1.5M to build distributed marketing software and expand services available for franchise and multi-location brands.


Investors in the companies seed round include follow-on investment from Innovestor Ventures, Genesis Investments, several superangels and the Business Finland government fund. It’s not the first time PromoRepublic has attracted funding; overall, the company has raised nearly $5M to date.

”The company’s enterprise product tailored for large franchising businesses is showing strong traction, and economies of scale of the SaaS business model is kicking in” – commented Innovestor’s Wilhelm Lindholm

Since its founding in 2015, PromoRepublic has become one of the top social media marketing SaaS providers with over 20,000 active small business users to date. As some small businesses perform under national franchise brands, PromoRepublic recently launched a special solution for head offices to manage their local presence on digital for thousands of locations.

PromoRepublic’s 5-year history and knowledge of small businesses’ marketing philosophy has shown that partners who leverage vendor content, messaging, branding, and demand generation initiatives in their local markets drive a winning customer experience.

“We believe in business models that value partners in their ecosystem, be it franchisees or direct sales representatives. Not only does this model decrease the risks for entrepreneurs, it also nurtures a very personal approach to local customers, which is often impossible for large enterprise companies. We can now leverage our experience in serving thousands of small businesses for use with marketing teams of national and global brands who want to engage their representatives in marketing initiatives“ — says Max Pecherskyi, CEO & Co-founder of PromoRepublic.

According to Forrester’s latest research, the distributed marketing software market will reach $1.18 billion by 2023. This is due to the fact that 75% of all world trade today is indirect. In other words, selling and marketing to and through independent representatives, field salesforces, agents, and franchisees is the new normal. Nearly 50% of all brands invested in distributed marketing in some capacity, Forrester says. Marketing executives consider this approach the most effective for local customer experiences and the key to influencing new buyers. Lockdown and rapid digitization has motivated head offices to actively use software for consistent branding, while representatives create experiences for local customers online and offline.


PromoRepublic in the media: 

Forbes – PromoRepublic Raises $1.5M To Help Corporations Keep Their Sales Messaging Consistent (2.12.20)


For additional information:

Jane Andyol


Founded in 2015, PromoRepublic is a distributed marketing solution that connects small businesses, agencies, and multi-location brands with local audiences. Their 40+ team is spread worldwide: in Palo Alto, New York, London, Helsinki, and Kyiv. They’ve helped more than 200k businesses in 120 countries create more than 9 million social media posts and counting. For more information, visit

Media kit with pictures

Categories: News


FMG Suite Announces Strategic Acquisition of Twenty Over Ten

Aurora Capital

FMG Suite, a SaaS company specializing in marketing software and services for financial advisors and insurance agents, announced it has completed the acquisition of Twenty Over Ten, a company delivering a SaaS-based digital marketing platform for financial professionals.

“We’re impressed with what Twenty Over Ten has built in a relatively short time and we look forward to integrating our solutions to deliver the products and services we know are most sought after today by financial professionals, RIAs, and independent broker-dealers,” said Scott White, FMG Suite CEO. “This acquisition is a strategic investment in the future of our platform––websites that generate leads, personalized automations, and fully customizable content,” he added.

Marketing Technology News: Seismic Acquires Grapevine6 to Enable Digital Sales Engagement Across Multiple Customer-Facing Social Media and Digital Platforms

Known industry-wide for its innovative marketing strategies and solutions, Twenty Over Ten’s talented team of designers, developers, and marketers will be retained by FMG Suite. Together, the companies will pool their resources to offer financial advisors the most modern lead-generation and marketing solutions with award-winning client service.

“When we launched Twenty Over Ten, we had a simple desire to make beautiful professional websites for an industry that desperately needed it,” said Ryan Russell, Twenty Over Ten Co-Founder. “Four short years later, we have a large and growing community of engaged advisors and we take seriously our responsibility to continue to develop innovative solutions that redefine marketing in our industry. FMG Suite is a great next chapter in our story because the team shares our vision to give financial professionals the very best user experience and marketing tools to grow their businesses,” he added.

Marketing Technology News: AdTonos Launches Yours Truly Technology to Deliver Interactive Radio Ads

Twenty Over Ten will continue to operate its business as usual until plans are announced to integrate the companies’ best-of-breed solutions to better serve the industry. Every effort will be made to minimize business disruptions, and clients of both entities will benefit from combined capabilities, content, and campaigns to improve interactions with their investor clients at every stage.

“At Advisor Group, we pride ourselves on partnering with the best to deliver the highest value services and solutions to our advisors. Today we partner with both FMG Suite and Twenty Over Ten,” said Advisor Group CMO Susan Theder. “We can’t wait to see the level of innovation that will come from this pairing, as they combine their talents to deliver the next generation of advisor marketing solutions.”

With this agreement, FMG Suite will acquire Twenty Over Ten’s customer base, reinforcing its leading market share position. The sixth acquisition in four years, the purchase agreement represents a continuation of FMG Suite’s expansion strategy.

Unlocking the power of data-driven marketing

Gp Bullhound

New York, 15 October 2020

GP Bullhound acted as exclusive financial advisor to digital marketing firm Linkmedia 360 (“Linkmedia”), on its sale to GlynnDevins.

Linkmedia, founded in 2004 and based in the Cleveland, Ohio area, is a data-driven, digital marketing company that leverages data science initiatives in digital channels to ultimately support sales growth with a framework revolving around analytics, insights and action.

The acquisition strengthens GlynnDevins’ digital offering and improves its portfolio of products and services that effectively support sales and lead generation for its clients. Linkmedia Managing Partners David Wolf and Chad Luckie will serve roles on GlynnDevins leadership team. Linkmedia will maintain its office location in Independence, OH and will now be branded as Linkmedia 360 – a GlynnDevins company.

“We have long-admired GlynnDevins’ success,” said Wolf. “Combining our strengths ensures our current and future clients will continue to receive top of line marketing execution and the best value and ROI around their marketing spend.”

“We have built a reputation based on data science and marketing experience that has proven to be successful in advancing our clients’ sales and business goals. Joining GlynnDevins is a tremendous opportunity to continue to accelerate our clients’ successes with data-driven marketing solutions.” said Luckie.

Wolf went on to say, “With their extensive expertise and network in the sector, GP Bullhound has been a great advisory partner for us. They lock-stepped with us through the entire process and their team went above and beyond throughout the engagement.”

Adam Birnbaum, Director at GP Bullhound, stated: “We are delighted to have helped Linkmedia find its ideal strategic partner in GlynnDevins. The combination creates a leader in digital marketing, and we look forward to observing their continued growth and success.”

This transaction is further testament to GP Bullhound’s expertise in the digital services sector, with 20 deals completed in the last 24 months in the sector alone, having previously advised on the merger of Orca Pacific with MightyHive, the acquisition of Jellyfish by Fimalac, the acquisition of Dudnyk by Fishawack and the acquisition of Eruptr by HIG, among many others.


For enquiries, please contact:

Adam Birnbaum, Director

About GP Bullhound

GP Bullhound is a leading technology advisory and investment firm, providing transaction advice and capital to the world’s best entrepreneurs and founders. Founded in 1999, the firm today has offices in London, San Francisco, Stockholm, Berlin, Manchester, Paris, Hong Kong, Madrid and New York. For more information, please visit


Categories: News


Empowering companies to communicate more efficiently

Gp Bullhound

Paris, 2 October 2020

GP Bullhound acted as exclusive financial adviser to Bridgepoint Development Capital and BPI on a USD160m investment in Sendinblue.

Sendinblue is a leading all-in-one digital marketing platform empowering B2B and B2C businesses, e-commerce sellers and agencies to build customer relationships through end-to-end digital marketing campaigns, transactional messaging, and marketing automation.

The company offers a unique digital marketing solution developed for small and medium-sized businesses, covering tools such as email, SMS, marketing automation, sales management, and live chat. Headquartered in Paris with offices in Seattle, Berlin, Noida, and Toronto, Sendinblue supports more than 180,000 active users across 160 countries.

The proceeds will be used to drive product expansion to further support small and medium-sized businesses and accelerate growth in the North American market. Since 2018, Sendinblue has experienced 100% year-over-year growth in the US, the fastest-growing market for the company.

Guillaume Bonneton, Partner at GP Bullhound, and Joy Sioufi, Executive Director, commented: “We are delighted to have advised Bridgepoint Development Capital and BPI on their investment into Sendinblue. The company’s management will benefit from these two platforms’ experience to further expand internationally and become the leading all-in-one digital marketing platform.”

This transaction is a further testament to GP Bullhound’s expertise in software with 13 transactions completed in the last 12 months globally – 5 in France – including CVC’s $200m investment in EcoVadis, Wavecrest Growth Partners and Beringea’s $29m investment in EDITED, the acquisition of Assetic by Dude Solutions, and Accel-KKR’s $50m investment in Partnerize, among many others.


For enquiries, please contact:

Guillaume Bonneton, Partner Joy Sioufi, Executive Director

About GP Bullhound

GP Bullhound is a leading technology advisory and investment firm, providing transaction advice and capital to the world’s best entrepreneurs and founders. Founded in 1999, the firm today has offices in London, San Francisco, Stockholm, Berlin, Manchester, Paris, Hong Kong, Madrid and New York. For more information, please visit

Categories: News


Building a world-leading marketing procurement platform

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GP Bullhound acted as the exclusive financial advisor to LDC on its more than £17m investment into Beekman Associates, the developer and provider of the data-driven marketing procurement platform RightSpend.

Headquartered in London and with a second office in New York, Beekman Associates and its industry-leading software platform RightSpend supports global brands in the assessment of their marketing activity in real time, to help save and optimise marketing spend and manage agency relationships more effectively.


The business has an extensive blue-chip client base which includes many of the world’s largest brands, each leveraging an extensive pricing database covering 75 different international markets, and 10 marketing specialisms including creative, digital, design, PR, production and events. The deal sees LDC backing the experienced existing management team as part of a Management Buyout.


David Andrews, Director at LDC, said: “The impressive client base and track record that RightSpend has developed speaks for itself. The business model and proprietary technology, coupled with a highly scalable proposition, means the business is well-placed to expand and build on its success to date.”


Simon Nicholls, Partner at GP Bullhound, added: “We are delighted to have advised LDC on their investment into RightSpend. This investment will enable Beekman Associates CEO Iain Seers and his team to build on their success to date and support the business’s evolution into a leading global marketing procurement software platform.”


This transaction is a further testament to GP Bullhound’s expertise in software with 12 transactions completed in the last 12 months globally, including CVC’s $200m investment in EcoVadis, Wavecrest Growth Partners and Beringea’s $29m investment in EDITED, the acquisition of Assetic by Dude Solutions, and Accel-KKR’s $50m investment in Partnerize, among many others.


For enquiries, please contact:

Simon Nicholls, Partner Ravi Ghedia, Director

About GP Bullhound

GP Bullhound is a leading technology advisory and investment firm, providing transaction advice and capital to the world’s best entrepreneurs and founders. Founded in 1999, the firm today has offices in London, San Francisco, Stockholm, Berlin, Manchester, Paris, Hong Kong, Madrid and New York. For more information, please visit


Categories: News


Building end-to-end eCommerce and advertising solutions

Gp Bullhound

GP Bullhound acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Orca Pacific on its intended merger with MightyHive, a fully-owned subsidiary of S4 Capital PLC.

Founded in 2008 by John Ghiorso, Orca Pacific is a market leading full-service Amazon agency and boutique consultancy that helps top consumer brands optimize their customer journey and grow their Amazon business through a combination of expertise and industry-leading technology. The company employs over 40 former Amazonians and retail industry experts and partners with clients including Reebok, Uni-ball, Godiva, Del Monte and Kenroy Home.

The deal builds on S4 Capital’s existing Amazon relationship, equipping teams with an end-to-end eCommerce offering, including retail management, advertising, and content on Amazon’s platform,  which can bridge the gap between media, creative, and measurement more broadly to deliver additional expertise and services capabilities for SMB, Mid-Market and Enterprise clients.

John Ghiorso, CEO and Founder of Orca Pacific, said: “By teaming up with MightyHive, Orca Pacific’s existing bench of advanced Amazon experts is now positioned to offer global capabilities, along with expanded data, creative and media solutions to clients. GP Bullhound was invaluable in helping us navigate through this process and we couldn’t be more excited about the new partner we’ve found in MightyHive and S4 Capital.”

Alec Dafferner, Partner at GP Bullhound, said: “Integrating with Orca Pacific will allow MightyHive to offer best-in-class eCommerce and Marketplace solutions to its clients. We look forward to following their progress as they continue to expand their capabilities and offering.”

The transaction is further testament to GP Bullhound’s global expertise in advising category leaders in the Digital Services sector, with 19 transactions completed in this sector in the last 24 months including the majority investment in Jellyfish by Fimalac Group, and the sales of Oliver to You & Mr. Jones and Filter to Merkle, among many others.


For inquiries, please contact:

Alec Dafferner, Partner


About GP Bullhound

GP Bullhound is a leading technology advisory and investment firm, providing transaction advice and capital to the world’s best entrepreneurs and founders. Founded in 1999, the firm today has offices in London, San Francisco, Stockholm, Berlin, Manchester, Paris, Hong Kong, Madrid and New York. For more information, please visit

GP Bullhound Inc. advised on this transaction.

Categories: News


Providence Agrees to Invest in

Providence Announces Majority Investment from Providence Equity Partners

Providence to Partner with Founders, Who Will Continue to Lead the Company and Maintain Significant Ownership

HELSINKI & PROVIDENCE, R.I. – December 18, 2019 –, a leading global creative and digital advertising platform, today announced a majority investment of €200 million from funds advised by Providence Equity Partners (“Providence”), a premier private equity firm that specializes in the media, communications, education and information industries. Providence will partner with management to help accelerate the growth of through acquisition and organic investment to continue to build’s leading multi-platform advertising solution that combines creative production and media optimization.

Founded in 2013, is a leading digital advertising solution that helps major advertisers create, launch and iterate brand and performance advertising. works with some of the most advanced advertisers in the world, like Uber and eBay, as well as major global brands like Under Armour and Samsonite. With more than 350 employees, has offices in 16 locations around the world. has been an official Facebook Marketing Partner since 2014, and has worked closely with the company to distinctly serve the data, media and creative optimization process on their platform. Providence and look forward to continuing to work closely with Facebook to accelerate further growth.

“By partnering with Providence, gains invaluable strategic advisory, deep operational experience and market insight, especially in the U.S. where major Fortune 500 companies are only starting to automate their creative processes,” said CEO and Founder Kristo Ovaska. “We envision as the number one digital advertising platform for all marketers, and one that allows teams to leverage enhanced creative capabilities to supercharge and optimize their campaigns. With over €2.5 billion in ad spend flowing through in 2019, the largest global brands are already managing their paid social and online video spend with the platform, and this new partner allows us to continue innovating to better serve our customers as their social media advertising needs evolve.” enables advertisers to manage and optimize their creative and ad operations across Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. With the creative suite of tools in the platform, marketers bring the brand and performance advertising teams closer as well as bridge the gap between creative and ad buying silos.

“Kristo and Tuomo together with the whole team have built an impressive platform, and we are thrilled to be partnering with them,” said Davis Noell, a Managing Director at Providence. “ has a unique opportunity to help transform the creative and media optimization process, and we look forward to supporting the Company with our experience and capital to accelerate organic and inorganic growth.”

Providence Operating Partner Laura Desmond has been appointed as Chairperson of the Board of Directors at and joins a group of robust and dynamic leaders, having worked closely with some of the biggest and most successful marketers worldwide, including Samsung, Coca-Cola, Visa, Mondelez, P&G and a host of direct to consumer brands such as Airbnb, Spotify, EA Sports and Twitter. Desmond has spent considerable time with advertising and marketing platform, technology and software companies such as Facebook, Google, LiveRamp and Tencent. She also serves on the board of DoubleVerify (a Providence portfolio company).

“Over the past several years, I’ve seen marketing and advertising technology evolve, with an ever-growing set of companies understanding how to partner with the entire digital ad ecosystem to create value,” said Desmond. “ is uniquely positioned to play a lead role in a market where brand and performance work is converging. Together, we intend to grow the Company’s presence in the U.S. and globally, expand to other platforms, and build relationships with brands and their partners to create value for all.”

Macquarie Capital acted as exclusive financial advisor to and Hannes Snellman served as’s legal advisor. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and Krogerus provided legal counsel to Providence.

Visit’s website to learn more about its capabilities, and follow on Twitter for the latest updates on company announcements.

Powering beautifully effective ads, automates every step of social advertising to unlock greater performance and creativity. We combine creative production and ad buying automation with outstanding customer service to help 600+ brands scale their results – not headcount – on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. We are a fast-growing community of 350+ Smartlies with 16 offices around the world, managing over €2.5B in ad spend and growing rapidly and profitably. Visit to learn more.

About Providence Equity Partners
Providence is a premier global asset management firm with over $45 billion in aggregate capital commitments. Providence pioneered a sector-focused approach to private equity investing with the vision that a dedicated team of industry experts could build exceptional companies of enduring value. Since the firm’s inception in 1989, Providence has invested in more than 200 companies and has become a leading equity investment firm focused on the media, communications, education and information industries. Providence is headquartered in Providence, RI, and also has offices in New York and London. For more information, please visit

Michael Wood
PAN Communications

Providence Equity Partners
Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Andrew Cole / Hayley Cook (U.S.) 212-687-8080
Conrad Harrington (U.K.) +44 207 4671 050

Categories: News