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[July 09, 2013]
Pure360 attracts pound(s)6.5m Scottish Equity Partners investment [Herald, The (Scotland)]
(Herald, The (Scotland) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) has chalked up another digital deal with a pound(s)6.5 million investment in an English marketing firm.
Pure360, specialising in email and text marketing, has attracted development capital from SEP and Investec as part of a pound(s)10.5m deal to enable a management buy-out and the funding of future growth. The Brighton-based business plans to create 65 new jobs.
Pure360 is the latest addition to join SEP's digital media portfolio which includes Glasgow-based Skyscanner, the world's fastest growing travel search company, online eyewear business Mr Spex and Media Ingenuity, which specialises in online comparison tools in the financial sector.
Gordon Beveridge, who secured the deal for SEP, commented: "The company is already a major player in the UK email service provider market and we believe this funding, coupled with our investment experience in the digital media sector, will help Pure360 go from strength to strength. The funding announced today will extend the capabilities of Pure360's platform, broadening features within segmentation, geolocation and automation whilst creating the most usable interface out there." The UK market for email marketing platforms and services is forecast to be worth pound(s)513m in 2013. The growth is reflected in the inward investment activity within the sector, with Silverpop increasing its funding and ExactTarget last month bought out by Salesforce.com for $2.5bn (pound(s)1.7bn).
Stuart Dawson, chief executive of Pure360, said the deal would accelerate product innovation and cement a world-class client service function. "Pure360 has doubled both its turnover and headcount since 2008. The next three years will see a further 65 jobs created with turnover expected to double again to pound(s)14.5m," he said.
Pure360's customers include Virgin, Rightmove, Innocent drinks, Hackett and Tetley. It says integration with key systems such as Salesforce, Facebook and Magento drives better customer insights and email revenues.
Stephen White from Investec said: "Pure360 is a great example of a small but fast-growing UK business. Our ability to provide both debt and equity finance allowed us to tailor a funding package that provides Pure360 and its stakeholders with the flexibility to support the execution of its exciting growth plans." GP Bullhound, a technology investment bank, advised Pure360.
SEP remains the only external investor in Skyscanner after picking up a pound(s)2.5m stake five years ago. The company plans to add around 100 staff over the next 12 months as it ramps up add-on services to flight searches. A headquarters was recently opened in Glasgow by SEP investment Smarter Grid Solutions, whose software allows electricity distributors to manage grid congestion and electricity demand, and to bring more renewable energy to the grid, following a pound(s)3m investment earlier this year from SEP, Strathclyde University and Scottish Enterprise.
SEP has also invested recently in Perth-based hydro power developer Green Highland Renewables, while last December saw the opening in Edinburgh of another SEP investment Techcube, the first technology incubator in Scotland developed entirely by private capital and housing 17 companies.
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