Fort Worth-based Simpli.fi, the programmatic advertising platform that provides localization and personalization services, announced today that GTCR, a private equity firm based in Chicago, will acquire a majority stake in the company.
The investment from GTCR, along with additional capital that GTCR expects to commit to fund organic growth initiatives and future acquisitions, positions Simpli.fi well to continue to deliver the functionality, training and support for its customers, local advertisers.
Co-founders Frost Prioleau, CEO, and Paul Harrison, CTO, and the rest of the Simpli.fi management team will continue to manage the company, which will continue to focus on the largest buyers of localized advertising, including brands, agencies, local media groups, networks and trading desks.
“Frost, Paul and the Simpli.fi team have built a strong business serving a unique niche that is well-positioned for continued success in a rapidly growing industry,” said GTCR Managing Director Craig Bondy. “As both large and small advertisers look to localize and personalize their campaigns, Simpli.fi’s platform, through the use of unstructured data, will help them better connect with their target audiences.”
Since opening its doors in 2010, the Fort Worth firm has built its name on digital advertising that targets not only specific audiences but also their purchasing histories and shopping patterns, among other characteristics. Simpli.fi works with the largest buyers of localized advertising, including brands, agencies, local media groups, networks and trading desks. These companies utilize Simpli.fi to localize ad targeting and content, to deliver performance on high volumes of localized campaigns, and to provide insights on their dynamic audiences.
According to the 2017 Inc 5000 list, where Simpli.fi is ranked No. 1352, the company had sales of $79.9 million in 2016, and had a three-year growth rate of 301 percent.
“We are excited to partner with GTCR as we continue to build our platform and solve the needs of local advertisers,” said Prioleau, who has served as Simpli.fi’s CEO since its inception. “GTCR brings significant resources and experience in building industry-leading companies, and they will be a valuable resource in the long-term expansion of our business.”
The transaction is expected to close in late September 2017. No price for the transaction was released.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor to GTCR. Petsky Prunier LLC and LUMA Partners LLC served as financial advisors and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati served as legal advisor to Simpli.fi. Selling shareholders include Simpli.fi’s lead institutional investors Contour Venture Partners and Frontier Capital.