Based in the North of France, with US headquarters in New York, the Sarbacane Group, a publisher of applications for corporate communications, is a reference in its market through its strong position among email marketing softwares in Europe. The group built a range of products around its expertise in email marketing, text messaging campaigns and marketing automation such as Layout, Sarbacane Chat and Touchdown, introduced in late 2019, and Datananas, a Paris-based startup acquired in April 2020. IDI, one of the leading listed investment companies in France, is investing nearly $10 million in the company alongside the management, under the leadership of founder Mathieu Tarnus, who remains the majority shareholder. This move underpins an ambitious strategy of innovation and external growth.
A unique positioning in a market in excellent shape
Digital communication tools help companies grow and are gaining in importance. The market is experiencing long-term growth, and has also been benefiting from the forced acceleration of the digitization of SMEs in 2020. Sarbacane publishes Mailify, a solution that allows companies to optimize and automate their email and text message communications. Today’s financial transaction confirms the success of its strategy. The company generated $13M in revenues in 2019, and will invoice more than $16M in consolidated revenues in 2020. The startup has grown considerably and now has around one hundred employees. Even during the recent lockdown, recruitment did not slow down.
“In 2021, we will celebrate Sarbacane’s 20th anniversary. Companies of all sizes in every sector have grown their business thanks to effective campaigns created with our tools. Their trust in us is what drives us to constantly innovate.” Mathieu Tarnus, Founder & CEO of Sarbacane
The team, headquartered in the North of France, is the brains behind a unique approach based on 3 main concepts: cutting-edge features (Smart Template technology, predictive emailing, automatic multi-channel campaign, etc.), ease of use and, most importantly, individual support, which sets Mailify apart from other players in the market.
This approach has attracted nearly 10,000 companies, mainly SMEs but also government agencies and major groups (Christian Dior, L’Occitane, Mondial Relay, Warner Music, etc.). Mailify’s premium approach is designed for professionals who aren’t satisfied with low-cost self-service tools or the all-inclusive marketing suite model, which calls for significant resources and dedicated teams.
R&D and external growth to gain momentum
At the forefront of innovation in its field, Sarbacane plans to leverage this opportunity to further increase its investment in R&D, as it has done with the Smart Templates feature, released in summer 2020, whose algorithm is able to create customized, ready-to-send email and newsletter templates based on just a website’s address. After Touchdown (email & text message marketing solution integrated with Microsoft Dynamics 365), Layout (email template builder) and Sarbacane Chat (chatbot and conversational marketing), all released in the last quarter of 2019, Mailify intends to continue to innovate in order to provide more effective solutions and provide technology that professionals need.
“The Sarbacane Group is accelerating its development through the growth of its various brands, all of which are leaders in their respective markets. We are thrilled to partner with the team in the implementation of this strategy, and in its diversification and acquisition projects in the field of marketing software and B2B services.” Julien Bentz, Member of IDI’s Executive Committee
A significant share of the transaction is earmarked for external growth, particularly abroad. The acquisition of the Datananas startup (sales automation), which the group acquired in April 2020, is the first step in a clearly defined strategy, notably to strengthen the group’s position outside France. After the previous expansion phase supported by the Ardian Growth fund, this new financial deal marks the start of a new phase. It demonstrates the resilience and efficiency of Sarbacane’s recurring service model (B2B SaaS) and the success of its approach.
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