“Marketers have been pressed into using sales platforms that were never the right tool for the job, and because of that, they’ve had to bolt on additional solutions to solve new needs as they arise,” said Clutch CEO Ned Moore. “With this acquisition, the Clutch platform is the first to support the marketer with a comprehensive view of customers across all buying and marketing channels. The addition of Persio’s intelligent mobile platform will allow us to deliver these experiences instantly and with greater context.”
The transaction puts Clutch in a position to capture a bigger share of the $32 billion marketing technology industry, just as brands are increasingly looking to automate mobile solutions to deliver shipping notices, rewards, coupons, brand messages, and more. At the same time, their marketing departments need a technology stack that can do the work of several vendors hired to solve discrete problems.
“Clutch built its business on unifying data to give marketers an actionable, complete view of their customers, and blending our capabilities with theirs is just natural,” said Persio co-founder Nick Doulas. “Together we can integrate customer data into virtually every marketing activity, from loyalty and gift to direct mail or e-commerce, and of course, mobile.”
Clutch plans to make the new mobile functionality available to clients in the first quarter of 2017. The transaction closed in December.
A strong complement to other channels, SMS marketing has seen increased demand among brands and retailers looking to reach mobile customers in real time. In fact, SMS messages have a 98 percent open rate and 90 percent of SMS messages are opened within three minutes.
Persio, founded in 2012, has led hundreds of successful campaigns for retailers with inventive mobile marketing techniques like mobile scratch-and-win offers, image and video text messages, and promotions for mobile apps. More than 10 million subscribers receive this type of content from Persio clients, who typically send 40 million messages per month from the platform. A company might send an SMS message to remind its customers that their loyalty points are about to expire, wish them a happy birthday, review customer service, or invite a lapsed customer to return. Clients also take advantage of higher response rates on mobile, using it to reinforce messaging from other channels like email.
Ned Moore will remain Clutch’s CEO. Nick Doulas, co-founder of Persio, will be staying on as Head of Product. The combined company, which will retain the Clutch name, will employ a total of 75 in the Philadelphia suburbs and in Persio’s existing offices in Chicago.
In addition to acquiring Persio, Clutch secured a $5.25 million round of funding and added a new seat on its board of directors. Larry Stone will take that seat, bringing more than 27 years of executive experience to Clutch. He is a veteran of the payment processing industry where he developed deep expertise in managing companies and accelerating their growth. He currently serves on the board of directors at JetPay and acted as principal of Mercury Payment Systems, where he successfully shepherded the firm to its 2014 sale to Vantiv.
“Clutch has driven tremendous growth with its combination of comprehensive marketing technology, customer data management, and hands-on partnerships with clients,” Stone said. “As a board member, I’m dedicated to helping the company build on that momentum and grow its platform.”
Clutch’s Integrated Customer Management platform delivers customer intelligence and personalized engagements empowering B2C brands to identify, understand and motivate each segment of their customer base. Its advanced marketing platform integrates customer data across point-of-sale, ecommerce, mobile and social channels, delivering personalized engagements and increasing the value of each customer. Headquartered outside of Philadelphia, Clutch’s solutions impact over 65 million consumers of over 800 brands. Clutch is a proud partner of Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE:SFE), NewSpring Capital and Ben Franklin Technology Partners.
Persio is an intelligent mobile marketing platform that uses behavioral and demographic data to drive revenue, acquisition and retention for SMS, app and web. Designed simply and with an intuitive UI, the cloud-based solution efficiently manages the mobile campaign process from start to finish. Marketers can create content, identify and target customer segments, deploy promotions, run tests and analyze results for multiple offer types including rich content, gamification, offers and discounts.