LONDON, January 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ —
Adestra, a leading provider of innovative marketing technology software and services, is preparing for significant U.S. and global expansion thanks to a $7.2 million investment of equity funding from BGF (Business Growth Fund). BGF, which targets established UK-based companies with strong growth potential, has taken a minority stake in Adestra, marking the first institutional investment in the company since its founding in 2004.
With 500-plus clients worldwide across a number of key sectors, Adestra has experienced annual double-digit revenue growth for more than a decade. Earlier this year, Adestra also announced the opening of its U.S. operations in Dallas and New York, the immediate success of which was a significant factor in Adestra’s decision to partner with BGF.
“This is a very exciting time for our business,” said Henry Hyder-Smith, co-founder and CEO of Adestra. “Email is experiencing a fantastic and well-founded resurgence as the cornerstone of a brand’s digital communications strategy. As a result, we’ve seen an enormous amount of high-profile acquisitions and consolidations in our industry, but those moves have also created a real void in the market – one that Adestra is poised to fill.”
“What has always set Adestra apart is that we are more than a software platform to our clients. We are software AND a service,” Hyder-Smith continued. “We are hands-on collaborators, immersed in their business so that we can help them create memorable marketing campaigns and build long-term relationships with their customers. The investment by BGF is not only a validation of our business model, but it will also help fuel our U.S. growth in a way that is consistent with Adestra’s customer-driven approach.”
Adestra will use the investment to expand its U.S.-based team and provide them with the infrastructure they need to support rapidly growing demand for the company’s unique value proposition in the market.
“BGF takes a long-term view when evaluating investment opportunities. Henry and his senior management team have a fantastic track record of delivering innovative digital marketing services that are valued by Adestra’s diverse range of customers,” said James Austin, an investor at BGF. “Their dedication to their clients’ success has made them a go-to resource in the UK and has them poised to make a significant mark in the U.S. and beyond. BGF is looking forward to supporting the team as it continues to scale its business.”
The investment was managed for BGF by James Austin, Sarah Ledwidge, Dan Tapson and Erin Hallock. As part of the deal, BGF Investor James Austin also will join the Board of Adestra. To date, BGF has invested close to £650m from its £2.5bn investment pool, including more than £130m in the UK’s technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) sector. Adestra was advised by the Media & Technology team at Livingstone.
Adestra is a leading global provider of one-to-one email and lifecycle marketing solutions for global and growing brands alike. The company’s industry leading digital marketing platform – MessageFocus – provides marketers with a powerful infrastructure that helps them communicate more effectively with their customers and subscribers by providing hyper-relevant context. This proprietary technology also allows for automated messaging and incorporates enterprise-class native functionality, which reduces implementations and brings clarity to complexity. Along with a superior platform to execute marketing automation, Adestra was founded on the principle that marketing success takes more than technology, which is why customer service is at the heart of our business. Adestra was a winner of the 2014 Customer Focus Award from the Customer Service Institute, and we continue to maintain one of the highest customer retention rates in the industry. Adestra is trusted by top brands like UBM, FranklinCovey and Oxfam, among others. Established in 2004, Adestra is based in Oxford, England, with offices in London, Dallas and Sydney.
BGF (Business Growth Fund) is the UK’s most active provider of growth capital to small and mid-sized businesses. BGF makes initial investments of between $3 and $15 million (£2m and £10m) and can provide additional funding to support further growth. The investment provided is typically in the form of equity in return for a minority equity stake and a seat on the board for a BGF director. BGF will provide long-term equity investment for companies with strong growth potential. BGF is an independent company with capital of up to $3.7 billion (£2.5 billion) and is backed by five of the UK’s main banking groups – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Standard Chartered. BGF is managed autonomously with an independent management team.