Vendasta makes second acquisition after dashed IPO plans, venture round

The company chose a $119.5 million venture round over an IPO in May.

Business solution startup Vendasta has acquired advertising tech company MatchCraft in its second acquisition deal in less than three months.

The purchase follows Vendasta’s absorption of CalendarHero (formerly Zoom.ai), which it bought in October to add AI-powered automated scheduling to its product line.

Vendasta offers a range of sales and project management products for small-and-medium-sized business (SMB)-focused channel partners, and acquired MatchCraft to grow its suite of marketing tech solutions.

“We want to have the biggest distribution, the most channel partners reselling our products and services.”

Founded in 1998, MatchCraft touts itself as a pioneer in advertising technology and a leading platform for “selling and managing digital advertising campaigns at scale.” The company offers a suite of APIs, to third-party resellers, that power search, social, and display campaigns for local businesses – something that matches up well for Vendasta, which is also focused on local business products sold through resellers or channel partners.

MatchCraft claims customers in 22 countries that run marketing campaigns in more than 20 languages and dialects around the world.

The financial terms of the MatchCraft deal, which closed on December 21, were not disclosed. MatchCraft will continue to operate independently, led by CEO Sandy Lohr. The 70-person, remote company and Vendasta will work together on cross-selling opportunities, given a similar customer base.

CalendarHero and MatchCraft mark Saskatoon-based Vendasta’s first-ever acquisitions. Speaking with Vendasta CEO Brendan King, he noted that Vendasta’s roadmap includes more acquisitions as it looks to become a central distribution platform for channel partners and SMB customers.

“Our strategy is really to acquire companies that help us accelerate the growth, we want to have the most supply of products and services small businesses need, we want to have the biggest distribution, the most channel partners reselling our products and services, and we want to have the most demand the most SMBs in the ecosystem,” said King. “So anything that can help us accelerate that and really become that operating system of choice for local businesses, is how we will look at ongoing acquisitions.”

The 14-year-old company is well-capitalized to make such purchases after securing $119.5 million CAD in venture capital in late May.

RELATED: CalendarHero parlays successful pivot into potent acquisition by Vendasta

Vendasta secured the financing after a reversal that saw the company pull its initial public offering (IPO). The company had been looking to list on the Toronto Stock Exchange and raise $100 million before a market cool-down and shift in investor interest, according to The Globe and Mail reports from a source that the publication said was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

When asked about the potential of resurfacing public market plans, King deferred, noting that Vendasta is well-capitalized given its recent venture round and would only look to the public markets if the time was right.

According to Vendasta’s filings at the time, the startup pulled in revenues of $42.6 million in 2020 and $34.5 million in 2019.

Vendasta is looking to grow its market opportunities with the purchase of MatchCraft, which it notes brings advertising tech to its platform for the first time and allows channel partners to use one unified system for e-commerce needs.

Vendasta has acquired MatchCraft from the United States media group ​​Advance Local, which calls itself the ninth-largest news organization in the country. The company owns nine news and information websites, 24 local newspapers, and boasts 16 million social media followers.

Advance Local originally acquired MatchCraft in 2014 with the goal of accessing the latter’s then tens of millions of dollars in annual media spend for a list of clients that included local media providers.

“I don’t know that we could have built what MatchCraft has built in the time that [they did] and we don’t want to try,” said King. “But we know we need had that in our ecosystem. And so it’s a tremendous boost for both of us.

Meagan Simpson

Meagan Simpson

Meagan is the Associate Editor for BetaKit. A tech writer that is super proud to showcase the Canadian tech scene. Background in almost every type of journalism from sports to politics. Podcast and Harry Potter nerd, photographer and crazy cat lady.

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