GTCR, a Chicago-based private equity firm, has acquired a majority stake in Simpli.fi, a programmatic advertising platform that helps brands master local marketing at scale through the use of unstructured data, Simpli.fi announced Thursday.
The transaction is set to close late this month, according to a release. The Simpli.fi management team, headed up by co-founders Frost Prioleau and Paul Harrison, will remain in charge of the company’s operations.
“We have known GTCR for several years, but when we spoke to them in the past we were not large enough or profitable enough to be a fit for their investment criteria,” Prioleau wrote in a statement emailed to Street Fight. “They were impressed by our differentiated capabilities and our consistent growth, and finally we grew enough to be a fit. GTCR has strong knowledge in our space, and also has a fantastic reputation for backing teams to take their companies to the next level of growth, so they are a great fit for us.”
In the release, GTCR’s Managing Director Craig Bondy voiced confidence in the vision of the company’s founders and Simpli.fi’s position in the local marketing technology space. “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,” Bondy said.
Founded in 2010 and based in Fort Worth, Texas, Simpli.fi has made a name for itself in the hyperlocal marketing industry by harnessing unstructured data to supercharge its clients’ marketing campaigns. The company has executed over 50,000 campaigns on its platform, according to its blog.
Unstructured data comprises “almost all of the data we produce in a digital world,” the company explains on its site. While most marketing technology platforms can only make use of structured data, such as that produced by audience segments, Simpli.fi leverages unstructured data stemming from everyday sources including emails, tweets, videos, and audio files.
Going forward, the company will look to build on recent growth and explore opportunities to eat up some of its smaller competitors.
“We’ve been growing organically at over 50% for the last few years, and we expect to continue that pace of growth going forward,” Prioleau wrote. “With GTCR as a financial partner, we will continue to develop our platform as the leading platform for localized programmatic advertising, and we can also now look for acquisition opportunities to accelerate our growth.”
According to Crunchbase, Simpli.fi’s last round of funding was announced nearly four years ago in December 2013. That round, a Series B of $16 million, was led by Frontier Capital.
Joseph Zappa is Street Fight’s news editor.