AUSTIN, Texas, March. 26, 2021– Bazaarvoice, Inc., the leading provider of product reviews and user-generated content (UGC) solutions, today announced a majority investment from Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. (“THL”), a premier private equity firm investing in growth companies. Marlin Equity Partners (“Marlin”), the current majority investor in Bazaarvoice, will continue to be a material shareholder.
UGC is one of the most influential factors in driving e-commerce traffic and conversion, and with a network of over 11,500 brands and retailers, Bazaarvoice enables its clients to harness the power of UGC to grow their digital commerce offerings. UGC is pivotal to brand and retailer strategies, especially as more of the consumer shopping journey transitions to digital channels, a shift that has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Bazaarvoice provides brands and retailers with technology to collect, moderate, curate, and distribute UGC across more places than ever before in the complex and ever-expanding e-commerce landscape. With Bazaarvoice’s Influenster community, a network of over 6 million consumers writing more than 1 million reviews each month, brands can generate reviews and social content and gain new consumer and product insights.
“Over the last year, Bazaarvoice has grown significantly by expanding its integrated solution portfolio in response to our customers’ increasing and growing need to leverage UGC at scale to drive revenue,” said Keith Nealon, CEO of Bazaarvoice. “Last year, we solidified our position as the only full-funnel platform by acquiring Curalate, a visual and social content offering that helps create product inspiration and allows consumers to make unexpected discoveries. In addition, we launched Network Insights to better help brands understand consumer sentiment trending and relative competitive performance based on feedback from their customers.”
Regarding the transaction announcement, CEO Nealon said “THL shares our and Marlin’s passion for software and content that help companies build and grow their e-commerce businesses. We are excited to partner with THL for the next chapter of growth for Bazaarvoice.”
“Shopping migration from offline to online channels is a trend that we expect to sustain for many years,” said Jeff Swenson, managing director at THL. “Consumers value the voices of other consumers in their shopping journeys, and Bazaarvoice offers marketers a mission-critical set of solutions to help acquire, curate and deliver UGC at scale to their customers. THL is excited to support Bazaarvoice in continuously growing and innovating its software and content offerings to help brands and retailers drive e-commerce revenue.”
“We look forward to joining forces with THL and continuing to accelerate growth at Bazaarvoice,” said Nathan Pingelton, a managing director at Marlin. “We view Bazaarvoice as a world-class business which has become the leading provider of UGC to brands and retailers. Given its compelling value proposition and multiple industry tailwinds, the business is well positioned for continued success.”
UBS and Latham & Watkins acted as exclusive financial and legal advisors to Bazaarvoice. Barclays and Kirkland & Ellis acted as exclusive financial and legal advisors to THL. JPMorgan also acted as financial advisor to Marlin. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in calendar Q2 2021.
Thousands of the world’s leading brands and retailers trust Bazaarvoice technology, services, and expertise to drive revenue, extend reach, gain actionable insights, and create loyal advocates. Bazaarvoice’s extensive global retail, social, and search syndication network, product-passionate community, and enterprise-level technology provide the tools brands and retailers need to create smarter shopper experiences across the entire customer journey.
Founded in 2005, Bazaarvoice is headquartered in Austin, Texas, with offices in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. For more information, visit www.bazaarvoice.com.
Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. (“THL”) is a premier private equity firm investing in middle market growth companies exclusively in three sectors: Financial Services, Healthcare and Technology & Business Solutions. THL couples deep sector expertise with dedicated internal operating resources to transform and build great companies of lasting value in partnership with management. The Firm’s domain expertise and resources help to build great companies with an aim to accelerate growth, improve operations and drive long-term sustainable value. Since 1974, THL has raised more than $25 billion of equity capital, invested in over 150 companies and completed more than 400 add-on acquisitions representing an aggregate enterprise value at acquisition of over $200 billion. For more information on THL, please visit www.thl.com.
About Marlin Equity Partners
Marlin Equity Partners is a global investment firm with over $7.8 billion of capital under management. The firm is focused on providing corporate parents, shareholders and other stakeholders with tailored solutions that meet their business and liquidity needs. Marlin invests in businesses across multiple industries where its capital base, industry relationships and extensive network of operational resources significantly strengthen a company’s outlook and enhance value. Since its inception, Marlin, through its group of funds and related companies, has successfully completed over 180 acquisitions. The firm is headquartered in Los Angeles, California with an additional office in London. For more information, please visit www.marlinequity.com.