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Tech Image Helps Create More Than $6 Billion in Value for Sellers, Private Equity Firms Through Digital PR

A Brief History of Supporting High-Growth Tech Companies in the Exit Phase

Growth-phase technology companies are known to change hands quickly, moving from early-stage investors and/or through several private equity firms before being acquired by a large, publicly traded corporation or going public.

Since 2015, Tech Image has worked with a number of companies that meet this description. We can’t take credit for the entrepreneurial spirit, technology and leadership of these innovative companies. But we’re confident that our Digital PR Best Practices helped raise the brand awareness that drove media coverage of their products and services, moved them to the top of Google searches and gained the attention of potential buyers – ultimately creating more than $6 billion in value for the firms that acquired them.

What follows is a short history of these case studies, the scope of our work with them and the resulting transaction that propelled them through the exit phase of the acquisition cycle.

In 2017, Vaas Holdings, parent company of facial and license plate-recognition companies Digital Recognition Network and Vigilant Solutions, hired Tech image for an integrated program that included content strategy and media relations.

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In early 2019, Motorola Solutions (NYSE: MSI), a global leader in mission-critical communications, acquired Vaas International Holdings, Inc. for $445 million in cash and equity.

“Automated license plate recognition is an increasingly powerful tool for law enforcement,” said Greg Brown, chairman and CEO, Motorola Solutions. “With this acquisition, VaaS will expand our command center software portfolio with the largest shareable database of vehicle location information, [which] can help shorten response times and improve the speed and accuracy of investigations.”

Runzheimer, a provider of employee mobility management services, including business vehicle reimbursement plans and employee relocation support services, brought in Tech Image as its partner agency in 2017 to help tell its story and drive media coverage of its business. The agency’s approach combined proactive media campaign management and trend monitoring for media opportunities, specifically in the financial services, insurance, technology and public sector/government verticals.

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In 2018, private equity firm Thoma Bravo acquired Runzheimer and its competitor Motus, combining the two entities into a new organization.

“It’s a rare moment in our business when we have an opportunity to simultaneously combine two world-class companies like Motus and Runzheimer,” said A.J. Rohde, a partner at Thoma Bravo, in a press release announcing the deal. Details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

In 2016, Savo Group needed support building strategies and tactics for media relations efforts targeting trade publications. It also wanted to build its brand in the local Chicago market.

Tech Image developed a media relations program that generated immediate results for sales enablement solutions provider.

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In 2018, rival Seismic, the global leader in sales and marketing enablement, acquired Savo Group. Details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“Sales enablement programs are having a huge impact on revenue for enterprises because they take everything off the plate of the seller, allowing them to focus on building the best relationships with buyers,” said Doug Winter, co-founder and CEO of Seismic. “However, they require an equally powerful sales enablement solution to really see it through. In that regard, today’s announcement puts even further space between Seismic and the rest of the sales enablement market.”

In 2017, Clarity Consulting, a Chicago-based consultancy with deep experience in custom development, cloud implementations and digital experience, asked Tech Image to lead its media relations and content development, focusing on Tier One business and technology outlets,

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According to a Perficient (NASDAQ: PRFT) SEC Filing, the total allocable purchase price consideration was $41.5 million, comprising $30.7 million in cash and $7.3 million in company common stock.

Perficient’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Davis said Clarity’s “outstanding capabilities, impressive client roster, and strong reputation [will] expand and enhance our formidable market presence and broaden and deepen our long-standing partnership with Microsoft” in a June 2017 release announcing the deal.

Tech Image had represented several divisions of Forsythe Technology since 2012, including its KillerIT in-house startup and Forsythe Data Centers.

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In 2017, Sirius Computer Solutions acquired employee-owned Forsythe. Forsythe was widely reported to have revenues exceeding $1 billion. According to CRN, “The deal will create a 3,000-employee, $3.26 billion channel giant with a $510 million combined security practice as well as enormous infrastructure capabilities around both IBM and Oracle.”

“This is an extremely exciting time for Sirius and our clients,” said Joe Mertens, president and CEO of Sirius. “Combining with Forsythe helps us expand the depth of our solutions and services offerings for our clients, specifically in security, risk management, and data center transformation. We look forward to combining the best of both companies in support of our commitment to the high-quality delivery of customized solutions for our clients.”

Bill Brennan, president and CEO of Forsythe Technology, added, “We are extremely impressed with the reputation and credibility Sirius has built in the IT industry, and look forward to the expanded capabilities we will be able to bring to our clients as a result of this acquisition.”

Fleetmatics, a leading global provider of mobile workforce solutions for fleet-based businesses, retained Tech Image in 2013 to conduct an industry audit and develop a thought leadership program. In 2016, Tech Image added social media content to its scope.

In 2016, shortly after its acquisition of Yahoo!, Verizon (NYSE: VZ) acquired Fleetmatics, merging the company with its Verizon Connect brand. According to TechCrunch, the deal was worth $2.4 billion in cash.

“Fleetmatics is a market leader in North America – and increasingly internationally – and they’ve developed a wide-range of compelling SaaS-based products and solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses,” said Andrés Irlando, CEO of Verizon Telematics (now Verizon Connect). “The powerful combination of products and services, software platforms, robust customer bases, domain expertise and experience, and talented and passionate teams among Fleetmatics, the recently acquired Telogis, and Verizon Telematics will position the combined companies to become a leading provider of fleet and mobile workforce management solutions globally.”

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Disaster recovery, migration and high-availability software provider Vision Solutions retained Tech Image to help build its brand awareness in 2012. The Tech Image/Vision Solutions partnership included targeted media relations outreach, content development and strategic consulting.

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Santa Monica, California-based Clearlake Capital acquired Vision Solutions in 2016.

“We are excited to team with Clearlake, which brings proven software experience and substantial resources that will be instrumental as we aggressively pursue growth and evaluate M&A opportunities,” said then-CEO of Vision Solutioins Nicolaas Vlok.

According to the Orange County Register, the deal was valued at $1.2 billion.

Infogix, a data control and analytics company, retained Tech Image in 2013 to manage its media relations and social media programs. The agency provided strategic counsel and guidance on breaking and ongoing news stories, enabling Infogix to “newsjack” several media opportunities related to the Affordable Care Act, positioning its CEO as an expert and thought leader on the subject.

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Private equity firm Thoma Bravo acquired Infogix in 2016 for $1 billion, according to AIA Review.

“Infogix is the market leader in transaction controls monitoring and predictive analytics for enterprise customers across healthcare, financial services, media and communications, insurance, and other key verticals,” said A.J. Rohde, a partner at Thoma Bravo. “We’ve been extremely impressed by the product vision and customer-centric ethos of Infogix’s CEO and president, Sumit Nijhawan, and the entire leadership team, and look forward to working closely with them to further push innovation and accelerate growth.”

In 2013, International Business Systems retained Tech Image for an integrated public relations program. IBS’ program included refreshing its core messaging, media and influencer outreach, and an ongoing content development program.

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Marlin Equity Partners, a global investment firm with more than $3 billion of capital under management, did not disclose details of the acquisition. “The acquisition is good news for IBS and our customers, partners, suppliers and everyone who contributes to IBS.  We are excited to be working in partnership with Marlin, developing our products and markets while continuing to deliver outstanding value to our customers.”

In early 2105, former Cleversafe CEO Chris Gladwin retained Tech Image for a social media monitoring and measurement program, asking the agency to curate and promote industry stories and trends on Cleversafe’s LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+, including the creation of internal communications tools to share content with employees.

According to Bloomberg, IBM paid more than $1.3 billion to acquire Cleversafe.

Michael Monahan

Author Michael Monahan

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