• vajna Sep 24, 2012

    Mergermarket: Burt to close series A round before year-end to accelerate international growth, CEO says by vajna

    As appeared in Mergermarket Proprietary Intelligence section on September 24th, 2012

    Burt, a Swedish analytics platform for media companies, is in talks with strategic and financial investors to raise more than USD 7m before the year-end, founder and CEO Gustav Von Sydow said.

    The company raised around USD 3m last year from angel investors and Swedish venture capital fund Industrifonden. The new funding round will bring total funding above the USD 10m mark and Industrifonden will follow up on its early investment, the CEO said. The founders are still discussing whether they will sell a majority stake, but are open to that option, Von Sydow said.

    GP Bullhound has a long-term relationship with the company and is advising in the fundraising process.

    Burt’s main product is a measurement and analytics tool for publishers, advertisers, ad agencies and networks. The company was founded in 2009 but has only developed its current tools last year, after a couple of iterations, theexecutive said. The CEO declined to reveal the company’s revenues, but said they were between USD 1m and USD 5m. The company is growing 50 to 100% every quarter and actively working on breaking even. It expects to pass the USD 5m threshold in 2013, he added.

    The firm now has 36 enterprise clients in eight markets and is particularly strong in the Nordics region and in Benelux. Its priority is to dominate these two markets and then expand to Germany and the US. Management has already started exploring these markets and the CEO is often traveling to the US to develop new business, he said.

    Burt operates as a software-as-a-service tool, with clients paying a subscription price per user and per amount of data used. Competitors are mostly analytics tools from IBM, Oracle and Adobe. These companies are strongly based on a direct sales model but are much larger and with established reputations,the CEO said.

    Currently, Burt sells exclusively through direct sales as well, but wants to add alternative sales channels such as partnerships and a self-service version of the software, in order to grow faster and be able to compete with the incumbent players, Von Sydow said. The company will only decide to expand aggressively to other markets once it has the alternative distribution channels in place. Turkey and Brazil are particularly interesting regions to look at in the future, he noted.

    Burt was founded by Von Sydow and Gustav Martner, who is still an executive creative director at creative agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky Europe (CP+B). Both founders worked at Daddy, an agency founded by Martner and then acquired by CP+B. The founders own a majority stake in the company.