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FEATURE7 February 2013

A year of buying and selling

Features News

ReInvention co-founder Keith Price sheds some light on the company’s Critical Mix and Authentic Response acquistions, which capped off a busy first twelve months in business.

Research caught up with Price, a year to the day since we last spoke, to learn more about the deals and what year two has in store for ReInvention.

Research: Not a lot of companies make acquisitions in their first year of business. Was that always the plan?
Keith Price:
Authentic Response was not part of our original strategy. It was a bit opportunistic but came together nicely. We’d known the owners of that company for many years and they wanted to focus on a different business – the email deliverability company Return Path. It was clear from our dealings with [Return Path CEO] Matt Blumberg in particular that he was looking for a long-term home for Authentic Response.

When Hugh and I went through the business opportunity it became very clear to us that the company had a fantastic panel and really strong, deeply-rooted client relationships based on a similar foundation as ReInvention’s. There was also little to no duplication across the firms, and that was a very happy outcome for us both. It created one larger team, whereas in my experience some of these acquisitions can get rather complicated from a personnel point of view.

Critical Mix was strategic, however. We felt that a proprietary platform that was focused on the needs of market research firms was an important offering that was needed in the marketplace. And when we looked at Critical Mix – another company we have known for a very long time – we saw what we thought was a market leader in the proprietary programming and scripting platform, but more importantly we saw real power in the reporting and analytics platform that [Critical Mix president] Chris Goglia and his team had developed. We felt this was key to successfully servicing market research firms: to have the flexibility of a proprietary platform that can be customised but which has a robust reporting back-end.

It’s a tool that project people at a research firm can use to dive into quick insights but it’s also a tool that data tabulation staff can use to do higher end analytics on the data.

We’ve spent the past year using the technology and we felt that it was important that we own the technology because we’re seeing demand in the marketplace for modified or customised solutions.

So are we likely to see you make further deals of this sort in 2013?
KP:
The area of investment we will make this year is expanding into the UK and the European marketplace – probably in the second half of this year. We’ll build out in-market solutions, with both client-facing and project management staff. The key there is we need to find a really strong entrepreneur that wants to build a business.

@RESEARCH LIVE

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