Mindshare Makes Add-on Play with Help from Peterson

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September 19, 2013 /Dow Jones/ – Mindshare Technologies Inc ., a customer experience management company that is backed by Sorenson Capital, said it acquired competitor Empathica Inc . with capital from Sorenson and a new investor, Peterson Partners .

The acquisition is Mindshare’s first since it received $20 million in growth capital from Sorenson in 2011. Although financial terms of the add-on deal weren’t disclosed, Peterson Partners typically makes equity investments of $2 million to $15 million in companies with annual revenue of $10 million to $50 million.

Sorenson, of Lehi, Utah, targets companies with annual revenue of $20 million to $200 million and earnings of $3 million to $25 million.

Mindshare, of Salt Lake City, and Empathica, of Mississauga, Ontario, offer technology and research that allow companies to gather and measure feedback from their customers to help shape their business strategies. Using various tools, including surveys and analytics technologies, the companies can help businesses analyze customer feedback to make real-time adjustments to their products or services, said John Sperry , founder and chief executive of Mindshare, which counts Hertz Global Holdings Inc . and McDonald’s Corp . among its clients.

“It’s like flying an airplane or a boat,” he said. “You wouldn’t wait six months to turn the steering wheel. Now with real-time telemetry coming from their customers, [companies] can make adjustments on the fly.”

The customer experience management sector is expected to increase from $2 billion in total revenue to $6 billion by 2017, according to Forrester Research.

The acquisition will dramatically expand Mindshare’s presence outside of the U.S. in Europe, the U.K. and Canada, said Mr. Sperry.

“They have the largest international presence of any provider in this space and we’re heavily U.S. based,” Mr. Sperry said. “That now becomes a great asset to Mindshare.”

Empathica’s founder and chief executive, Mike Amos, will report directly to Mr. Sperry as head of the combined company’s Toronto office. The combined company will have 300 employees across more than 125 countries.

Cascadia Capital served as Empathica’s financial adviser in the transaction.

By Laura Kruetzer