The poster child for new economy start-ups in Metro Detroit, ePrize
, has been acquired by Catterton Partners
, a Connecticut-based private-equity firm. The terms of the deal were not disclosed but the deal represents one of the more high-profitle exits for a Michigan-based software start-up.
"We have had a great past couple of years," says Matt Wise, CEO of ePrize. "We have had good growth."
Pleasant Ridge-based ePrize specializes in digital engagement software for marketing campaigns on the Internet, social media and mobile platforms. Josh Linkner
founded the company in 1999 before stepping aside in 2010 to become the CEO of Detroit Venture Partners, a downtown Detroit-base venture capital firm that is aggressively investing in local tech and IT start-ups.
Today, ePrize employs close to 400 people and about 20 interns after hiring 50 people over the last year. Catterton Partners acquired ePrize so it could accelerate the start-up's growth plans and expects to keep the firm in its current headquarters, a former brewery turned into a cutting-edge office space.
"We are looking to hire another 40 or so before the end of the year," Wise says.
Catterton Partners is particularly interested in ePrize's multi-channel engagement and CRM arenas. The start-up is a recognized industry leader, administering four times more national campaigns than any other company. Last year, ePrize moved aggressively into the mobile sector, acquiring a division of Apollo Data Technologies and then Cellit, a mobile solutions company, a few months later.
Source: Matt Wise, CEO of ePrize
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.