SMI Data Bought By US Private Equity Firm GTCR

SMI Data Bought By US Private Equity Firm GTCR

GTCR, a leading private equity firm founded in 1980, has announced that it has made a strategic investment in Standard Media Index (SMI), a leading global advertising intelligence company, through GTCR’s portfolio company Dreamscape,  a partnership with marketing technology veterans Scott Knoll, David Hahn and Michael Iantosca.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. As part of the transaction, SMI’s chief executive officer, James Fennessy, will step down from his current position and will become a member of Dreamscape’s Board of Directors and remain a consultant to the business. Knoll will assume the role of chief executive officer of SMI, effective immediately.

SMI’s local operations in Australia are managed by former adlander Jane Ratcliffe (lead image) who commented: “We’re thrilled to see our vision for creating the leading advertising intelligence company has been valued by the Dreamscape team,’’ Ractliffe said.

“And it’s clear the values of our new investors are very much aligned with those of SMI given their success in growing IAS into the leading Digital campaign measurement business.’

“We look forward to working with them to deliver even further benefits to our clients and agency partners.

“I’d also like to thank my wonderful AU/NZ team for all their work; the Australian media agency leads who facilitated introductions to their global counterparts and also the team at Bailador Investments who backed our vision and stood by us as we expanded internationally,” Ractliffe said.

SMI is a leading provider of advertising data and insights to media marketplace participants. SMI’s innovative platform makes it possible for the marketing industry to have a real-world view into advertising spend, ad revenue, media pricing and future-booked commitments. The Company’s data- driven intelligence approach creates clear, granular and easy-to-use data sets for clients and agency partners to leverage in determining media mix models, competitive share of spend and pricing benchmarks. SMI has office locations in New York, London, Madrid, Sydney and Toronto, providing global data services and insights to markets in 34 countries around the world. In their major markets, SMI captures spend and pricing data that represents more than 95% of all U.S. national brand expenditure.

“SMI’s leading data and ad intelligence products provide clients with real-time information to help drive better strategies around spend, placement and yield optimisation,” said Knoll. “With the proliferation of media channels and ad types, the insights that SMI can help provide are now an essential driver of media strategy. The company’s deep relationships with clients and agency partners are underpinned by its customer-centric approach and its commitment to innovation. The SMI team has built a truly unique offering and, together with our partners at GTCR, we believe there is an opportunity to further advance the platform and drive growth across the business.”

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT, Dreamscape was founded in May 2020 as a partnership between Messrs. Knoll, Hahn and Iantosca and GTCR. The partnership’s focus is to acquire companies and assets as part of a strategy to build a leading marketing technology business. The investment in SMI is the second by Dreamscape. Last month it announced an investment in SQAD, a leading advertising research, analytics, and media planning software company.


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