Blackstone (NYSE:BX) announced today that private equity funds managed by Blackstone (“Blackstone”) have entered into a definitive agreement to make a significant equity investment in Simpli.fi (“Simpli.fi” or the “Company”), a leader in programmatic advertising and agency management software. Blackstone will join existing investor GTCR, a leading private equity firm, as majority shareholders in the Company. The investment, which would be made through Blackstone’s flagship private equity vehicle, values the company at approximately $1.5 billion.
Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, Simpli.fi is dedicated to helping media buying organizations perform more effectively and efficiently. Simpli.fi’s full suite of mission critical workflow and ad buying software enables agencies and media groups to manage their core operations and execute high ROI media spend through digital ad campaigns. Each month, the Company’s innovative CTV and mobile programmatic advertising platform powers over 120,000 campaigns for 30,000 active advertisers.
GTCR acquired a majority interest in the Company in 2017 and, alongside co-founders Frost Prioleau and Paul Harrison, has helped build Simpli.fi into a scaled and rapidly growing platform that uniquely serves the needs of independent advertising agencies and local advertisers. Blackstone’s investment will enable the Company to further accelerate innovation and organic growth initiatives as well as to continue executing on its targeted acquisition strategy. The investment from Blackstone is a continuation of its thematic focus on high quality digital advertising technology platforms and follows its recent investments in Liftoff and Vungle.
“We are thrilled to partner with Blackstone as we pursue the next stage of growth for Simpli.fi,” said Mr. Prioleau, who has served as Simpli.fi’s CEO since its inception. “Blackstone’s depth of capabilities and expertise are a great complement to those of GTCR, and their investment is a validation of the fantastic work done by our team members to get us to this point.” Mr. Harrison said: “When our team created Simpli.fi’s core technology, we understood the influence and impact it would have on our industry. We’re ecstatic that Blackstone shares that vision and is a welcomed addition to our great partnership with GTCR.”
Sachin Bavishi, a Managing Director at Blackstone, said: “Simpli.fi’s highly differentiated technology platform and superior customer service have made it a clear leader in its space. Digital advertising is a high-conviction investment theme at Blackstone and Simpli.fi sits at the intersection of multiple attractive tailwinds, including the continued shift in local media spend to programmatic digital and CTV. We are very excited to partner with the management team and GTCR to further accelerate the Company’s growth.” Martin Brand, Head of North American Private Equity at Blackstone and Global Co-Head of Technology Investing, added: “Simpli.fi has a long runway for future growth led by its talented founders and we look forward to contributing Blackstone’s resources to support the Company’s rapid growth trajectory.”
Craig Bondy, a Managing Director at GTCR, said: “We want to congratulate the entire Simpli.fi team on their accomplishments over the last three and a half years. Since we partnered with Frost and Paul, Simpli.fi has achieved impressive growth through new product investment and strategic acquisitions. We believe strongly in Simpli.fi’s future and look forward to continued growth.” Stephen Master, a Principal at GTCR added: “We are delighted to partner with Blackstone in the next phase of growth and innovation for Simpli.fi. Their domain expertise, shared vision for success and fresh perspectives will help accelerate management’s goal of becoming the leading software platform for independent advertising agencies and media buying organizations.”
Blackstone and GTCR will have equal representation on the Simpli.fi Board of Directors.
Evercore and LUMA Partners served as financial advisors, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor to Simpli.fi and GTCR. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as legal advisor to Blackstone.
Simpli.fi is a leading provider of workflow software and programmatic advertising solutions, serving over 1400 agencies, advertisers, and media buying organizations. Our solutions enable our customers to perform more effectively and efficiently, and to maximize ROI on their advertising spend across CTV, mobile, display, and other media types. Our platform delivers performance on budgets of all sizes, executing over 120,000 campaigns for 30,000 advertisers in a typical month. For more information please visit our website at www.simpli.fi
Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, and the communities in which we work. We do this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Our $649 billion in assets under management include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, life sciences, growth equity, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, real assets, and secondary funds, all on a global basis. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com. Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone
Founded in 1980, GTCR is a leading private equity firm focused on investing in growth companies in the Growth Business Services, Technology, Media & Telecommunications, Healthcare and Financial Services & Technology industries. The Chicago-based firm pioneered The Leaders Strategy™ – finding and partnering with management leaders in core domains to identify, acquire and build market-leading companies through transformational acquisitions and organic growth. Since its inception, GTCR has invested more than $20 billion in over 250 companies. For more information, please visit www.gtcr.com.