LEAP Media Solutions, a marketing management services company, was acquired by customer data platform BlueVenn in January 2019.
LEAP provides end-to-end marketing managed services, enabled by SaaS technology, on behalf of more than 600 daily publishing companies across the US. It was founded by Daniel Williams (CEO), Tom Ratkovich and James Gold in 2012. The company was bootstrapped.
The sale price was $2.5 million, Willams told They Got Acquired. That was based on 1x annual recurring revenue (ARR), with a three-year earnout, he said.
And interestingly, “the company that acquired LEAP was the technology that we deployed to provide our managed services,” Williams said.
LEAP utilized BlueVenn technology for years to provide media publishers with tailored data analytics through a shared-hosting model, according to a press release. That enabled smaller publishers to use the same comprehensive marketing tools as larger competitors without a large investment of resources.
Some of the publishing outfits LEAP worked with included Gannett, Tribune, Lee Enterprises, and several hundreds of small-to-medium sized and independently owned daily newspapers.
Finding a technology partner through acquisition
Through the acquisition, LEAP hoped to access new non-publishing markets that could further leverage its marketing services, Williams said. Media consolidation “required that we anchor ourselves to a technology partner to solidify our financial future,” he added.
Williams continued on at LEAP Media for two years before exiting with Gold to create BlueLena.io, a company that focuses on audience and revenue growth for emerging news media. Gold also works as the president of Sentinel Colorado, a digital news publication serving the greater Denver area.
As a result of the acquisition, LEAP continued to offer services to media clients, but focused on more seamless integration between data analytics and marketing automation tools, according to BlueVenn President Curt Bloom.