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by Michael Shapiro | May 11, 2017

Private equity firm HGGC has acquired etouches, a fast-growing provider of event-management and venue-sourcing technology. Previously, etouches had multiple venture-capital investors. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Etouches has expanded significantly over the past year via acquisitions of its own, including the June 2016 purchase of sourcing and booking platform Zentila and this spring's purchase of the Bluetooth-driven tech startup Loopd. HGGC's investment is likely to further drive the company's success.

“We’re confident that the additional resources we can bring to bear will accelerate etouches’ already impressive growth and outpace the competition," noted Steve Young, cofounder and managing director of HGGC. "Because we see etouches as a growth investment just starting to reach its potential, we’ve made this acquisition without leverage and are putting cash on the balance sheet to ensure nothing slows the company’s trajectory.” 

Etouches describes its technology as an end-to-end meetings platform, providing a data-driven approach to hotel and venue sourcing, event marketing and content, registration and logistics, attendee engagement and mobile tools, as well as data analytics and ROI calculation. The company has more than 1,300 customers globally and has executed 46,000 events over the past 12 months. 

Following last year's purchase of Cvent by Vista Equity Partners, this deal is yet more evidence of the financial community's growing interest in the massive event management software market. Like Vista, which also owns the marketing automation platform Marketo, HGGC is adding event software to a portfolio that already boasts marketing services technology; etouches joins a lineup that includes the marketing platforms AutoAlert, DealerFX, Integrity, MyWebGrocer, Selligent and SSI. Event software represents another crucial source of data that many corporations don't yet have.

“Organizations are hungry for a broad solution set that can be used by multiple stakeholders to address all event management needs, as well as a centralized data source that is critical for event analytics," said Farouk Hussein, principal at HGGC. "Etouches provides that solution, which tracks real-time customer engagement, drives overall lower event costs and increases ROI and productivity.”

Etouches already is looking for compatibilities with the other companies in the HGGC portfolio. "We were introduced to Selligent by HGGC prior to the acquisition becoming final," said etouches CFO Matthew Fish, "and are currently exploring synergies with the company for some of the marketing automation aspects of our platform."

Under the leadership of CEO Oni Chukwu, etouches has more than doubled revenue since 2014. Chukwu is excited about the company's next phase. “The HGGC team’s experience in marketing technology gives them a very sophisticated understanding of the opportunity in front of us," Chukwu said, "as enterprises transition from single-point solutions to a suite of solutions that manage the entire event lifecycle.”