Private equity firm HGGC has closed a deal for MotoFuze LLC, which the firm will add to automotive technology portfolio company AutoAlert. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
MotoFuze, founded in 2013, allows car dealers to receive, assess and use relevant, real-time data to automate sales and marketing efforts. The Raytown, Missouri-based company's technology services include social media campaigns, content management and predictive analytics.
AutoAlert and MotoFuze partnered initially in October to give some car dealers access to both services simultaneously. "Auto dealers are only scratching the surface of how integrating detailed customer data can impact sales," says MotoFuze CEO Mike Dullea. Before MotoFuze, Dullea co-founded dealership software firm VinSolutions, which was acquired by AutoTrader.com in 2011.
Many car dealerships are still using old-school technology and marketing, including direct mail, which is expensive and only gives dealers a static repository of information, according to HGGC principal Farouk Hussein. "AutoAlert is basically telling the salesperson, 'here are the people you should be contacting for a variety of reasons,'" Hussein says. "MotoFuze adds additional data layers to AutoAlert," he says.
HGGC bought AutoAlert in 2014. Steve Young, HGGC managing director and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, is chairman of the board. Palo Alto-based HGGC also owns Dealer-FX, another automotive technology business that the firm picked up in July. Dealer-FX provides online services, such as appointment making and check-in options.
HGGC is currently working to expand AutoAlert and Dealer-FX in Europe, Hussein says.
The firm won Mergers & Acquisitions M&A Mid-Market Private Equity Firm of the Year award for 2014, after closing nine acquisitions and one exit in 2014. Recently, the firm merged marketing firms Selligent and StrongView, after acquiring Selligent in July. For more on the firm, see HGGC CEO Rich Lawson Outlines Strategy for Deepening the Bench.