Middle-market PE firm HGGC has acquired online marketing research company Instantly Inc. for an undisclosed amount, to continue expanding its Survey Sampling International platform. HGGC won Mergers & Acquisitions M&A Mid-Market Private Equity Firm of the Year for 2014 after making nine acquisitions and one exit during a time of transition.
Instantly, founded in 2008 and based in Los Angeles, provides online and mobile marketing research tools such as surveys, product reviews and shopping demographics. Some of its past clients include 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM), Kellogg Co. (NYSE: K) and McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD).
Instantly is the fourth add-on deal since HGGC acquired Survey Sampling in 2014. In 2015, the firm invested in MRops, MyOpinions and SmileCity. Survey Sampling, located in Shelton, Connecticut, provides survey and other data research services.
“We’re very proud of the progress made over the past 12 months in strengthening SSI’s market position, which is completely aligned with the plan we and management laid out for the business from day one,” says HGGC co-founder Rich Lawson. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young is also one of the firm’s co-founders.
HGGC was founded in 2007 as Huntsman Gay Global Capital. The investors the firm was named for are Jon Huntsman Sr., chairman of chemical maker Huntsman Corp. (NYSE: HUN), and Robert Gay, a leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They have no involvement in the current fund.
Buyers have been increasingly showing interest in retail data research companies. Summit Partners is investing in retail software company Mi9 Retail and Tyco International plc (NYSE: TYC) is purchasing ShopperTrak.
JEGI advised Instantly.