Texas-based private equity group Vista Equity Partners has announced its acquisition of Framingham, Mass. and Berlin-based Applause, a provider of market insights and digital testing technology.
Applause draws on 300,000 on-demand product testers that test software for customers including Facebook, Microsoft, McDonalds, the NFL, and Google. The company, founded in January 2007, has raised over $115 million in funding from backers including Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, QuestMark Partners, MassVentures and Longworth Venture Partners. As part of the deal, Applause will continue to operate under the same executive leadership.
The software provider’s Chief Executive Officer Doron Reuveni suggests that while the buyout was not necessary for Applause, it presents “an opportunity to grow and scale” moving forward. The company, which employs about 330 people worldwide, generates an approximate $100 million in annual revenue.
“We are delighted that Applause is joining the Vista family. We look forward to partnering with the Applause team to spur innovation, accelerate growth and extend its market leadership in community driven digital experiences,” said Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. “The market demand for Applause has never been stronger. It is fueled by businesses that understand that digital ‘customer experiences’ are the primary way to compete. The Applause solution enables leading digital brands to ensure that their software works across any device, in every location.”
The deal comes amid a lull period for the tech IPO market, as software providers instead look to the private markets to return value back to early investors.
Applause competes against companies including Boston-based Perfecto Mobile, UserTesting and Xamarin, owned by Microsoft Corp.
Financial terms of the deal, expected to close within the next few weeks, were not disclosed.