Raleigh social media software company Expion, which was formed in 2010 and today has about 75 employees, has been acquired for an undisclosed sum by a privately held Toronto company with a complementary business.
The acquisition by Sysomos, which bills itself as a social intelligence company and had about 225 employees before it purchased Expion, was unveiled Wednesday.
Expion’s co-founder and CEO, Peter Heffring, said the deal will enable his business to accelerate its growth – especially since a Canadian private equity firm, OMERS Private Equity, has committed to invest nearly $100 million in Sysomos over 18 months if the company achieves certain milestones.
Expion also will benefit from tapping into Sysomos’s much larger sales and marketing team, said Heffring, who has been named a division president.
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Heffring said the two businesses are “completely complementary and with no overlap.” He is anticipating that Sysomos will hire 15-to-20 employees in Raleigh by the end of the year.
Heffring previously co-founded and was the president of Ceres Integrated Solutions, a software company which was acquired in 2000 by NCR for cash and stock valued at $90 million.
Expion’s software is used by companies to publish and manage social media content, analyze its effectiveness and determine market trends. It has 125 customers, many of them corporate behemoths such as Coca-Cola, Mastercard, NBC Universal and AB InBev.
Sysomos says its analytics software is used by more than 1,500 customers – including the likes of Boeing, Genentech and Marriott – to monitor social media chatter and “give marketers real-time answers about what their customers think and feel.”
“Combining with Expion, we think we have the perfect scenario of being able to analyze and being able to engage,” said Mark Young, chief marketing officer at Sysomos.
Young said that Sysomos has been adding software engineers at a rapid clip – it’s added 45 so far this year and expects to add 30 to 50 more by the end of the year.
“One of the things we’ve loved about Expion is the stronghold of engineering talent down in the Research Triangle area,” Young said. “We think it’s a fantastic area to grow both companies – not just Expion but Sysomos as well.”