Acceleration Partners acquires Grovia.

The acquisition represents an effort to increase velocity and access new markets.


This morning Acceleration Partners (AP) announced the acquisition of Grovia, a recruitment platform that helps affiliate marketers access influencers, publishers and affiliates.


Summary:

  • AP continues to be acquisitive

  • This acquisition allows AP to automate some labor intensive element of parter recruitment

  • The integration of Grovia potentially gives AP to access new markets

  • Grovia sacrifices broader affiliate agency market for acquisition of a strong service component, data, management resources and capital.

  • Vertical integration is a new test for AP & Mountaingate’s management teams, who have proven themselves adept at horizontal integration.

AP's acquisitive streak has been in the name of market share - acquiring other affiliate agencies. Today they announced the acquisition of Grovia, a tool that provides automation for the recruitment of affiliates, publishers and influencers. Grovia is one of the more popular tools for agencies. A recent question posed on the Martech Record Slack forum asked affiliate agencies to share their favorite tools, and Grovia was a surprise favorite.


Typically an agency recruits with a combination of talent, tools and in-house software. This acquisition allows AP to bring an industry favorite tool in house, and potentially out of the hands of competitors.


“AP will be able to increase the velocity and scale of our partner marketing efforts. . . {and} be able to offer services to a wider range of clients, with Grovia allowing additional flexibility to our model” said Matt Wool, CEO Acceleration Partners


One of the biggest costs for affiliate agencies is paying managers to find, recruit and onboard publishers. Unlike other digital channels, which look like high frequency trading desks, affiliate agencies still need to recruit and onboard partners manually. These costs increase the breakeven costs for a client. So any automation to that process allows an agency to open new markets.


Grovia grew as the need for a diversified partner strategy evolved. They were able to build automation around an increasingly complicated and fractured market.


For Grovia, this is an interesting exit. On one hand, they potentially sacrifice access to the rest of the affiliate agency market that was core to their growth. On the other hand, they now have access to AP’s data, large client roster, a team of experienced account executives and Mountaingate’s management resources and capital.


Ian Brodie, CEO, Grovia added “We’re aligned on a vision to blend software and services and with AP’s historical data there is a huge opportunity to leverage this data across Grovia’s partner recruitment platform to unlock powerful new functionality.”


What’s next? Affiliate is about scale. The more you can lower upfront costs the wider your market is. With this acquisition AP hopes to lower a core cost. AP successfully integrated two acquisitions thus far. However, those acquisitions were fairly straightforward market share grabs. Grovia is an industry tool, used by competitors, which presents more complex strategic and operational questions. It will be a management test for a team that has proven themselves capable so far.


For Grovia, Rob Schab and Ian Brodie founded, built and sold a company in a relatively short period of time, proving their quite capable and have a good sense of a changing market. It will be interesting to see what they do in the long term.


For the foreseeable future Rob and Ian will continue to lead the Grovia team and eventually support both AP and Grovia go-to-markets.



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