Merkle (www.merkleinc.com), the nation's largest and fastest growing relationship marketing agency, announced it has received a minority equity investment from Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), a leading growth equity investor focused on premier technology companies. As a result of the investment, Merkle gains access to TCV's vast network, industry experience and funding to further enable the rapid expansion of its Customer Relationship Marketing, Marketing Technology and Digital Marketing capabilities.
As an independently owned and managed company, Merkle has achieved great success. Merkle has experienced double-digit growth for more than 20 years, added hundreds of employees and expanded to include offices across the country. The move to seek outside capital occurs in response to several pivotal events taking place in the marketing industry today, including the rise of customer strategy as a business strategy and growing interest in digital media and channel optimization. Merkle decided that seeking outside capital would be the best way to uniquely position the company for rapid growth and success and to continue to solidify its marketing leadership position as it serves world-class brands including Dell, Geico, DirecTV, Wendy's, American Cancer Society, OnStar, Urban Outfitters, T.G.I.Friday's, Disney and Microsoft.
The capital investment comes after an extensive review process, which was led by Merkle's executive committee and included several firms. Merkle selected TCV for its deep experience in working with successful growing companies, knowledge of the technology and marketing sectors, and strong position in the digital space. Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, Palo, Alto, Calif.-based TCV manages $7.7 billion in capital. The firm funds innovative technology companies in the digital and online sectors, among other industries. Previous investments include Netflix, Expedia, Orbitz, eHarmony, Fandango, CNET, Ariba, ExactTarget, Adknowledge and Zillow.com.
David Williams, Merkle Chairman and CEO said, "The investment by TCV is happening at a pivotal time in the marketing industry. Companies are actively embracing customer relationship marketing and looking to expand and optimize their marketing across media and channels. Merkle's partnership with TCV further strengthens our position and will enable us to move even faster in response to the rapidly evolving marketplace. I believe we are experiencing a unique and extremely exciting time in the industry. Our partnership with TCV will provide Merkle with a competitive edge as we continue our growth trajectory."
With the investment, David Yuan, a principal at TCV, will join Merkle's board of directors. Yuan said, "Merkle has established a track record of innovation and success that spans more than two decades, serving as a long-term partner to some of the world's most highly recognized companies and organizations. We are excited to work with the team at Merkle to accelerate its presence in the digital media sector, as well as foster continued innovation in the company's CRM solutions and consulting."