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Temasek-backed Manthan to acquire US firm RichRelevance
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Bengaluru-based retail analytics firm Manthan Software Services Pvt. Ltd is acquiring San Francisco-based RichRelevance as they seek to become the largest independent personalisation player globally.

RichRelevance said in a statement it has signed a series of strategic partnership agreements with Manthan towards consolidating their category-leading businesses in the coming year.

The deal will help the companies to provide an end-to-end algorithmic customer experience marketing solution that includes the leading business-to-consumer customer data platform, retail marketing and merchandising solution etc.

The financial details of the deal couldn’t be ascertained immediately.

As part of the transaction, Manthan's investor Temasek and Avataar Venture Partners, which was recently floated by Norwest Venture Partners executive,  will provide additional investment capital to shore up growth in the personalization space. Centerview Capital and Greylock Partners, existing investors of RichRelevance, will also bring in funds.

Bill Pearce, executive chairman at RichRelevance, said the deal reflects the market need for retailers of all types to better leverage customer data to effectively drive personalized marketing and interactive experiences.

“We certainly see Manthan Software, a leader in AI-driven cloud analytics, as absolutely strategic in expanding our joint value for our customers globally,” he added.

Atul Jalan, chief executive officer at Manthan Software, said Manthan and RichRelevance can deliver a new class of industry-critical solutions to consumer retail companies such as brands, retailers, marketplaces, quick service restaurants (QSRs), publishers, and financial services.

RichRelevance, which has personalized search, content and recommendations capabilities, drives digital growth and brand loyalty for global B2C and B2B firms and retailers such as Burberry and Office Depot. It has a presence in 44 countries with nine offices globally.

Founded in 2004, Manthan offers cloud analytics for consumer-facing businesses and is said to excel in the application of decision sciences and Artificial Intelligence (AI). It has offices in Santa Clara, London, Dubai, Mexico City, Singapore and Manila and has a presence in 22 countries.

The firm raised Rs 47 lakh in seed funding from SIDBI Venture Capital at a valuation of $2.5 million in 2005. Two years later, it received a Series A funding round worth Rs 24 crore from Chiratae Ventures (formerly IDG Ventures India) and DFJ ePlanet Ventures at a valuation of over $13 million.

It received Series B round worth $15 million in 2009 led by Eight Roads Ventures, with participation from Chiratae Ventures and DFJ ePlanet Ventures. The bulk of the money went to SIDBI Venture Capital.

Norwest Venture Partners and Eight Roads Ventures invested $2.95 million (around Rs 18 crore) in the company in June 2014 and $4 million (Rs 22 crore) in January 2013. The two firms also invested $15 million in the firm’s Series C round of funding, the bulk of which went to previous investors Chiratae Ventures and DFJ ePlanet Ventures, with the latter exiting the venture then.

In February 2015, Singapore’s state-owned investment firm Temasek led a $60 million (Rs 370 crore) investment round in the firm. Existing investor Norwest also participated in the funding round. The round also saw one of three existing investors Chiratae Ventures exiting while another investor Eight Roads Ventures partially exited.

In 2017, VCCircle had reported that Manthan was in talks for a majority stake sale.

Earlier this year, Avataar Venture Partners picked up stakes held by Norwest in Manthan and five other companies in a rare secondaries deal. Avataar Venture Partners is a $300 million (Rs 2,129 crore) venture capital fund with global private equity investment firm HarbourVest Partners LLC as its sole Limited Partner (LP).

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