PARIS — Launchmetrics, the data research and insights company for fashion, luxury and beauty, has acquired its largest competitor, media planning firm DMR Group, as it seeks to reach a critical size in view of an initial public offering.
With the acquisition, Launchmetrics boosts its customer base by around 20 percent to 1,200 clients, bringing it a step closer to reaching its objective of hitting $100 million in annual recurring revenue by 2025, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
“That’s really the measure that shows we’re heading toward an IPO in the next few years,” Michael Jais, chief executive officer of Launchmetrics, told WWD. While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, the executive said Launchmetrics was on track to post revenues of more than $50 million in 2022.
The acquisition allows it to expand its existing tools to optimize and measure brand performance with DMR’s “white glove” service offering highly customized methods for monitoring, tracking and analyzing the data behind leading brands’ communication activities and public relations strategies.
“We’re going to keep the added value of what they were doing for their clients. I think it’s really very important, because that quality of service is one of DMR’s great strengths. Then we’re going to add data and technology to give those companies access to even more powerful insights,” Jais explained.
DMR brings to the table a strong expertise in traditional media and two decades of historical data, while Launchmetrics has more specialized tools for analyzing social media, and will give existing DMR clients access to information about China, having gained a foothold in the world’s biggest luxury market with its 2020 acquisition of Chinese influencer analytics platform Parklu.
“We think it’s important to be able to offer a solution that allows us to address all of our clients’ needs,” Jais said. “Instead of going head-to-head with DMR to establish who has the best coverage and the best historical data, we’ll be focusing on the future. This allows me to grow faster.”
Launchmetrics technology monitors data for more than 5,000 lifestyle brands, tracking upward of 5 million documents a day.
In addition to building stronger links between media insights and companies’ marketing and communications activities, Launchmetrics is also looking to recruit new clients. Jais estimates there are 20,000 brands with annual revenues of more than $5 million in the fashion, luxury and beauty sector that could potentially use the company’s services.
“Consolidating all these insights with DMR will allow us to offer these services, which are currently restricted to accounts of a certain size, to smaller companies,” he said.
Some of these already use Launchmetrics tools for sample trafficking and digital asset management, but could benefit from analytics and monitoring services to measure the return on investment of their campaigns, in order to better target spending by channel and country, Jais explained.
The deal comes as companies step up their spending after two years of belt-tightening due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We think that in 2022, we’re going to see new types of projects that are less focused on return on investment and budget adjustment, and more on how you can grow with new customers,” Jais said.
“Over the last two years, brands focused on the short-term, and that made sense. Now they’re thinking more long-term, and they’ll be focusing more on branding efforts and brand performance. That’s where we come in, and that’s why the timing of this acquisition couldn’t be better,” he added.
The acquisition roughly doubles Launchmetrics’ staff size to 400 people spread over 10 offices worldwide.
“At DMR, we care deeply about each and every one of our clients’ specificities and as founder I have also cared for more than 20 years about our employees, whom I consider my family,” Enzo di Sarli, president and founder of DMR Group, said in the statement.
“Launchmetrics has been a longstanding competitor of DMR, the conversation has been a natural evolution over the years and my main goal, thanks to this decision, is to ensure my legacy, over the next years both to DMR clients, whose trust was essential over the years and to DMR worldwide staff who have always been by my side throughout this exciting journey,” he added.
Di Sarli will stay on as a consultant to ensure a smooth transition for his clients.