The French company Sarbacane has secured $27 million funding that it plans to develop more technology in areas like AI-based marketing automation, as well as to continue its international expansion.
French investment company IDI is leading the investment with a $10 million stake, with management led by founder Mathieu Tarnus also investing. Tarnus has been and remains the majority shareholder. Paul de Fombelle, the COO who was on the founding team of the company, said the valuation is around $45 million with this investment.
Sarbacane’s flagship product is an SaaS-based tool that lets businesses craft, send out, measure and respond to marketing campaigns over email and text messaging, which is sold as Sarbacane in France and Mailify outside of Francophonic countries
The company is based out of the north of France, in a town called Hem, and it has been around for nearly 20 years founded in 2001. It is already profitable, and it has raised some money in the past but has never disclosed how much.
It has some 10,000 customers on its books already, with a heavy emphasis on small and medium businesses, but also government agencies and a number of big names such as Christian Dior, L’Occitane, Mondial Relay and Warner Music, which do some self-service but also lean on consultancy from Sarbacane itself to help fine-tune how it all works.
“We raised this money because in Europe, the players in email marketing and marketing automation are ten times smaller than they are in the US,” he said. “The market is huge in Europe but still very fragmented and so we have a big ambition to be a part of the consolidation.”
All that potentially puts martech companies, and businesses using a lot of marketing and advertising technology, into an interesting, and sometimes not great, position, but de Fombelle said that in fact it’s been a big benefactor of the rise of GDPR, not least because it has always had a strong view on data protection and put a lot of the measures required by the regulations in place well before they were conceived.
That’s one reason why investors are interested even if Sarbacane itself hasn’t been trumpeting its own brand much.
“The Sarbacane Group is accelerating its development through the growth of its various brands, all of which are leaders in their respective markets. We are thrilled to partner with the team in the implementation of this strategy, and in its diversification and acquisition projects in the field of marketing software and B2B services,” said Julien Bentz, a new investor and member of IDI’s executive committee.