How Sarbacane seeks to establish itself in digital marketing

Sarbacane announces this Tuesday, November 8, 2022, the raising of 110 million euros, half in debt and the other in equity. The software publisher in the marketing area (campaign management, sending newsletters, etc.) declares that it wants to accelerate its development, hence the opening of its capital after years of self-financing. After the arrival of IDI in its capital in 2020, around the EMZ fund to participate in this round.

Marketing Solutions for SMEs

Founded in 2001 in Hem, northern France, Sarbacane now has offices in Berlin, Freiburg and Barcelona. Its offer dedicated to business communication is a mix between a piece of software and personalized support on demand. The choice for them: either tool discovery support and technical support, or broader support with a coach who assists them in their marketing campaigns. Sarbacane claims to have an offering halfway between industry giants like Adobe and startups that don’t support it beyond its product.

Sarbacane’s solutions are therefore especially geared towards SMEs. Quite atypically, Sarbacane’s target is quite BtoB with many public administrations (ministries, CAF, Urssaf, municipalities, etc.). Then there are e-commerce companies, hotels, car dealerships… She claims to have around 25,000 customers in Europe.

An external growth strategy

This fundraiser “it is not used to finance organic growth, but has a strategic destination for external growth”, explains Mathieu Tarnus, founder and CEO of Sarbacane. The company takes over Lille Marketing startup 1By1 and its twenty employees. This start-up, which publishes digital marketing software, specializes in aggregating business data. The solution is especially aimed at BtoC companies with a lot of data: it aggregates all these flows into a single platform and offers data mining solutions. At this level, the tools developed by Sarbacane can be interfaced. Mathieu Tarnus emphasizes “a beautiful complementarity” between the two companies, since Sarbacane does not have a single data repository.

By acquiring this new layer, the company would like to reach a new market: that of large accounts. For this, the two companies will work to strengthen the interactions between the two solutions. “The external growth strategy has two purposes: consolidation and diversification”, explains Mathieu Tarnus. Sarbacane aims to become one of the biggest European players in this relatively mature digital marketing market, where competition is fierce.

Goal of 100 million revenue in 2026

In this direction, he took over Rapidmail in March 2021. This German start-up, which still has its own identity, product and teams, allowed it to establish itself in Germany in the long term. The acquisition of Marketing 1By1 should follow the same path. “The Sarbacane platform evolves over time by integrating the offerings of the acquired companies”, sums up Mathieu Tarnus. Datananas, the third company acquired by Sarbacane, also maintains its identity and brand, but the solution is integrated into the Sarbacane software package.

That’s why the company changes its name to become Grupo Positivo. Sarbacane remains the operational brand, and Grupo Positivo is positioned above to encompass other entities such as Marketing 1By1, Rapidmail and Datananas. “The strategy is financial and behind it, the brands maintain their identity, their teams and their operation”sums up Mathieu Tarnus.

The Positivo Group is expected to earn around 26 to 27 million euros this year, representing a growth of 30% compared to the previous year. The ambition is to reach 100 million euros in turnover by 2026, with a staff of around 500 people, against the current 170. For this, Mathieu Tarnus explains betting on “organic growth of 10 to 15% complemented by external growth of around 20%.” Other acquisitions should be made in the coming years.

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