Drift Announces Strategic Investment from Vista Equity Partners; Partnership Will Help Customers Accelerate Revenue via B2B Conversational Commerce
Drift Eclipses Unicorn Status from Vista Growth Investment
BOSTON, September 1, 2021-- Drift®, the leader in Conversational Commerce for B2B, today announced a strategic partnership with Vista Equity Partners ("Vista)", a leading global investment firm focused exclusively on enterprise software, data and technology-enabled businesses. Vista's strategic growth investment in Drift will further accelerate the company's mission to make business buying frictionless, more enjoyable and more human.
Drift has always been about reimagining the B2B buying experience. Today, Drift's 50,000 customers are unifying sales and marketing teams on a single platform to deliver personalized conversations that build trust and accelerate revenue. In partnership with Vista, Drift will continue to invest in its customers' success while expanding its product leadership, scaling globally and bringing Conversational Commerce to more B2B businesses.
Drift introduced Conversational Marketing five years ago as a way to help marketers harness the digital experience for lead generation. The company quickly realized that removing the friction between buyers and sellers impacted much more than leads – it accelerated revenue. This led Drift to expand their focus to deliver a robust platform that includes Conversational Sales, integrating chat, email, video and artificial intelligence to power conversations, not just on the customers' website, but to the sales team too.
In recent years, expectations around B2B buying experiences have blended to mirror B2C expectations. In fact, at least 80% of B2B buyers are not only looking for but expect a buying experience similar to that of a B2C customer (Lumoa, 2019). Additionally, the pandemic accelerated the urgency to transform how businesses drive revenue and underscored the importance of keeping conversations at the center of commerce. In 2021 alone, Drift's customers generated $5 billion in pipeline value to fuel future deals by making the customer side of the buying process easier – proving that putting customers first in the sales and marketing cycle is a winning strategy.
"Our purpose as a company remains simple and consistent: Build a platform that makes it simpler for customers to buy from you. We have an opportunity to bring learnings from the B2C buyer experience to the enterprise and introduce Conversational Commerce as a new B2B category," said David Cancel, CEO of Drift. "Given its extensive experience investing in next-generation SaaS companies, we believe Vista is the best partner to help Drift – and our customers – further these efforts. I am excited to work with Vista's team of investors, operators and technologists who will help us fulfill our ambitious vision and lead the Conversational Commerce category for decades to come."
"David and I are proud to be one of the only Latino-founded companies to ever achieve over $1 billion valuation – a rare, Latino-founded unicorn. We want to see more of us do the same and we will pave the way for other Latino founders and leaders to achieve success," said Elias Torres, CTO and cofounder of Drift. "Our partnership with Vista marks the start of Drift's second chapter: Maniacally focusing on building an enduring company that accelerates innovation for customers."
Vista is a leading global technology investor that has worked with hundreds of enterprise software companies to help them grow their businesses. Vista's investment in Drift is indicative of its commitment to hypergrowth companies and furthers its leadership investing in next-generation SaaS companies. As a Vista portfolio company, Drift will benefit from Vista's industry expertise, best practices and vast ecosystem to help scale operations, continue the customer-first mantra and accelerate technology and product innovation.
"As a next-generation SaaS company with a strong leadership team, differentiated platform and passionate customer base, Drift is uniquely qualified and well positioned to define and lead this new market of Conversational Commerce," said Monti Saroya, co-head of the Flagship Fund and senior managing director at Vista. "It is a privilege to partner with talented founders like David and Elias, and we look forward to supporting them and the entire Drift team to help advance their vision to remove the friction from business buying, and in turn, create tremendous value for customers as Drift's hypergrowth continues to accelerate."
Drift and Vista expect the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2021. Learn more about Drift and Conversational Commerce in David's blog or by visiting drift.com and about Vista by visiting vistaequitypartners.com.
Qatalyst Partners served as financial advisor and Latham and Watkins LLP acted as legal counsel to Drift. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel to Vista.
Drift® is the leader in Conversational Commerce for B2B, making business buying frictionless, more enjoyable and more human. Drift combines Conversational Marketing and Conversational Sales into a single platform that integrates chat, email, video and artificial intelligence (AI) to power the right conversations at the right time between buyers and sellers. More than 50,000 customers use Drift to deliver a unified customer experience that builds trust and accelerates revenue. Representing less than 1% of unicorns led by Latino founders, Drift is building an equitable, enduring company to transform the way businesses buy from businesses. For more information, visit www.drift.com and follow @drift.
About Vista Equity Partners
Vista is a leading global investment firm with more than $77 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2021. The firm exclusively invests in enterprise software, data and technology-enabled organizations across private equity, permanent capital, credit, and public equity strategies, bringing an approach that prioritizes creating enduring market value for the benefit of its global ecosystem of investors, companies, customers and employees. Vista's investments are anchored by a sizable long-term capital base, experience in structuring technology-oriented transactions and proven, flexible management techniques that drive sustainable growth. Vista believes the transformative power of technology is the key to an even better future – a healthier planet, a smarter economy, a diverse and inclusive community and a broader path to prosperity. Further information is available at vistaequitypartners.com. Follow Vista on LinkedIn, @Vista Equity Partners, and on Twitter, @Vista_Equity.
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