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Bulgarian eCommerce startup Metrilo acquired by one of the world’s fastest-growing digital marketing platforms

Murry Ivanoff, Metrilo
Image credit: Murry Ivanoff, founder and CEO of Metrilo
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Metrilo, the Bulgarian marketing and sales analytics SaaS platform for e-commerce businesses has been acquired by Sendinblue, a French all-in-one digital marketing suite, in an agreement of undisclosed amount. The deal for Metrilo comes together with the acquisition of two other e-commerce marketing companies, Chatra – a messaging platform for SMEs, and PushOwl which is Shopify’s top app for push notifications. The total sum of the three deals is more than $47M and the move comes a year after Sendinblue received a $160M Series B round to fuel product expansion and focus on growth in the North American Market. Sendinblue, which grew 100% before its previous round, has over 175, 000 users, and more than 100 million emails are sent through the platform every day. 

The news follows the growth of Metrilo to reaching 1K e-commerce business clients and its need to further scale. “The acquisition and the joint work with Sendinblue allows us to transform from being a niche solution to being one of the top players in the e-commerce marketing sector. The moment for an exit is right because we already know that Metrilo’s product works seamlessly with Sendinblue. In addition, our joint efforts will enable us to make a more meaningful impact on the development of SMEs by allowing us to reach more companies from all over the world,” comments for The Recursive Murry Ivanoff, founder and CEO of Metrilo.

Daniel Tomov, Executive Director of Eleven Capital, shares that the deal marks the first exit of Eleven Capital, the public holding of Eleven and the first VC fund on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange. He points at the fact that the profitable exit demonstrates that the promise to the individual investors is a real one. “Another important aspect is that it indeed usually takes 6-7 years from inception for a startup to reach a point where it becomes more attractive as an acquisition target. Metrilo is the first of a number of companies from the portfolio of Eleven Capital that are entering a similar stage of their development,” he adds. 

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The journey of Metrilo

Founded in April 2014 by Peter Iliev and Murry Ivanoff, Metrilo closed their first seed round from Eleven and LAUNCHub Ventures in May 2014. This was soon followed by a second seed round from Speedinvest, LAUNCHub Ventures, and Eleven in 2015, and a $600K round by the same investors in 2017. The last funding round of the company was made by Eleven in October 2020 and amounted to $50K.

Basically, Metrilo is an all-in-one analytics CRM, and email marketing platform. It allows online merchants and brands to use data-driven strategies and insights for customer growth and retention. Users of the platform are provided with information about traffic, visitor and customer behavior, product performance, sales, and conversion funnels.  

“Metrillo grew from 0 to a point when the founders needed to reassess whether they wanted to continue pushing onwards alone or join forces with a bigger player from their domain. Murry managed to put together a great team, which overcame several hurdles over the years and persevered to the current successful step in their development,” Daniel Tomov highlights. 

Тhis is the second big exit for a Bulgarian e-commerce startup in the span of less than two years,  with SMSBump being the previous one, estimated to be over $37M. The Executive Director of Eleven Capital shares that the size of the deal is smaller than Yotpo’s acquisition of SMSBump, which was part of a different fund managed by Eleven, Eleven Ventures. “Perhaps more importantly it is one of a series of successful exits for VC-backed companies in Bulgaria, which bodes well for the whole ecosystem. Last but not least, yet another technology company with unicorn aspirations will have a strong presence in Bulgaria with a spillover effect of attracting even more interest to the local startups from abroad,” he remarks. 

What comes next for the team of Metrilo?

When it comes to the Sofia office of Metrilo, Ivanoff shares that the team will continue to work independently and is expected to grow significantly in the near future as job opportunities are already opening. He also adds that, in general, there won’t be major organizational changes following the acquisition. Murry Ivanoff will keep his role as the CEO of Metrilo and General Manager of the local office, but in addition, he will also become the Product Manager for Ecommerce Solutions in Sendinblue. 

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“Metrilo and Sendinblue have a common mission to help SMEs grow their competencies to a point where they can compete with big corporations. He explains that the solutions of Metrilo will be fully integrated into Sendinblue with some minor improvements. The goal is for all of the current functionalities of Metrilo to be available in the products of Sendinblue in the next 9 to 12 months. 

What the synergies will do for the future of marketing and e-commerce?

By incorporating the technology of Metrilo, next year Sendinblue will be able to provide its clients with solutions for monitoring and analyzing the ROI of marketing performance and improving sales performance. The messaging solutions of Chatra will allow the company to answer consumer questions via both their website and social channels such as a live messenger app. Sendinblue will also begin using website push notifications to decrease the number of abandoned shopping carts and help its clients achieve e-commerce growth through PushOwl.

After completing the three acquisitions, Sendinblue now has over 500 employees and currently has around 80 job openings across its international locations. In addition to its existing offices in Seattle, Paris, Berlin, Noida, and Toronto, the company will open two more offices in Sofia, Bulgaria, and Bangalore, India where were the offices of Metrilo and PushOwl. 

Interestingly, one of Sendinblue’s competitors, Mailchimp, was acquired by Intuit for $12B just last week – the biggest ever deal for a bootstrapped company.

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Elena is an Innovation Reporter at The Recursive, an online media dedicated to the emerging tech and startup ecosystems in Southeast Europe. She is keen on sharing the innovation stories that shape the regional ecosystem and has a great interest in fintech, IoT, and biotech startups. Elena is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Political Science at the American University in Bulgaria.