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US-Bulgarian Leanplum gets acquired by Clevertap, to build one of the world’s most powerful engines for retention marketing

Momchil Kyurkchiev, co-founder of Leanplum (left) and Anand Jain, co-founder of CleverTap (right) in our office at betahaus, Leanplum acquisition
Image credit: Momchil Kyurkchiev, co-founder of Leanplum (right) and Anand Jain, co-founder of CleverTap (left) in our office at betahaus
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  • After 10 years of building world-class products for mobile marketing engagement, today the US-Bulgarian company Leanplum announces its acquisition by the US-based retention cloud leader CleverTap. 
  • The two companies will now be able to build the first end-to-end user engagement and retention cloud platform. 
  • The Leanplum acquisition stands at strategic importance for the local ecosystem as the Bulgarian office is said to become one of the main R&D centers of the company, together with the office in Mumbai. 

 

By combining their product stacks, Leanplum and CleverTap will now serve a total customer base of over 1200 customers in more than 100 countries around the world. The acquisition would increase CleverTap’s revenue by 30-35% and the company plans to reach annual recurring revenue of $100M by the end of 2022. The solutions of CleverTap and Leanplum are used by mobile applications installed on over 3B smartphones, or 1 in 2 on the planet.

The new entity will have development centers and customer success teams across North America, Europe, Latin America, India, South East Asia, and the Middle East. The Leanplum acquisition deal is of an undisclosed amount and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022. 

“When we started Leanplum, our vision was to meet customers’ real-time needs at the cutting edge of technology. We have succeeded in that, but as the market has matured, to fully meet the increasing demands put on brands today, we needed to bring in the best analytics, segmentation, and engagement tools, to help our customers build valuable, long-term relationships with their customers. This is why joining forces with CleverTap makes the most sense, and I am excited about the combined capabilities we will now bring to Leanplum customers worldwide,” Momchil Kyurkchiev, co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Leanplum, highlights. 

Building the next level of customer engagement together

Co-founded by Andrew First and Momchil Kyurkchiev, the mobile marketing engagement platform Leanplum helps brands to orchestrate multi-channel campaigns. Based in San Francisco, Leanplum has its technical and product engineering headquarters in Sofia, Bulgaria. The company has worked with international clients such as Tinder, Grab, Tesco, and Zynga. Up to date, the company has received around $130M in funding from Norwest Venture Partners, Canaan Partners, Shasta Ventures, and LAUNCHub Ventures

Read more:  Leanplum CEO: Our goal is to become a unicorn

Founded one year after Leanplum, CleverTap has developed a powerful retention cloud that drives context and personalization through a unified and deep data layer, AI-powered insights, and automation. The company serves global brands such as Vodafone Idea, SonyLIV, and Gojek, and is backed by leading venture capital firms, including Sequoia India, Tiger Global Management, and Accel.

According to Sidharth Malik, CEO of CleverTap, by joining forces the two organizations bridge the gap created by multiple martech tools and customer data platforms and will be able to meet the growing needs of user-obsessed digital brands in a much more efficient way. “Joining forces allows us to bring advanced product and technology capabilities as brands strive to do live segmentation, anticipate user intentions and actions, automate and deploy real-time campaigns for the highest possible conversions, all from one single dashboard,” Malik shares.

After the Leanplum acquisition, the two companies will work with digital brands to help them increase their users’ engagement, retention, and lifetime value by delivering hyper-personalized, relevant, and contextual user experiences in real-time. More specifically, they will provide their clients with real-time hyper-personalization, A/B testing, and scalable omnichannel engagement solutions, as well as with analytics and segmentation features. The integrated solutions would allow growth and marketing teams globally to eliminate silos in user communication and increase the overall lifetime value of each user.

“A few months back, we used to be pretty fierce competitors, but an intro was made through one of our board members. The more we got to know each other, the more things between us started to click. We realized that there is so much to complement in terms of our geography and customer focus –  we focus a lot on the US and Europe, while CleverTap really owns the rest of the world across India, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. In addition, some of the verticals that focus on are gaming and subscription, while CleverTap targets mainly fintech, streaming, and media clients,” Momchil Kyurkchiev, co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Leanplum, shares with The Recursive

Read more:  Acquisition of a Technology Business in Bulgaria: Identifying the Right Earn-Out Structure

Following the Leanplum acquisition by CleverTap, stay tuned for an interview with the co-founders of the two companies, Momchil Kyurkchiev (Leanplum) and Anand Jain (CleverTap). 

Sofia will be the main R&D center of the joint company

Starting off in San Francisco, Leanplum received its first financial backing of $825K from several Bulgarian VCs and angel investors including Lyuben Belov and Bogomil Balkansky. In 2014, after raising a subsequent round, Leanplum opened its product development site in Sofia. In 2018, the marketing engagement platform acquired the Bulgarian AI-based conversational interface startup Connecto.ai. Later, the Sofia-based VC LAUNCHub Ventures joined their Series D in 2019. 

For eight years, Leanplum managed to grow its Sofia R&D site to a team of almost 60 employees.

“One of the unique things that we are offering to the market is working at an exciting startup,  with high potential growth, and more importantly solving really hard problems. I have worked at Google, I remember how everybody wanted to work on the hard problems. We don’t have a Google or Facebook in Bulgaria, but we now have a CleverTap and Leanplum in Bulgaria. From an engineering point of view, this will be a great opportunity. We will be looking to grow the office by about 20% until the end of the year,” Momchil Kyurkchiev highlights. 

 

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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.
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