The two European companies align to scale data consent management globally, addressing consumers’ demand for greater insight and control into how companies track and use their personal information.
Two leaders in user consent management solutions, Usercentrics and Cybot, parent company of Cookiebot CMP, announced that they will merge operations to become a global market leader in delivering solutions that help brands protect their customers’ personal information. From now on, the combined business will operate under the name Usercentrics. The deal was orchestrated by growth equity firm Full In Partners, an investor in both companies. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
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The combined business will address the growing global demand from end users for greater data privacy and transparency. The company will scale to support organizations all over the world that are affected by the GDPR and new and impending regulations, empowering those organizations to handle their users’ data compliantly and in a way that builds trust and competitive advantage.
By joining forces in this growth-focused merger, Usercentrics and Cookiebot will further strengthen and expand their organizations and their combined platform for ensuring trustworthy data protection and transparency. The products offered by both companies will remain available, with Usercentrics focusing on enterprise and Cookiebot providing plug-and-play cookie compliance mainly to small- to mid-sized businesses.
The merger comes as the industry reaches a tipping point: consumer demand for clearer data practices is at an all-time high and consumer trust and loyalty is at stake for brands. 71 percent of people say they would stop doing business with a company if it gave away sensitive data without their permission, according to a 2020 McKinsey survey. To address concerns, several U.S. states have enacted or are planning to enact new legislation governing the way in which personal data is collected, stored, utilized and protected.
Usercentrics CEO and founder, Mischa Ruerup, stated, “Privacy is the new normal. However, businesses that approach data consent solely with a view of achieving regulatory compliance are missing the bigger picture. Transparent privacy practices inspire something really powerful for businesses: user trust. Together with Cookiebot, we are now in a stronger position to build an industry standard in user consent that leads with transparency and trust.”
The combined Usercentrics business is a global market leader in the consent management industry. Their diverse customer base and partner network include more than 20 technology and 2,000 channel partners serving organizations of all sizes in over 100 countries, across 700,000+ websites. Businesses and their users trust the handling of an average 61 million consents per day to Usercentrics and Cookiebot.
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The merger will focus on growing both companies by sharing resources and expertise to best serve all customer segments.
CEO and founder of Cybot, Daniel Johannsen, commented, “Long before the birth of GDPR, we understood the need for a solution that provides end users with transparency around what goes on with their data, and helps companies manage user consent correctly. During diligence with Usercentrics, we discovered a shared set of values and goals to make transparent data compliance accessible and achievable for companies of all sizes. Merging with Usercentrics provides an exciting opportunity to reach an even larger audience and spread our message about the importance of protecting privacy through transparency and consent even better”.
Elodie Dupuy, Managing Director and Co-Founder at Full In, added, “Through our conversations with Usercentrics and Cybot, it was clear that bringing these two great companies under one roof could prove transformative to their future growth. Full In is proud to have played a role in creating a market leader in consent management as user privacy becomes a more pressing topic worldwide.”
Usercentrics’ early investors Alstin Capital and Cavalry Ventures welcome this step as it paves the way for the two European RegTech leaders to address users’ desire for more privacy and transparency on a bigger, global scale. Carsten Maschmeyer, Founding Partner of Alstin Capital, stated, “GDPR is a European export to the world. Usercentrics and Cookiebot, located in data privacy’s birthplace, now manifest the urge for protection in one single global company.” Alstin Capital Partner Lukas Bennemann, responsible for all RegTech & Cyber Security investments at Alstin, will remain a Member of the Board in the combined company.
Usercentrics and its early investors were advised by Taylor Wessing. Cybot was advised by Ropes & Gray, Deloitte & Touche, Shearman & Sterling, Kromann Reumert, Danders & More and BDO Denmark. Full In Partners and its affiliates were advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
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