Meltwater Announces Agreement to Acquire Leading Social Media Intelligence Company Linkfluence for 50 Million Euro in a Combination of Cash, Equity, and Earn-Out

Meltwater B.V., a leading global provider of media intelligence and social analytics, has entered into an agreement under which it is committed to acquire Linkfluence, a French SaaS company using artificial intelligence to algorithmically mine social media for consumer insights.

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The Linkfluence acquisition would be Meltwater’s ninth since 2016, and the first since the company was listed on Euronext Growth Oslo in December 2020. The acquisition is part of Meltwater’s growth strategy, which involves investments and acquisitions in the social media segment.

For the full year 2020, Linkfluence reached a revenue of 17 million euro. Excluding earn-out, Meltwater has agreed to purchase Linkfluence for a price of 2 times 2020 revenue, to be settled 50% in cash and 50% in new shares to be issued by Meltwater at a volume weighted average price to be determined prior to closing. The acquisition has been board approved by both companies and remains subject to completion of the information consultation process of the Linkfluence employees’ committee, as well as other customary conditions to closing. The transaction is expected to close by May 2021.

“Market research is a 73 billion-dollar industry which historically has relied heavily on manual labor. We have been impressed with Linkfluence’s deep client relationships with some of the world’s most demanding brands and its pioneering work in using smart algorithms and social media to automate market research. By combining Linkfluence’s award-winning SaaS solutions and expertise within market research and Meltwater’s global reach with 50 sales offices on 6 continents, we will be well positioned to be the driving force of automating the multi-billion dollar market research industry,” says John Box, CEO of Meltwater.

Since Linkfluence was founded in 2006 the company has grown into an international organization with 150 employees across seven offices, headquartered in Paris. Clients include industry-leading brands such as LVMH, Nike, Danone, Pernod Ricard, Toyota and Epic Games.

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“We share the same vision of the future as Meltwater of bringing AI-enabled consumer insights to global brands through social listening. There has never been more data available to more companies, and the winners of tomorrow will be the brands that understand their customers at the speed of the web by using the internet as an important source for leading indicators. Joining forces with Meltwater will bring tremendous value to our clients by enabling us to leverage their fantastic assets and strengthen our innovation capabilities,” says Guillaume Decugis, CEO of Linkfluence.

Linkfluence’s SaaS solutions are used by brands to identify buyer communities online and understand how to activate them, see how a brand is associated with certain topics or values to measure brand perception as well as detect and monitor trends or analyze customer experience. For each of these use cases, Linkfluence’s technology analyzes billions of public content pieces on the social web using natural language processing or computer vision and structures this data into actionable insights, available to its clients in real-time and on demand. By providing an enterprise-grade platform scalable to global organizations, Linkfluence helps brands make better, more customer-centric decisions at every step of their lifecycles.

“Given Meltwater’s sophisticated technology platform Fairhair.ai and our global reach, we are uniquely positioned to integrate best-of-class companies in key social use cases into a comprehensive social enterprise suite. Market research is one of the largest and most interesting opportunities within the social space. With Linkfluence’s industry leading SaaS solution in AI-enabled consumer insights, Meltwater will add a complementary and strategic solution to its current social suite which will benefit our 28,000 customers globally,” says John Box.

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