[x+1] has secured a $17 million debt facility with Ares Capital. The company plans to invest in product development, driven by input from its clients as it attempts to provide one platform that manages all paid and owned media.
John Nardone, CEO at [x+1], said while some are more mature or more fragmented than others, it may require a partnership to support call center chat services, SMS or search. It will build out services like Web site optimization and demand-side platforms. Rather than build out the platform or outsource the service, the provider of digital marketing and data management software will likely acquire companies that offer mobile and social support.
The focus also remains on the importance of data accuracy and quality, so the company's technology relies on first-party data from clients to evaluate the accuracy of third-party sources.
When Online Media Daily asked whether [x+1] has an exit strategy, Nardone said: "We always hold open the possibility of going public if we continue to grow, but we expect someone will buy us long before we get to the public markets."
He believes companies that lack buyers and don't have direct relationships with end clients rather than agencies, or do not have solid software-based revenue models, will continue to go public this year.
As for [x+1], the product road map leads to an integrated platform to manage paid and owned media, according to Nardone, who believes the company remains the only solution for clients who don't want the cost and complexity of stitching together multiple mismatched systems. The market seems to validate his approach.
Ares Capital, which made the investment, had a fair value of approximately $5.9 billion as of Dec. 31, 2012, and 152 portfolio companies backed by 95 different private equity sponsors. It has investments in logistics, management, dental, laundry, and broadband communications.