VC Scaleworks Acquires SearchSpring, Bets Big On Search Technology

San Antonio-based venture finance and equity firm Scaleworks has acquired site-search ecommerce provider SearchSpring. The private equity firm reportedly has been known for acquiring startups with between $4 million and $10 million in annual run rate (ARR) to grow them.

“After 11 years of operating independently as a bootstrapped company, SearchSpring will now have the backing of a team of technology veterans that share our passion for search, merchandising and helping brands and retailers succeed online,” SearchSpring Cofounder Gareth Dismore wrote in a blog post published Thursday.

SearchSpring provides AI-powered search and navigation to direct-to-consumers brands such as Kate Somerville, Moen, Volcom, Wet Seal, Natori, Bikini.com, Wildfox, Lime Crime, among others. Since its inception in 2007, SearchSpring notes powering more than 9.2 billion searches.

Peter Messana, who focuses on retail, will step in to replace Dismore as CEO. He brings more than 20 years of experience, having spent time at Home Depot, Summit Sports/Austin Kayak and most recently COO of GroupBy.

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Scaleworks’ acquisition of SearchSpring is the first for its $80 million second fund round, which the company announced in February. Scaleworks branded its investment style in 2016, “as a mix of private equity and venture capital because it buys its targets outright like a private equity shop and will invest additional capital, if needed, to help a business grow, like a VC firm,” according to one report.

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