David Keene– It’s hot off the wires: UK-based EnQii (provider of SaaS-based digital signage content management software) and Israel-based Minicom (PC-based content routing) are merging. Driven by both the success of both companies, and by an injection from venture capital players JVP, Wellington Partners, Amadeus Capital Partners, and Aviv Ventures, the merger will no doubt give the combined company a more global footprint. The new company is to be based in New York City. Stu Armstrong, long the face of EnQii in the U.S., will lead the US business.
In light of last week’s announcement by Minicom of a new relationship with Scala–the huge software provider– things might get tricky. But Scala’s main strength is premise-based software, and EnQii is about SaaS, so probably all will be able to play friendly.
Here is the press release just put out by the companies today:
Digital Signage Leaders - EnQii and Minicom Digital Signage – Merge to Create Full-Service Global Company
EnQii Holdings and Minicom Digital Signage (MDS) today announced the merger of their companies, creating a global leader in multichannel message management. The merged company will offer a seamless platform that provides leadership, simplicity and innovation in a complex marketplace.
enqii minicom digital signage dooh merger Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) led a growth capital financing round together with other existing shareholders - Wellington Partners, Amadeus Capital Partners and Aviv Ventures - to complete the merger. The new financing will go towards expanding the current solutions portfolio as well as to grant necessary resources for additional acquisitions.
Lauded with multiple awards in their respective fields, EnQii-MDS will provide marketers with an end-to-end solution encompassing distribution, content management and proof-of-performance - while reducing capital and operational costs. This platform will ensure the delivery of consumer messaging that has recency, relevancy and accountability and which will deliver a strong return on investment to customers at the lowest total cost of ownership. These solutions are designed to be future-proofed, utilizing a cloud-based platform that offers the flexibility to accommodate both small and large installs.
“This is an exciting milestone for the industry as it creates a true global powerhouse providing an integrated suite of hardware, software and services required for the best digital signage deployments going forward,” said Ajay Chowdhury, CEO of the new venture and former CEO of EnQii. “I am particularly excited with our new solutions such as IP Streaming, mobile and web linkages and the ability to provide proof of performance for signage networks.”
Headquartered in New York City, EnQii-MDS will operate from six offices around the world and a global network of dedicated partners that includes 150 worldwide distributors serving thousands of resellers and system integrators.
“This strategic move creates a powerful vertical solution in an industry that has been plagued by complexity,” states Ronni Guggenheim, President of EnQii-MDS and former CEO of Minicom Digital Signage. “This gives us a deeper base to continue to provide compelling innovations in this rapidly growing industry to our current and future partners across the globe.”
Led by a veteran team of industry innovators, EnQii-MDS sets a new standard that will provide focused expertise that larger players cannot deliver. In addition to the officers previously mentioned, Shlomo Nimrodi, has been named Chairman. Stuart Armstrong and Amir Shaked have been tapped to lead the US business and Max Stevens-Guille will lead the Canadian business. In Israel Ofer Dar will act as the Group’s CFO, Moti Guberman will be in charge of operations and Mordehay Hilu will drive the R&D.
Gadi Tirosh, General Partner at JVP and Chairman of MDS concluded: “When we invested in MDS over a year ago, we clearly identified the potential of leveraging MDS’ unique market position and channels as a platform for further growth -- organically and through M&A. This merger is the realization of this strategy creating the most prominent, fastest growing market leader.”
EnQii is a global leader in the digital signage and out-of-home media market with offices in New York, Toronto and London. As one of the world’s truly global digital out-of-home companies, EnQii currently services thousands of locations across more than 14 countries. EnQii couples a deep understanding of customer behaviour with its powerful media technologies to provide clients with fully managed solutions that enables them to advance their overall customer communication strategy for many years to come. Investors in the company include Amadeus Capital Partners and Wellington Partners. EnQii has recently been voted as the number one global digital signage provider for the third year in a row by DailyDOOH.com and a Tier One player by Frost & Sullivan for the second year in a row
About Minicom Digital Signage (MDS)
Minicom Digital Signage (minicomds.com) is a leader in providing advanced media delivery solutions and innovative management platforms based on cutting edge technology in order to reduce OPEX and enhance the value of Digital Signage networks. MDS’ mission is to offer network operators, integrators and distributors solutions which allow the distribution of rich content from a player to multiple remote digital displays with advanced network management capabilities in order to bring the highest value to the network at the lowest capital and operational costs. With more than two decades of experience and partnerships all over the world, as well as 400,000 screen displays powered in all types of industry verticals, Minicom Digital Signage is a recognized leader in providing innovative and comprehensive solutions to the ever-growing challenges of the Digital Signage industry.
JVP is one of the leading venture capital funds in Israel. The fund operates from Jerusalem and manages over $780 million. JVP focuses on building market leaders in the fields of digital media technology, including gaming and virtual worlds, mobile media, software and hardware applications and Internet advertising. With leading industry venture partners and consultants in New York, Los Angeles and Europe and an international network of strategic partners, JVP leverages its unique market expertise, its dedicated management team and substantial capital base to build companies with the potential of shaping the global markets.
Wellington Partners is one the most successful pan-European venture capital firms. With €800 million under management and offices in London, Munich, Palo Alto and Zurich, the firm invests into companies throughout Europe that have the potential to become global leaders, in the areas of Information Technology, Media Convergence, Cleantech and Life Science. Since 1998, Wellington Partners has invested in more than 100 companies in Europe, including now publicly traded Actelion, SAF and XING and successful privately held companies like Alando (acquired by eBay), Ciao (acquired by Microsoft) and ImmobilienScout24 (acquired by Deutsche Telekom).
Amadeus Capital Partners is one of Europe’s leading technology venture capital firms. Since its inception in 1997, the firm has backed companies across the technology spectrum in industries that include communications and networking hardware and software, cleantech, medtech, computer hardware and software, media, and e–commerce. Amadeus has £460m under management, with active investments in around 40 companies at any time. Amadeus offers its investee companies more than just capital – it offers vision, imagination, experience and a network of contacts across the globe. Global businesses built by Amadeus include Cambridge Silicon Radio Ltd, now CSR plc (LSE:CSR), the leading producer of single chip bluetooth radios for short range connections, and Solexa Ltd, the developer of next generation genetic analysis systems, merged into Illumina, Inc. (ILMN) to create the world-leader in gene-sequencing technology.
About Aviv Ventures
Aviv Ventures invests in Israel related technology companies, with a focus on companies providing "high-tech solutions to low-tech industries". The fund seeks to invest in revenue stage companies as they transform themselves from R&D centric organizations into globally oriented companies with customer facing operations. Aviv helps its portfolio companies to bridge geographical and professional gaps as they grow and develop from Israel to world markets.