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Over 4x return with sale of leading AI-powered retail data analytics provider Springboard

5 October 2022

Over 4x return with sale of leading AI-powered retail data analytics provider Springboard

YFM Equity Partners’ two managed Venture Capital Trusts have sold their shareholding in Springboard, a leading provider of AI powered footfall data analytics, to MRI Software, a global leader in real estate software solutions.

Springboard’s solution provides real-time data and actionable insights, enabling retail stakeholders to optimise operations and improve outcomes mainly for retail locations and destinations. In addition to capturing footfall data, it also continuously measures visitor activity, capturing anonymised demographic and sentiment information while identifying behavior patterns.

Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Milton Keynes, Springboard holds the industry’s largest and most comprehensive data set on footfall. Serving more than 450 clients across 3,000-plus sites, the company is trusted by global media outlets, brands and governing bodies for the accuracy of its data, quality of reporting and retail insights.

Since YFM’s investment in 2014, Springboard has continued to strengthen its team with a number of senior appointments and continued growth in overall headcount adding to its ability to provide an outstanding solution to its clients and to scale the business successfully. During this time, Springboard also entered and generated impressive growth in the US market which is supported by offices in San Diego and Boston.

The acquisition will enable MRI Software to offer retailers and destinations to have the ability to optimise operations via real-time data and actionable insights and will see it expand its MRI@Work™ Retail solutions suite that currently serves more than 500 retailers and retail property owners and operators globally.

The deal marks another successful exit for YFM’s British Smaller Companies VCT plc and British Smaller Companies VCT2 plc, which launched in 1996 and 2000 respectively, YFM has a total of £450m of funds under management, and has backed over 300 management teams in the last 40 years.

Steve Booth, chief executive officer of Springboard, said: “With their in-depth understanding of our market and expertise in working with fast-growing businesses, YFM has proved to be a supportive partner. Over the last eight years, they have supported us through our growth journey as we invested in our corporate infrastructure, built a best-in-class product and client offering, and through our US market entry and expansion.

“Our clients will benefit tremendously from Springboard joining an organisation of MRI’s global scale and broad solution portfolio, and we look forward to bringing our solutions to their dynamic client community. Footfall is a huge predictor of business performance, and precise data ultimately helps businesses make faster, more informed decisions that optimise store operations and generate more revenue. We look forward to continued innovation in collaboration with the MRI team.”

Roux Brits, portfolio director at YFM, added: “It has been a privilege to support the team who have done exceptionally well to build Springboard into the formidable business it is today, providing an excellent global offering to an enviable client list. We are pleased to see Springboard join MRI Software, enabling both businesses to provide even more value to their clients through an enriched offering, without interruption. We look forward to following the progress of the business as it enters its next exciting phase.”

Shareholders were supported through the transaction by Grant Thornton, who provided corporate finance advisory, and EMW Law LLP, providing legal services. CIL Management Consultants also performed a Vendor Commercial Due Diligence for the business.

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