YFM Equity Partners (YFM) has invested £4.8m in Force24, our marketing automation platform, to support further roll outs of intuitive technology features, double our organisation's headcount, strengthen the team’s skill set and continue to build on our global footprint.
It has been our mission to deliver a world-class, intuitive marketing automation platform that enables brands to grow by removing marketers from the day-to-day grind and freeing up their time to think strategically.
During this time, we've helped over 4,000 marketers from B2B and B2C brands – including Michelin, Tarmac and BBC Children in Need – to deliver over 900 million marketing emails throughout 2020. In addition, our company revenues are expected to reach over £3.5m by the end of 2020, despite the economic impact of the global crisis.
The latest round of investment comes on the back of a profitable 2019 which saw our 10-year-old Yorkshire firm double email delivery from 80m to 190m, launch 2,000 additional platform features and grow our workforce from 35 to 54.
And now all eyes are on what we can achieve next...
Commenting on the large-scale investment, our managing director and founder Adam Oldfield said: “In a competitive space traditionally dominated by huge American vendors, we’ve grown – at times against all odds – because we have long stood in the marketer’s corner and are not prepared to lose sight of our values. We take great time and effort to ensure our relationships with clients come first and results second. This has been crucial to our 98% retention rate.
“We’ve worked tirelessly to liberate marketers from the time-intensive shackles of their role, and enable them to achieve what they actually want to do. This investment won’t detract from this – it will supercharge our efforts, enhancing and amplifying everything we stand for as a business.
“We are here to empower marketers to deliver more with less. The funding means more free training, the recruitment of more creative colleagues on hand to offer support exactly when our clients need it, us ploughing more knowledge and educative efforts into the market, and the further expansion of our platform’s functionality, so it solves an even greater number of problems in the marketer’s tech stack.”
Force24 manages 400 trillion data exchanges which pass through the UK-built and managed, GDPR-compliant platform each year, which gives some idea as to the expansion of our company to date.
And our commercial director, Nick Washbourne, said YFM’s proven track record of supporting fast-growing businesses proved critical to progressing this investment collaboration.
“We are immensely proud to have seen our business go from strength to strength – not least during one of the most difficult economic climates in modern history,” he said. “Force24 is now at a crucial next stage of development and, to take the business forward, we knew we needed to partner with an investor that has real insight into our sector.
“We are confident that YFM is the right fit for us culturally – this team really understands what we’ve already achieved and want to do next as we continue on our growth trajectory.”
Expanding the customer base to more than 2,000
Speaking about how the investment will help to develop more business opportunities, Adam added: “During 2020, Force24 has seen a significant increase in client numbers, because the pressures of Covid-19 have only reinforced the need for brands to have strong digital relationships with their customers and prospects.
“Over the next three years, our customer numbers could rise to in excess of 2,000 because I truly believe we’ve started a movement around prioritising the relationships we hold with our clients.”
YFM has a national portfolio of software and tech businesses, including data transformation software company Matillion, retail footfall data firm Springboard and global e-learning platform Elucidat.
Mike Clarke, partner at YFM – and who will also join the Force24 board following the investment – said: “Adam, Nick and the team have identified a gap in the market to provide a sophisticated marketing platform that delivers a high level of service and account management, at an attractive price point.
“Force24 has an ambitious vision for the future, including doubling the size of the team over the next 18 months, and we want to play a key role in helping it to achieve this.”