The views presented here, along with those of a host of other industry leaders supported by detailed data on the industry’s segments, were included in ESOMAR’s Evolution of the Data, Analytics and Insights Industry, forecast into 2023. A look at the past, present and future of the industry, and an essential tool in the management’s toolbox.
ESOMAR’s collaborator Jackie Rousseau-Anderson interviewed Pål Malmros, partner at Verdane, premium sponsor of this report, about what elements make the Insights Industry interesting for investors. This interview is part of a dedicated series extracted from the Evolution of the Data, Analytics and Insights Industry, a forecast into 2023.Some people may not be familiar with your firm, since you are often working behind-the-scenes with industry players. Can you provide a brief overview of your firm?
You are so active in the space you obviously have a clear point of view on the trends in the industry and where the opportunities are from an investment perspective. What do you see as the major investment opportunities in the data, insights, and analytics industry right now?
Verdane is a specialist growth equity investment firm that partners with tech-enabled Northern European businesses to help them reach the next stage of international growth. Verdane can invest as a minority or majority investor, either in single companies or through portfolios of companies, and looks to deploy behind three core themes: the digital consumer, software everywhere and sustainable society. Our equity tickets range from EUR 10 to 200 million, and our funds hold more than EUR 3 billion in total commitments, with over 120 investments in fast-growing businesses since 2003.
All Verdane portfolio companies originate or have their headquarters in the Nordics, DACH, Benelux or United Kingdom, but serve clients across the globe. Our team of over 80 investment professionals and operating experts is based out of Berlin, Copenhagen, Helsinki, London, Oslo and Stockholm, and is dedicated to being the preferred growth partner to tech-enabled businesses in Northern Europe. Specifically, we have a specialist customer experience investment team, with 10 SaaS companies operating in the CX and insight tech sectors in our portfolio.
As a SaaS investor, we are attracted to companies with a good growth potential, with strong retention metrics and low churn, and we see that in general, companies in the data insights and analytics space tend to be strong on all those parameters.
Even though the overall insights market is not a strong growth market, there are plenty of attractive sub-sectors in the field.
We look actively at opportunities in self-serve research software, as well as enterprise feedback management, which spans VoC (Voice of the Customer), VoE (Voice of the Employee) and an array of CX-driven data tools and analysis. As an example, our portfolio company Forsta (formed by the merger of Confirmit and FocusVision) is a strong performer in this space, hits all of the aforementioned criteria (good growth, strong retention and low churn) and has an average client tenure of 5.4 years.
Social listening is also an interesting space, as is digital data analytics.