On 8 March, ATTRAQT Group plc announced the completion of its acquisition of Fredhopper. Now, the #1 and #2 players in On-site Search, Online Merchandising and eCommerce Personalisation are ready to pursue their goal of becoming the global go-to provider of outstanding products, services and expertise.
We sat down with André Brown, CEO of ATTRAQT, to talk about what the acquisition means for the company, our clients, and the industry. André’s message: this is not an acquisition story. It’s a growth story.
A logical choice
For André, acquiring Fredhopper was a logical choice. ‘Fredhopper and ATTRAQT have a lot in common,’ he says. ‘We’re the only two companies in our market that excel in all three areas of the business: search, merchandising and personalisation. And by bringing the two companies together, we can support each other to provide all three in even more powerful ways.’
The company will operate under the name ATTRAQT, with Fredhopper as a key product offering, alongside ATTRAQT’s Freestyle Merchandising product. Company revenue for 2017 is forecast at £17.3 million. With 120 employees and 250 clients, the combined company is now a major worldwide competitor. ‘With names like ASOS, Debenhams, Boohoo, SuperDry and more, our client list is really impressive.’ All of that, coupled with ATTRAQT’s listing on the London Stock Exchange, creates a company that’s prepared for – and funded for – exponential growth.
Current clients will also benefit from the acquisition, he says. ‘There’s security in scale. The bigger we are as a company, the safer we are for our clients. Our technology, our financial position, our range of expertise: everything is strengthened by this acquisition. So we can serve our clients even better than we ever have before.’
In order to extract the best from both businesses, André says it’s important to examine the things that make each company unique. ‘To begin, Fredhopper has a major presence in Europe, and a presence in Asia-Pacific. ATTRAQT is making ground in the US. Both companies have a strong presence in the UK. So together, we cover most of the major retail markets,’ he says.
Vision for the future
In announcements about the acquisition, becoming “the go-to company for online merchandising” was the primary message. For André, this means unshackling both companies in areas where they most need support, and releasing them to perform at their best. ‘We want both Fredhopper and Freestyle Merchandising to reach their full potential. With all the combined knowledge and expertise we now have in-house, the future growth of the company is almost limitless,’ he says.
Take, for example, the US market. ‘Given the size of the US economy, which is nearly five times that of Germany’s, it is not surprising that the US retailers are so much larger than Europe’s,’ André explains. ‘To really make our mark in the US market, we’ll need to take the very best of both products, and offer outstanding service to our clients. Together, I truly believe we can create the best product offering possible.’ In particular, André believes that Adaptive Personalisation will be a major area of focus.
The man behind the management
André has been in the tech world for more than 15 years. In fact, he was working at Adobe when Acrobat software was first introduced in the UK market. He founded ATTRAQT in 2003, ‘I can truly say that building and growing ATTRAQT has been my life’s work,’ he says. ‘I’m heavily invested in ensuring a bright and positive future for the company. And to me, acquiring Fredhopper is the next step in ensuring a future filled with growth and opportunity.’
With strong investment in marketing and development, André assures both colleagues and clients: this acquisition is not about absorption. It’s about strategic growth. ‘Now that the acquisition is complete, we can focus on getting the best out of both businesses, and ensuring long and prosperous growth,’ he says. ‘I hope every one of our colleagues is excited about the road ahead. I know I am.’