Handshake refers to customer experience software acquisitions

The Biggest CX Software Acquisitions in 2021

Investments are booming in CX. Not only are more organisations investing in CX software for their business operations, but there’s a whole web of investments going on in the CX software market itself. In fact, Allied Market Research just released some figures on how the CX software market is performing. According to the report, ‘the global customer experience management software industry was pegged at $7.57 billion in 2019, and is anticipated to reach $23.83 billion by 2027’. So where’s all that money going? Who’s buying out who? What’s driving these CX software acquisitions? And what does this mean for users of these CX solutions? Let’s find out.

In this article, we will outline the biggest CX software acquisitions in 2021.

What’s driving acquisitions in the CX space?

Last year Mopinion published the State of CX 2020, identifying some reasons behind why there was so much movement (both expansion and consolidation) taking place among CX software solutions. So what’s up this year?

For starters, the CX market has managed to maintain a tremendous amount of growth and popularity in 2021; a trend which took off almost directly after the start of the pandemic. If you recall back in 2020, organisations were abruptly forced to shift their focus towards providing better digital experiences and therefore implement technologies that would help them achieve those goals and this is still ongoing.

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The only difference is that now with all of this success in the market, the level of investment has gone up.

We’re still seeing a lot of ‘crowding’ and smaller scale companies targeting a ‘slice of CX’, but there has also been quite a bit of movement among the larger CX suite software – the most notable of which are acquisitions made by Qualtrics and Zendesk. Our guess is that the latter is likely the result of a flourishing industry which – as previously mentioned – has brought quite a bit of cash and investment funding to the CX space.

This shift could also indicate that these larger organisations have recognised the importance of solutions such as user feedback and are now willing to spend more on adding these types of solutions to their digital portfolios.

So let’s catch up on the latest changes in the CX market in 2021.

Latest Acquisitions in the CX Software Market

Here are the latest movements in the CX space.

Confirmit / FocusVision / Dapresy rebranded under Forsta

March 2021 – Forsta, an experience and research tech platform – which has been labeled ‘the new frontier of customer experience and research technology’ – was the rebranded name under which companies Confirmit, FocusVision and Dapresy operate. This newly melded brand will provide a wide range of software and solutions for CX and research. According to the press release, it also promises ‘tools simple enough to deploy in days, powerful enough to tailor to your exact needs’.

Confirmit and FocusVision rebranded as Forsta

Thomabravo acquired Medallia

July 2021Thomabravo, a leading software investment firm, acquired Medallia for 6.4 Billion USD in a deal that will close by the end of this year. A renowned customer experience company, Medallia uses trademarked artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to reveal predictive insights that drive business actions and outcomes. Medallia went public in 2019, but with this acquisition will now revert to a private company.

Thomabravo acquires Medallia

Qualtrics acquired Clarabridge

July 2021 – A customer feedback analysis solution, Qualtrics’s acquired Clarabridge, one of the leaders in omnichannel conversational analytics, in a stock transaction valued at 1.125 billion USD. An award-winning platform, Clarabridge was a highly attractive acquisition target for any vendor seeking to leapfrog the competition and achieve sustainable differentiation.

Qualtrics acquires Clarabridge

Vespa Capital & Feefo merged with Reevoo

September 2021Vespa Capital portfolio company and customer experience (CX) and insights business Feefo merged with Reevoo, the consumer reviews & feedback platform. With Vespa Capital as the majority owner, both Feefo and Reevoo are well established SaaS platforms across many international markets. Tony Wheble, CEO of Feefo, commented, “The two businesses have complimentary client portfolios and share a common set of values, most notably where verified customer feedback and real data integrity are at the core of what we both do.

Vespa Capital & Feefo merged with Reevoo

Contentsquare acquired Hotjar

September 2021Contentsquare, the global leader in digital experience analytics, announced that it is joining forces with Hotjar, a leading product experience insights platform in the SMB market. This acquisition will lend Contentsquare’s advanced technology and resources to Hotjar, while Contentsquare will benefit from Hotjar’ reach and product-led approach.

Contentsquare acquired Hotjar

Verint acquired Conversocial

September 2021Conversocial, a leader in conversational customer experience (delivered over messaging channels), was acquired by Verint for 50 million USD. Verint is a pure-play customer-engagement company that is expanding its cloud platform capabilities to help brands accelerate digital-first customer engagement.

Verint acquired Conversocial

Zendesk acquired Momentive

October 2021Zendesk, a software-as-a-service company and Momentive, an experience management company, have entered into an agreement under which Zendesk will acquire Momentive, including its well-known SurveyMonkey platform. CEO Mikkel Svane says that the purchase will enable Zendesk customers to “build more meaningful relationships” by providing opportunities to cross-sell and co-develop current and future products.

Zendesk acquired Momentive

Forsta partnered with Lumoa

November 2021 – Forsta was on a roll this year, later announcing its partnership with Lumoa, an AI-powered insight platform. Forsta integrated the Lumoa platform into its experience platform, giving users more advanced AI-driven analytics; which seems to be a ‘must-have’ functionality this year.

Forsta partnered with Lumoa

Big fish versus little fish

As you can see, 2021 has seen some ‘big fish’ mergers as well as a few small, but impactful acquisitions among the ‘smaller fish’.

The question is, what will users want this year when it comes to a CX solution? Will it suffice to have one single CX suite handling all CX data collection, analysis and activation activities? Or will users want to create their own CX tech stack using a variety of integratable CX software? Will it be best of breed or best of suite…

Best of breed vs Suite

One interesting observation is this year’s 2021 Stackie Awards, an annual contest – hosted by MarTech – that challenges companies to visualise their martech stacks…

Every year this event brings various digital-first organisations together to get insights into the different types of marketing technology stacks used in practice. And interestingly enough, every year this awards conference seems to prove that the perfect marketing stack doesn’t exist. In other words, an all-encompassing CX suite might not necessarily be the best approach, but rather, more organisations prefer picking and choosing their solutions for a tailored deck of tools.

The Future of the CX Space

During these unprecedented times, it’s essential for CX leaders to not only understand what customers value, but to also approach customer journeys with a precise and agile mindset. Only by continuously optimising the customer journey will these leaders be able to meet the ever-evolving needs of their customers.

That being said, as we look towards the future, we predict there will be many more changes in the CX with multiple factors coming into play such as an increased emphasis on agility, AI & instant gratification and prescriptive personalisation. See the State of CX in 2021 for more on these trends.

And if we look at the movements over this past year, we can probably also expect a lot of innovation in the area of conversational customer experience (see Verint and Conversocial acquisition) as well as a focus on building better relationships with customers.

Have we left out any big acquisitions in our list? Let us know!

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