Denver tech firm Brandfolder already helps big-name companies like P. F. Chang’s China Bistro, Under Armour, HealthOne and the Houston Texans NFL franchise store, track and use digital logos, photos, hype videos and other marketing materials.
On Monday, it announced it is being acquired by publicly traded Seattle software company Smartsheet in a $155 million stock-and-cash deal that should only grow its reach while further cementing the Mile High City’s position as a major tech hub.
“We have really been able to create a meaningful and innovative software company in Denver,” Luke Beatty, Brandfolder’s co-founder and chairman, said Monday. “The real value for the city is having a big, public-traded company that now has an office and a presence here. I think having more publicly traded tech companies here in Colorado really matters.”
The deal is expected to close next month.
Brandfolder got started in 2012 and graduated from the Techstars Boulder program. It has become a go-to storage and management software provider for the marketing world, keeping clients’ entire creative portfolio in one sortable, trackable place and providing data about how pieces of marketing material are doing, Beatty said.
“What performs well, when, anywhere in the world? We’re really providing that next-level understanding,” Beatty said, “There is no reason why (a client) shouldn’t be able to understand how one menu performs compared to another menu.”
The company, which has 60 employees in Denver, hasn’t been overly active in the venture funding realm, only raising $10 million to date, Beatty said. Company leadership was considering launching a push for more investment when Smartsheet came calling. Now he expects the company’s back-end technology to improve along with its reach.
Smartsheet specializes in workflow management software. The Bellevue, Washington-based company went public in 2018. It now has a market cap of more than $5.78 billion. Its stock price was flat Monday, with shares trading for right around $48.30 as of mid-afternoon.
Acquiring Brandfolder, a company that it already shares a number of clients with, according to Beatty, gives Smartsheet more utility to companies.
“Brandfolder’s content capabilities coupled with Smartsheet’s powerful workflow and collaboration features will provide teams with a dynamic solution to securely manage, share, and publish their content, empowering cross-team and organization collaboration,” Smartsheet CEO Mark Mader said in a news release.
This is the second time Beatty has sold a startup he launched in Denver to a (then) public company. In 2010, Yahoo purchased his company Associated Content for $100 million.
Brandfolder’s brand name isn’t going anywhere in the wake of the acquisition, Beatty said. Its Denver headquarters is primed to accommodate growth even as it operates on an ad hoc work-for-home/in-office model amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The company recently grew its footprint in the Zeppelin Station building at 3501 Wazee St. and now has more than 8,000 square feet of space on the fourth floor there.
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