PR Software Maker TrendKite Sold to Cision for $225M Cash and Stock

Austin—TrendKite has sold to Cision, a Chicago-based public relations and marketing software company, in a $225 million in a cash-and-stock deal.

Cision (NYSE: CISN) is paying $94 million in cash and offering Austin-based TrendKite shareholders 10.2 million Cision shares. The company’s stock dipped 2.6 percent to $12.16 each as of midday in New York after opening at $12.49 apiece. Cision went public in a $2.4 billion merger deal in 2017, and grew through acquisitions of other public relations businesses, such as the parent companies of Gorkana in 2014 and PR Newswire in a 2016 cash-and-stock deal Cision valued at $842.8 million.

TrendKite makes a data analytics platform that public relations and marketing professionals can use to measure the performance of advertising and PR campaigns. The software measures the impact media coverage has on a business’s brand, as well as things like how widely a story is being shared on social media.

Founded in 2012, TrendKite publicly announced raising more than $47 million in funding through 2017, and, according to a securities filing, added another $16.7 million in 2018. Last year, it acquired Austin-based Union Metrics, which makes social media analytics software, and Atlanta-based Insightpool, which maintains a social media “influencer” database.

Cision says it plans to operate TrendKite independently for now, but over time Cision plans to make TrendKite part of its Cision Communications Cloud product. TrendKite CEO Erik Huddleston is remaining with the company, becoming Cision’s president.

The company’s investors include Mercury Fund, Silverton Partners, Battery Ventures, Harmony Partners, DreamIt Ventures, and angel investors like Joshua Baer and Sean Spector.

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at dholley@xconomy.com Follow @xconholley

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