The new world of work requires targeted, personalized, and measurable employee communications. That’s exactly what FWI and Poppulo deliver.
Four Winds Interactive (“Four Winds” or “FWI”), the leading provider of enterprise digital signage and workplace experience software, and Poppulo, the leading provider of email and mobile employee communication software, today announced the two companies have reached a definitive agreement to join together, forming a global employee communications leader for today’s world of work. The combination is backed by Vista Equity Partners, a leading global investment firm focused on enterprise software, data, and technology-enabled businesses.
Through this merger, the combined business will serve 6,000+ customers, the market’s most comprehensive omni-channel employee communications platform with unmatched personalization and measurement capabilities, supplemented by its class-leading space management solution for flexible desk and conference room booking. The combined business will provide a compelling solution for enterprises that are transforming from traditional working environments into venues for collaborative work. For the first time, organizations will be able to instantly connect with every employee – both disconnected and connected – wherever they work, through a single multi-channel platform.
Enterprises today are faced with an unprecedented transition, both in the shift from traditional to hybrid working environments and the widespread return to the workplace as COVID-19 challenges subside. In this transition, employees have a need for an increased flow of information, with greater specificity to their role and location than ever before. With the combined solution from FWI and Poppulo, enterprises will be equipped to meet employee communication needs spanning employee locations and types, across email, mobile, digital signage, and other key information hubs like intranets and messaging platforms, all in a highly personalized way.
“With the rapidly evolving nature of work and the increase in remote, hybrid and non-traditional workplaces, employee communication has never been more important than it is right now. This is true for both frontline and office workers. Together, Poppulo and FWI are extremely well positioned to lead enterprise customers through this critical transformation,” said David Levin, CEO, FWI. “This is about putting the employee at the center of communications and making sure they have the information they need, when they need it, to ensure they are able to work effectively.”
“This merger is a game-changer that will, for the first time, enable organizations to deliver long-overdue consumer-grade workplace communications that their people are used to in their personal lives,” said Andrew O’Shaughnessy, CEO, Poppulo. “The ability to connect and engage with every employee, and to give them a sense of belonging and purpose, has never been as critical as it is right now because of how radically the workplace has changed – and that’s where internal communication is critical.”
The combined company will maintain operations out of offices in Denver, CO, Boston, MA, Cork, Ireland, and Luton, UK and sell to customers in more than 80 countries. The companies will maintain their current operations for a period of time, with the primary focus over the coming months to build strong integration between the FWI Cloud and Poppulo platforms to ensure the best possible customer experience as enterprises look to equip their teams with the targeted, relevant information they need to achieve success.
Referring to the critical role of employee communications in the rapidly changing workplace, Gartner, the leading research and advisory company, has recommended that application leaders need to “prioritize internal communication by treating it as a strategic pillar in their digital workplace programs… Ignoring or not investing in internal communication programs can have a subtle but long-lasting negative impact on the transformation efforts needed for digital business and digital workplace efforts.” 1 Time, resources, and funding need to be dedicated to ensuring that employee communication shifts from a stand-alone effort to one that complements other digital workplace priorities. Gartner also wrote that “technical solutions need to mimic consumer-like experiences, with cross-channel/cross-application integration becoming a rising priority.” 1
“Four Winds and Poppulo are both committed to empowering employee-centric internal communications, with technology that enables the creation and distribution of content across channels and both in and out of the office to ensure employees are informed, engaged and equipped to do their job effectively,” said Patrick Severson, Senior Managing Director at Vista Equity Partners. “We are thrilled to welcome the Poppulo team to the Four Winds and Vista family.”
FWI expects the transaction to close early in the second quarter of 2021. Terms of the deal will not be disclosed. Spurrier Capital Partners served as financial advisor to FWI. For Poppulo, Shea & Company served as financial advisor. Kirkland & Ellis LLP and McCann Fitzgerald served as legal counsel for FWI. For Poppulo, Ronan Daly Jermyn, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, served as legal counsel.
 Gartner, Eight Steps for Modernizing Employee Communications in the Digital Workplace, By Analysts Mike Gotta, Adam Preset, Christie Struckman. Refreshed 5 May 2020, Published 20 November 2018.
Founded in 2005, FWI is the leading enterprise software company for digital signage, interactive kiosk, and mobile applications used to digitally transform customer and employee experiences. Over 5,000 customers rely on FWI to power applications used by millions of people per year including retail marketing, employee communications, room and desk management, conference and event management, flight information displays, campus communications, emergency messaging, and more. FWI’s cloud-based software platform is recognized by industry analysts for its flexibility, scalability, and ease of use. FWI is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. For more information, visit fourwindsinteractive.com
When many of the world’s most successful organizations – including GSK, Rolls-Royce, Aon, Telefonica, and CDK Global – want to solve complex employee communication and engagement challenges with their large international workforces, they look to Poppulo. Customers include a third of Europe’s largest employers and a fifth of those in the United States. Every day, communications to over 25 million employees are distributed through Poppulo. Poppulo was previously backed by Susquehanna Growth Equity LLC (www.sgep.com). For more information, visit www.poppulo.com
Vista is a leading global investment firm with more than $73 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2020. The firm exclusively invests in enterprise software, data and technology-enabled organizations across private equity, permanent capital, credit and public equity strategies, bringing an approach that prioritizes creating enduring market value for the benefit of its global ecosystem of investors, companies, customers and employees. Vista’s investments are anchored by a sizable long-term capital base, experience in structuring technology-oriented transactions and proven, flexible management techniques that drive sustainable growth. Vista believes the transformative power of technology is the key to an even better future – a healthier planet, a smarter economy, a diverse and inclusive community and a broader path to prosperity. Further information is available at vistaequitypartners.com. Follow Vista on LinkedIn, @Vista Equity Partners, and on Twitter, @Vista_Equity
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