Having previously worked with Clarus Commerce (“Clarus”), we are thrilled to announce our new investment in the company and to partner once again with Tom Caporaso and the entire Clarus team. Clarus is a leading provider of premium loyalty programs for retailers and has continued to rapidly grow its customer base and partner network since we sold the company three years ago. Our new investment in Clarus is unique, as we were the first institutional investor in the company in 2011 and worked closely with Tom and his team for five years, resulting in a successful sale to an ownership group led by Falcon Investment Advisors in 2016. With this current transaction, we have partnered with Marlin Equity Partners to acquire Clarus back from the previous owners. Selling a company and buying it back at a later date is quite rare for a growth equity firm, but the strong relationship we built with Tom and his team, as well as the demonstrated traction of the company, was too compelling to pass up.
Clarus has come a long way from when it pioneered the world’s first prepaid shipping program with Freeshipping.com in 2001 to becoming the leader it is today in premium loyalty. The company’s focus on premium loyalty resonates with consumers that are now much more accustomed to these programs (thanks Amazon Prime!) and the trend is accelerating as many retailers have realized they need more than just a “one size fits all” free loyalty program but rather a premium loyalty program to reward their most dedicated customers. In addition, both online and offline retailers are focused on engagement and loyalty in order to combat Amazon’s growing dominance. Retailers like Restoration Hardware, Wayfair, Lululemon and CVS have all recently launched premium loyalty programs. Clarus is able to help retailers launch premium loyalty programs quickly by offering its clients a comprehensive technology platform for developing turnkey subscription loyalty programs, and assists with program design, implementation, management, and ongoing support and optimization.
We asked Tom what he thinks about working together again and Tom said, “We had an amazing experience working with the NVP team the first time around and are excited to welcome them back as investors. As believers in the value of premium loyalty since the beginning, we know they will be extremely helpful and supportive on this next leg of the journey. NVP’s proven track record of success in working with software and Internet companies is a great combination that will allow us to take advantage of the large market opportunity and industry tailwinds.”