CloserStill acquires majority stake in Masie Productions’ “Learning Conference”

CloserStillCloserStill Media, the London-based exhibition and conference organiser, has entered a joint venture with Masie Productions to produce future editions of the Learning Conference in Orlando. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Learning Conference draws around 2,000 delegates from the technology and corporate learning sectors each year and more than 40 commercial sponsors in the learning and technology field. In 2017, former First Lady Michelle Obama and actor John Lithgow were keynote speakers and Leslie Odom Jr., author of “Failing Up”, and star of Broadway hit musical Hamilton and author Dan Pink will head the international speaker faculty of ‘Learning 2018’ in November.

Elliott Masie is among the most well-known figures in the global eLearning industry. He is founder of the Masie Center, an international learning lab, and chair of The Learning Consortium, a 20 year old collaboration of Fortune 500 companies. Under the new partnership with CloserStill, Masie will continue to lead the programme curation and act as host for the Learning Conference for the new JV company – CSM Learning, LLC.

A new focus on disruptive technologies will form part of Learning 2018, with the introduction of Tech @Learning – a multi-strand content programme focussing on adaptive learning, artificial intelligence and machine learning, emerging assessment technologies, chatbots, immersive realities, edTech and venture innovations.

CloserStill’s Learning Group Director, Mark Penton, said: “We are thrilled and honoured to be working with Elliott and his team. Elliott is an innovator and a disruptor and we feel that our combined global experience in the learning world will make for a very exciting new era for the Learning Conference which we have long admired and respected”.

UK, London & USA, Saratoga Springs, NY

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Warburg Pincus invests in Reorg Research

Warburg PincusWarburg Pincus has acquired a controlling stake in Reorg Research, an industry-leading provider of real-time news, commentary, and analysis on issues affecting the distressed debt, event-driven and leveraged finance markets. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2013 by former distressed debt investor Kent Collier, Reorg leverages powerful proprietary technology to collect data in real-time and apply machine learning and natural language processing to filter the information, all in one easy-to-find place. The company also has a dedicated team of experts comprised of journalists, former lawyers and investment bankers that leverage Reorg’s proprietary technology to deliver industry-leading editorial content. Reorg currently has a suite of six SaaS-based products, each with a distinct value proposition, that a diverse and loyal global client base – including leading hedge funds, investment banks, law firms and financial advisors – uses to make better business and investment decisions.

This latest deal reflects heightened investor interest in providers of specialist content; the agreement follows Fitch Group’s purchase last week of Fulcrum Financial Data, a rival distressed-debt research firm whose publications include Covenant Review and LevFin Insights. In 2017, BC Partners sold a minority stake in Acuris, which publishes the trade publications Debtwire and Mergermarket, at a valuation of £1bn. Blackstone earlier this year bought a majority stake in Thomson Reuters Financial & Risk at a valuation of $20bn.

Kent Collier, the distressed-debt investor and blogger who launched Reorg in 2013, said, “Data is compounding at a geometric rate around the world and there is too much of it to be analysed by editorial talent alone”.

Chandler Reedy, Managing Director at Warburg Pincus, said, “Kent is a unique talent, and he and his team have built a highly differentiated business and technology platform with team of experts that synthesize and analyze real-time, mission-critical information highly sought by their customers. As the clear market leader with a proven growth model across multiple products and geographies, we believe Reorg is exceptionally well positioned for continued growth.”

USA, New York, NY

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Zeta Global acquires Disqus

Zeta GlobalThe data-driven marketing technology innovator Zeta Global has acquired the audience engagement platform Disqus. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Disqus powers an open and independent web of 4 million publishers including The Atlantic, Destructoid, Spoiler TV and TMZ. Since 2007, Disqus has focused on helping independent publishers build audiences through its audience development platform by giving publishers tools to interact with readers.

Combined with Zeta’s leading marketing platform, artificial intelligence and machine learning, the acquisition makes Zeta the only company able to offer personalised real-time marketing at scale on the open web.

David A. Steinberg, Zeta Global CEO, Chairman and Co-Founder, said, “We’re redefining the marketing technology space with actionable data, artificial intelligence that answers business problems and a marketing hub that serves as the nerve centre for data-driven marketers. Disqus extends and enhances this strategy. Marketers typically have to make tradeoffs between reaching engaged audiences on social platforms with massive reach and using tools that give them control and access to granular targeting capabilities. Disqus strengthens Zeta’s ability to offer the best of both worlds with the scale, visibility and performance marketers have been asking for.”

USA, New York, NY & San Francisco, CA