Mono Solutions Declares “Perfect Fit” with Acquirer Bauer Media Group
July 22, 2019 | Contributed by: Charles Laughlin
Mono Solutions, the Copenhagen-based site builder and SMB SaaS platform, has been acquired by Hamburg-based Bauer Media Group in a deal that Mono CEO Louise Lachman says will help the company accelerate its product strategy.
She adds that the post-acquisition Mono will operate in much the same manner as before, with the existing brand and management team.
Bauer Media Group is an international company operating in Europe, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. Bauer operates about 600 magazines, 400 digital media properties, and 100 radio and TV stations. The family-owned and operated company dates back 150 years and has more than 11,000 employees worldwide.
Louise told us Mono’s initial focus was on finding growth capital. They were not fixated on finding a strategic buyer.
Bauer ended up making more sense as a strategic acquirer because both companies shared a vision for how to go to market to small businesses, using partners rather than going direct. Also, Mono was swayed in part by Bauer’s practice of giving the companies it acquires the autonomy to pursue their strategies under their brand and with their teams. Just with more resources.
“They were the perfect fit for us to pursue the vision we set out to fulfill,” Louise said.
Until recently, Bauer has not pursued a large scale SMB go to market strategy, focusing largely on brand advertisers. It plans to use Mono as part of its SMB offering.
Another component of Bauer’s SMB strategy is Sunrise Systems, a Polish SEO firm that Bauer acquired in 2013. In fact, the autonomy that Sunrise has enjoyed under Bauer was a key signal to Mono that they would enjoy similar independence under Bauer ownership.
“To me, that was a testament to how they go about acquiring companies,” Louise said.
The pressure to innovate constantly and bring new products to market quickly is intense in the SMB SaaS world. For Mono, the competition is not only narrowly defined among the field of companies offering website production but also the broader field of companies developing suites of digital marketing, back office, and commerce products for SMBs.
As a bootstrapped company, Mono needed deeper pockets to scale. Working with a strategic buyer gives Mono a better shot at following its chosen strategy vs. succumbing to the pressure to achieve hyper-growth at any cost that is a common result of taking venture money.