Back to news


A fundraising, an acquisition, and a change of name for Sarbacane

emailing sarbacane

With a new round of financing worth €110 million, Sarbacane has climbed to the top of the list of the largest financing operations carried out in France in 2022 in the tech sector. Experts from AURIS Finance, an M&A consultancy, take a look at the digital communications specialist’s strategy.

Since its beginnings in 2001, the Hauts-de-France-based company has come a long way. From the outset, the group distinguished itself with “Sarbacane”, an email marketing software. Twenty years later, the company is still one of France’s leading players in the email marketing sector, while expanding its range of services to include other aspects of digital communication: transactional and chatbot marketing, sales engagement, SMS marketing campaigns, and the creation of automated workflows.

A €100 million turnover target by 2026

To achieve this, the group has teamed up with investment funds. In 2020, Sarbacane raised an initial €23 million from the private equity fund IDI. At the end of 2022, the group announced a further €110 million from the European fund EMZ and several banking institutions. Mathieu Tarnus, founder and CEO of the group, remains the majority shareholder. The group, which has around 170 employees, serves 25,000 clients, mainly small and medium-sized companies. After achieving a turnover of €22 million in 2021, Sarbacane aims to reach €30 million in 2022, and €100 million in 2026.

Digital business platform and data expertise

Exponential growth driven by an inorganic growth strategy. “Three years ago, we embarked on an expansion phase, still developing our historical activities but also allowing ourselves to make targeted acquisitions in order to grow faster, broaden our operational coverage and expand internationally,” explained the CEO in a press release. In 2020 and 2021, Sarbacane acquired its competitors Datananas and Rapidmail. To strengthen its data expertise, Sarbacane has just acquired Marketing 1BY1, a company specialising in the development of customer data platforms (CDP). With around twenty employees, the company develops 1BY1, a customer data management software that enables professionals to manage their CRM strategy and personalise customer experience in an omnichannel approach. The group targets major accounts and public institutions, enabling Sarbacane to position itself in relation to major contractors.

Sarbacane becomes Positive Group

With this new acquisition, Sarbacane aims to become a digital business platform by building on its strengths: advanced but easy-to-use technologies, a premium support service tailored to its clients, and a strong local presence. In order to make it easier to distinguish between the group’s historical activities and its new areas of development, Sarbacane will now operate under the name of Positive Group, which brings together all the group’s subsidiaries and businesses. However, Sarbacane will continue to exist as a brand and subsidiary of the group, as will the other commercial brands Datananas and rapidmail.

Get the support you need

While inorganic growth can lead to a significant increase in market share, rapid growth is not without its effects on the life of a company. Internally, it is a question of restructuring to accommodate the development. This restructuring inevitably involves external reflection, which can lead to a change of name. Experienced in the problems of change and specialised by sector, AURIS finance experts are at your side throughout your acquisitions and sales operations.

Contact us

#Financing & Fundraising #Technology, Media & Telecommunications