Home / Industry / Infotech /  Thoma Bravo backs user-experience company UserZoom

Thoma Bravo is acquiring a majority interest in customer-experience software business User Zoom Inc. in a deal that values the company at about $800 million.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company’s applications help businesses analyze and improve their customers’ digital experience, or UX, and enable companies to test new UX designs for mobile devices and interactive voice services. Its UX Insights System also provides real-time quantitative and qualitative analysis of user experience.

Owl Rock Capital Partners, which backed UserZoom—as the company is known—in 2020 and is now part of Blue Owl Capital Inc., is exiting through the deal, a Thoma Bravo spokeswoman said. Growth-equity investor Sunstone Partners, which first backed UserZoom in 2015, continues to hold a significant stake as does company management, according to a news release.

“We have fallen in love with lots of different trends over time. One is automated testing," said A.J. Rohde, a Thoma Bravo senior partner. He co-leads the firm’s Discover team, which focuses on investing in midsize and smaller software and technology companies.

Traditionally businesses engaged market researchers to assess user experiences with their products and services through focus groups. Results could come back a week or a month later, Mr. Rohde said. But UserZoom’s applications provide that information almost immediately, helping businesses collect feedback in real time, he said.

“This world of getting real-time feedback and then being able to make changes wasn’t possible even a couple of years ago," Mr. Rohde said.

“In an app economy, automated testing is really important because it allows you to make changes in real time," he said. UserZoom has experienced year-over-year growth rates of more than 40% in the past few years, Mr. Rohde said.

Thoma Bravo’s investment will support UserZoom’s rollout of upgraded software products in the next few months, Mr. Rohde said.

Thoma Bravo is also helping UserZoom with product marketing and expanding its sales force to tap into opportunities in Europe and potentially the Asia-Pacific region, according to Alfonso de la Nuez, the company’s co-founder and co-chief executive.

UserZoom’s growth has derived partly from four acquisitions so far, Mr. de la Nuez said. Backing from Thoma Bravo will enable the company to do more such deals, he added.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google unit is one of UserZoom’s largest customers, according to Mr. Rohde.

“Google appreciates that the [UserZoom] tools can make their job a lot faster…and give them more data faster. Faster feedback enables them to really test on a minute-by-minute basis how things are going when they make changes," Mr. Rohde said.

According to Mr. de la Nuez, UserZoom’s customers also include Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook, as well as healthcare, finance and retail companies who are building out their digital services. UserZoom’s website also lists consumer products maker Kimberly-Clark Corp., payments company PayPal Holdings Inc. and CVS Health Corp. insurer Aetna as customers.

UserZoom was founded in 2007 by Mr. de la Nuez and Xavier Mestres, the company’s chief technology officer, in Barcelona. They bootstrapped the company in its initial years and then raised money from “friends, family and fools," Mr. de la Nuez said.

Previously the co-founders ran a user-experience consulting business in Barcelona and started UserZoom to test if they could use concepts they developed as consultants to create a software product, Mr. de la Nuez said.

“We had a vision that most companies would move their business online over time and in order to be competitive in the marketplace you have to deliver great user experience," he said. “Delivering great, easy digital experiences is hard."

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text

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