Impel Acquires Outsell in a $100+ Million Deal

Impel Acquires Outsell in a $100+ Million Deal

July 9, 2024—Impel is announcing this morning that it has acquired Outsell for more than $100 million cash plus equity. The deal, closed in late June, capped off a busy month of acquisition and investment activity in the auto retail space, during which nine transactions were announced.

The acquisition pairs Impel, an early pioneer in generative AI in the auto industry, with Outsell, one of the industry’s early customer data platform players.

CEO Devin Daly and President and Chief Strategy Officer Michael Quigley co-founded Impel in 2012. Known initially as SpinCar, it rebranded as Impel in 2022.

Impel has raised over $130 million, including a 2023 $104 million growth equity investment led by Silversmith Capital Partners, with earlier investor Wavecrest Growth Partners participating.

The two companies began discussing a possible transaction during a meeting between Daly and Outsell founder Mike Wethington in December 2023 at the AUTOVATE event held annually in Scottsdale, AZ (Full disclosure: The Banks Report founded AUTOVATE in 2016).

Impel’s acquisition of Outsell marks its third strategic purchase in three years. In 2021, it acquired Pulsar AI of Tbilisi, Georgia, and Los Angeles-based CarLabs.ai in 2022.

Focusing on selective acquisitions and expanding its open partner ecosystem, the company is committed to enhancing its AI sales and marketing automation platform while fostering organic product development.

Impel plans to combine Outsell’s intelligent automated outreach capabilities with its own conversational AI-based customer lifecycle management solution to create an end-to-end AI sales and marketing automation platform reaching 8,000 dealerships (up from 6,000 prior to the acquisition) in 51 countries. The goal is to help dealerships create hyper-personalized customer experiences across the entire customer lifecycle via a singular AI platform that connects each channel and customer touchpoint in the dealership. According to the press release announcing the transaction, Impel’s integrated platform works seamlessly with website, CRM, and DMS platforms. The company has delivered 21 billion shopper interactions, influencing over $5 billion in sales and service revenue.

“As Large Language Models (LLMs) become commoditized, durable competitive advantages and value will be created by AI applications that are powered by proprietary first-party data, embedded within day-to-day business operations,” Quigley, Impel Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer says. “With our acquisition of Outsell, Impel gains a powerful set of capabilities that complement our industry leading vertical AI platform. Outsell’s ability to deliver “right message, right person, right channel, right time” communications, paired with Impel’s AI-powered merchandising and communication applications, provides us with an unprecedented ability to deliver frictionless, personalized experiences on demand.”

Wethington founded Minneapolis-based Outsell in 2004. The company today employs 170 people. In the last 12 months, Outsell sent more than 500 million SMS text, email, direct mail, and social media messages to 61 million consumers. As part of the acquisition, Wethington will join Impel’s board.

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