Hibu U.S. Acquired by H.I.G. Capital

Local advertising made a splash last week when Hibu, the U.S. division of the U.K.’s Hibu group, announced their acquisition by an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital. As SMBs launch their comeback from a challenging year, the investment indicates a bright future for all players in local.

A Model of Success for SMBs

Hibu is a provider of integrated digital marketing services for small to medium sized businesses. They build custom solution packages for SMBs that include SEM, SEO, listings management, social and display advertising, and more. In fact, Hibu translates to “easy,” and the company provides an all-in-one, do-it-for-me model that is compelling for those customers.

Hibu’s decision to offer a do-it-for-me rather than a do-it-yourself solution is based on its extensive experience working with SMBs. Last October, we interviewed Hibu’s AVP for Digital Marketing Products, Nick Hopkins. He described their view this way, “we believe there are a large number of small business owners out there who are not, and frankly, don’t want to be, digital marketing experts.”

In the wake of a year that illustrated a rate of change so rapid that even technology couldn’t keep up, it’s no wonder their more than 80,000 active customers agree.

Partners in Positivity and in Growth

H.I.G. Capital is a leading global private equity firm with a strong track record and talented team,” says Hibu CEO, Kevin Jasper, “they recognize all that we have accomplished to date and are aligned and supportive of our plans and strategy. They share our vision of the significant opportunity to accelerate our growth and create value.” Despite disruptions brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, Jasper says the market is growing.

H.I.G. Managing Director, Matt Gullen, agrees, “we believe there is immense opportunity ahead for Hibu given its strong SMB value proposition, including a best-in-class integrated service offering, differentiated technology, and exceptional customer service. The company has established itself as a leader in the industry, and we look forward to working with the team to build upon their success and support continued growth initiatives.”

Jasper confirms the leadership team will stay on following the finalization of the deal. “Our business demonstrated impressive resilience through the pandemic,” he says. “We continued to execute our strategy, and we delivered results ahead of plans. Our performance validates our strategy, the strong value we deliver to our SMB clients, and the increasing demand for our integrated digital marketing solutions.”

With more than two decades of experience serving local businesses and the support of H.I.G., Hibu is eager and prepared to meet that demand.

A Look at the Future of Local

As the country and our economy heal, the message to #shoplocal is stronger than ever. Both to preserve the small businesses that mean so much to our communities and to support the new businesses finding the courage to go for it in uncertain times. That means more than a chance for entrepreneurs to chase their dreams; it also means more prospects for local advertisers.

As algorithms across search, social, and even eCommerce shift more toward local-first, this acquisition is just one of many signs we’ve seen foreshadowing what’s to come, and it’s good news for everyone in our industry.

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