Scorpion Raises $100M, Changes Management, Moves HQ to Utah

Major changes are afoot at Scorpion, a digital marketing platform addressing local businesses. The biggest news is of course the company’s $100 million investment in the company by the private equity firm Bregal Sagemount. Scorpion says it will use the funds to expand its technology and services, with a mission to deliver “enterprise-grade” technology to local businesses.

Scorpion also announced an overhaul of its management team. This shakeup included the replacement of its longtime CEO. Further, the company says it will move its headquarters from Southern California to Utah. And to top it all off, Scorpion has acquired the SEO software firm CanIRank.

The Scorpion Way

Scorpion uses a combination of AI and human expertise to help companies leverage insights about local markets, customers, and competitors. And it delivers this through an all-in-one dashboard. As the image below shows, Scorpion has a full-stack offering.

The CanIRank acquisition adds some sophisticated AI-driven technology for driving local SEO insights for customers. In a statement, Scorpion’s new CEO Daniel Street emphasizes the commitment to helping local businesses use sophisticated marketing tools.

“The pandemic has cemented the need for businesses of all sizes to undergo a digital transformation in order to effectively reach and communicate with their customers. Many local providers recognize the need to adopt digital tools and services for local market insights, but simply don’t know where to begin,” Street said.

Scorpion seems to fit right in the wheelhouse of Bregal Sagemount’s investment thesis. The New York-based private equity firm lays out on its website its preference for profitable companies with recurring revenue models, revenues of at least $15 million, and annual growth potential of at least 10%. It says its equity investments range from $40 million to $400 million.

Two execs from Bregal Sagemount, partner Blair Greenberg and Principal Kirk Smith will join Scorpion’s board.

The Scorpion services stack
The Utah Exodus

As noted earlier, Scorpion joins a growing list of companies moving from California to lower-cost states with established tech hubs. In Scorpion’s case, the destination is the Silicon Slopes of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Here is what Scorpion said about the move. “Scorpion will be bringing a team of executives, award-winning designers, developers, and service professionals to the city to allow for continued expansion of talent and innovation. The company continues to add to its nearly 1,000 employees, bringing increased expertise across a variety of verticals including  legal, home service providers, healthcare, and franchises.”

It wasn’t immediately clear if Scorpion will maintain a presence in California.

Relocation is one of the many big business trends that has emerged during the pandemic. The shift to remote work has helped accelerate a complete rethinking of location. With an increasingly distributed workforce, many companies are asking if it’s necessary to headquarter in a high-cost hub like Southern California or the Bay Area? Utah and Texas are major beneficiaries of this shift.

Leadership Shakeup

In addition to bringing in Street, mostly recently SVP of Digital Transformation at Nexstar, Scorpion has reshaped its entire C-suite. Other additions to the team include Mikel Chertudi as Chief Revenue Officer, Raj Ramanan as Chief Operating Officer, and Azim Nagree as EVP Operations and M&A. The new leaders come with some blue-chip experience at companies like Adobe, Cision Disney, KKR, and McKinsey.

Rustin Kretz had been the company’s CEO since founding the company in 2001. He will now be the company’s Chairman of the Board and Chief Product Officer.

According to Street’s LinkedIn profile, Street joined Scorpion in October last year. So this appears to have been a long-planned transition.

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