Company expects to go public next year
One Santa Barbara company thrived during the pandemic, to the tune of a recent $1.5 billion valuation.
The company is Impact, which helps businesses and their products and services online with software that partners them with publishers and influencers. It’s the internet age’s alternative to traditional advertising, and it’s apparently proving successful.
“We’re still a private company, but we’re intending to likely go public next year,” CEO David Yovanno told the News-Press about Impact’s plans to sell shares. “We think we’ve reached that level of maturity.”
Mr. Yovanno explained that Impact recently raised $150 million to expand its platform. That set the stage for the interest by investors and the $1.5 billion valuation.
Qatar Investment Authority invested enough money in Impact to become a minority shareholder with a seat on the company’s board, Mr. Yovanno said. He explained Providence Public also invested in the company, but not to the extent of getting a seat.
Mr. Yovanno said the Royal Bank of Canada acted as the agent handling the investments. “Working with RBC is like working with a real-estate agent. QIA and Providence Public are the buyers, investing the money. RBC is like the project manager.”
Founded in 2008, Impact works with companies such as Spotify, Walmart, Loreal, Levi’s and 1-800-Flowers, Mr. Yovanno said. “They license our software.
“Generally speaking, we have 1,700 customers licensing our software, using it to manage over a million partnerships with influencers and publishers,” Mr. Yovanno said.
He said the approach is more effective with modern consumers than traditional advertising.
Mr. Yovanno explained Impact’s software helps companies to find partners who provide things such as product reviews and recommendations. So instead of a company praising its own products, it’s recruiting a partner to promote them.
“It’s less about what a company says about itself and more about what somebody else says about the company,” Mr. Yovanno said.
That’s the premise behind Impact. And it’s a premise that apparently proved to work well during the pandemic when consumers started spending a lot more time at home in front of their computers.
“The pandemic definitely helped us,” Mr. Yovanno said. “E-commerce was way up in terms of customers. We definitely saw more businesses moving our platforms. People were sitting at home, and they had some money to work with because of government subsidy checks.
“They were finding out what to buy through the partners we connect with,” Mr. Yovanno said.
He added that Impact allowed its staff to work remotely during the pandemic and managed its expenses conservatively. “My message to the company was, ‘Let’s make sure the company doesn’t get COVID. If we can find a way to be productive, we can operate remotely.’”
Working remotely worked well for Impact, Mr. Yovanno said. “My hat’s off to the team.”
He noted the company’s staff is starting to return to its 13 offices around the world, except for its office in South Africa, which is in a lockdown after the pandemic’s resurgence there.
The international headquarters remains in Santa Barbara.
For more information, go to impact.com.email: firstname.lastname@example.org