Lyris Spreads European Wings with Facultas Acquisition

Online marketing company Lyris has acquired U.K-based email marketing agency Facultas and will open a new office in London.

Facultus has been a Lyris partner for five years and Lyris officials said the two companies are already significantly intertwined. They noted a number of Facultas customers, including British Museum, Hand Picked Hotels and Kitbag.com, currently use Lyris’s e-mail marketing solutions. Lyris, formerly known as J.L. Halsey, provides hosted and installed software for the creation of landing pages, Web site optimization and pay-per-click campaign management. Its clients include Nokia, American Apparel, Nvidia, and NBC Universal.

Lyris U.K. sales director Donna McNicholas will lead the London sales team, and Facultus’s former managing director and owner, Andrew Robinson, will serve as Lyris’s director of international professional services. In announcing the deal, Lyris said its “global expansion is in direct response to marketers� demand for easy-to-use solutions that allow them to successfully create, manage and measure e-mail, social and mobile campaigns all with the technology and services of one company.”

Terms of the acquisition were not revealed. Brian Bailard, global head of sales for Lyris, who was involved in the deal, said the Facultus team’s knowledge about Lyris technology will bolster its growth in the “underserved” U.K. market. “Their team knows our technology as well as we know it here,” Bailard said. “They know our customers inside and out, but they never really invested on the sales side of the equation.”

Lyris’ last acquisition (as J.L. Halsey) was of Web analytics firm ClickTracks in 2006. “There have been a few acquisitions over the years which helped us build out Lyris HQ,” said Lyris Communications Director Erick Mott. “The previous acquisitions were more technology oriented. This is more of an expansion of talent, region and domain expertise.”

The officials said the company is expanding its office space and hiring new staff. “No one loves a recession but this recession is very favorable to digital marketing,” commented Bailard.

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