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ExactTarget alums sell software company after just 13 months

June 9, 2016

The effects of Salesforce.com's acquisition of ExactTarget Inc. in 2013 continue to ripple throughout central Indiana.

On Wednesday, Pittsburgh-based software firm Branding Brand, which employs a few ExactTarget alumni, purchased Indianapolis-based Waysay LLC, a two-person startup founded in May 2015 by former ET'ers Matt Compton and Bob Ullery.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the 125-person Branding Brand plans to open an Indianapolis office as a result of the deal.

“We are proud and excited to have Waysay join the fold,” Branding Brand CEO Christopher Mason said in a prepared statement. “As shoppers look for more personalized experiences with their favorite brands, Waysay’s technology brings new capabilities to our platform for enabling meaningful one-to-one engagement and increasing customer loyalty.”

Branding Brand's technology powers sites and mobile apps for retailers worldwide, including Dick's Sporting Goods, Ralph Lauren and Bath & Body Works. Since its founding in 2008, the company has facilitated more than $5 billion in transactions and has raised $17 million in venture capital from investors including New York-based Insight Venture Partners, a former ExactTarget investor.

San Francisco-based Salesforce.com Inc. bought ExactTarget in 2013 for $2.5 billion, which set off a wave of tech entrepreneurism in central Indiana as former ExactTarget executives and employees started new businesses.

Compton and Ullery both worked for ExactTarget in a variety of positions, and then stayed on with Salesforce after the acquisition until founding Waysay.

Waysay, which operated out of The Speak Easy co-working space, built apps for retailers with social-network-like features, including profiles, content feeds, commenting and more. It also allowed companies to automatically send messages and push notifications based on user locations.

Mason said his firm made the acquisition to add such "conversational commerce" capabilities to its offerings.

Waysay's two employees—Compton and Ullery—will join Branding Brand's product team, which is led by former ExactTarget manager Jeff Middlesworth. Mason said he envisions opening an Indianapolis office with "room to grow," although the company hasn't decided on a location yet.

Todd Richardson, a former ExactTarget executive, invested in Waysay, along with TPC Investments LLC and ExactTarget co-founder Peter McCormick.

"The fact that [Branding Brand] found value in Waysay's retail app functionality is a credit to the Waysay team and is another example of the amazing technologies being cultivated in Indianapolis," Richardson said.

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