Transaction Highlights Growing Auto Industry Demand for AI-Powered Automation and Impel’s Market-Leading Digital Engagement Platform
Impel announced that it has secured a $104 million growth investment led by Silversmith Capital Partners, a Boston-based growth equity firm, with participation from existing investor Wavecrest Growth Partners. The transaction validates the company’s vision and track record of successful global execution as well as the significant opportunity for continued digital transformation in the auto industry. The funding will be used to accelerate company growth through product expansion and M&A activity to meet industry demand for automation and digital technology solutions.
Impel is a leading digital engagement platform for OEMs, marketplaces and auto dealers. The company’s AI-powered technology solutions enable vehicle manufacturers and retailers to deliver more engaging omnichannel customer experiences while driving greater operational efficiency. To date, the company’s merchandising and conversational AI applications have powered more than 5 billion shopper interactions and influenced nearly $2 billion in vehicle sales and service transactions. Over the past two years, Impel has grown revenue by more than 100%, completed two acquisitions and profitably scaled the organization to 200 employees globally. The company now serves more than 4,000 customers and powers an ecosystem of more than 100 technology and marketplace partners.
“The past few years have brought massive change to the auto industry as traditional operating models have been fundamentally transformed with digital technology. With the heightened focus on Electric Vehicles and the growing demand for ecommerce functionality, the digital disruption that is currently underway shows no signs of slowing,” said Devin Daly, Impel Co-Founder and CEO. “We’re thrilled to have found a partner who shares our vision for the future, and we are excited to have Silversmith join our team as we embark on the next chapter of our company’s growth. This investment will significantly strengthen our ability to introduce new products and innovations that generate meaningful business impact for manufacturers and dealers alike, while enhancing the customer experience at every touchpoint.”
The combination of rapidly changing consumer behaviors, evolving market dynamics and shifting macroeconomic conditions have driven unprecedented demand for digital technology in automotive, one of the largest industries in the world. In a 2022 survey of auto dealers conducted by GLG, the world’s largest insight network, nearly 90% agreed that delivering better customer experiences would be critical to future business success, and increased investments in digital technologies including artificial intelligence and digital merchandising will be required to remain competitive.
“On the long list of things that we look for in new investments, there are two that stand out above the rest – a compelling team and a product that customers love,” said Todd MacLean, Managing Partner at Silversmith Capital Partners. “While it may seem to many that the hype around AI and machine learning is overblown, Impel has shown how software companies can leverage this cutting-edge technology to solve everyday problems – in this case changing how dealers engage with and serve their customers. We think that in the automotive market, like all others, the genie is out of the bottle and there’s no going back to the old way of doing things. We’re thrilled to be joining Devin, his team and our friends at Wavecrest for the next part of the journey.”
“Since our initial investment in 2018, we’ve had the pleasure of working closely with the team at Impel as they’ve grown to become the recognized leader in digital engagement technology for the auto industry,” said Deepak Sindwani, Managing Partner at Wavecrest Growth Partners. “As the category creator, their innovations have made a meaningful impact on the way in which vehicles are sold. The company’s impressive performance to date, coupled with the increasing need for automation in an industry that is in the throes of transformation, presents a compelling picture for what’s ahead. We are confident in the team’s ability to execute, and we were excited to invest again in their next stage of growth alongside a great partner in Silversmith.”
Concurrent with their investment, Todd MacLean and Silversmith Vice President Ned Kingsley have joined Impel’s Board of Directors. Cowen Inc. acted as strategic advisor to Impel, and Mintz provided legal counsel to Impel on the transaction. Kirkland & Ellis served as legal counsel to Silversmith Capital Partners.