This week, Tom Buehlmann, CEO of Cint, announced plans for the company to acquire New Orleans-based programmatic research technology company Lucid for $1.1 billion. Cint is a Swedish software company that offers digital insights gathering the world’s most successful insights companies, while Lucid provides a suite of software services and platforms that provide programmatic research technology and consumer insights to customers around the world. The proposed transaction is expected to close by the end of 2021 and the two companies will continue to operate as separate independent companies until the acquisition is complete.
“Cint and Lucid coming together is a validation of both companies’ offerings and the entire Research Technology industry,” said Patrick Comer, Founder and CEO of Lucid. “We’re excited to continue building towards our shared vision of the future. Our combined capabilities will empower our customers to discover more technology-enabled insights and better understand their target audiences.”
After spending years working at tech startups on each coast, Comer founded the company in 2010 from a desk in the New Orleans co-working space Launch Pad, first operating under the name Federated Sample, before rebranding in 2015. The company provides a suite of software services that provide essential data for market research, advertising, education, and political professionals. With headquarters in New Orleans, Lucid employs more than 125 professionals locally, and also operates offices across North America, Europe and Asia.
“The Lucid exit is the capstone on over a decade of effort within our startup community,” said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “Patrick and his team have been all home-town drive, creativity, and class, and it is wonderful to see the payoff. Combined with the recent success of Levelset, and many other recent exits and recent rounds, the Lucid exit is a ‘drop the mic’ moment for our entrepreneurial ecosystem. It means validation, it means wealth creation, and it means the fly-wheel of entrepreneurial success is beginning to spin for Greater New Orleans.”
The company, initially funded by Chris Schultz and Voodoo Ventures in 2010 during a fundraising round that included several local investors, launched with a mission to help companies target specific respondents for sampling. Over the years, Lucid has functioned as a leader in the New Orleans startup ecosystem, a reputation bolstered by raising $60M in 2017 during a Series B round and achieving $100M in transactions in 2019. The acquisition also introduces a new international publicly-traded company, Cint, into the New Orleans tech ecosystem. GNO, Inc. has worked with and supported Lucid since its inception, in a variety of ways including workforce, economic impact analyses, and promotion.
“Cint and Lucid are complementary leaders in the insights industry, helping insights-driven companies unlock substantial efficiencies across their value chains,” said Tom Buehlmann, CEO of Cint. “Us coming together will be a transformational step change for Cint. The combined organization will be a global leader in technology-enabled insights, and further strengthen Cint’s current proven business model. I am thrilled to welcome Patrick Comer and the entire team at Lucid to the Cint family. Together we will continue to serve our industry’s demand for digitalization and the need for faster, more cost-effective, and scalable technology solutions.”
With a valuation north of $1 billion, Lucid joins an estimated 424 other U.S. companies such as Facebook, Airbnb, and Google who have also achieved this level of success, also referred to as a “unicorn startup.” The company operates from a top-floor office in Canal Place, and Comer has long served as a board member and former chair of startup organization The Idea Village.
“Lucid’s acquisition firmly cements New Orleans’ status as a major tech hub,” said Norman E. Barnum IV, Interim President and CEO of New Orleans Business Alliance. “To have a company start in our city, grow to become a global leader, and have a valuation of over $1B shows the power of New Orleans entrepreneurs and tech talent. NOLABA looks forward to working with Cint Group, and Lucid’s current leadership team to grow the company’s presence and investment in our local economy. We also cannot wait to work with the next generation of New Orleans tech leaders, with Lucid as a shining example of what is possible.”