Cork software company Poppulo merges with US firm Four Winds

16 Mar 2021

Andrew O'Shaughnessy, CEO Poppulo. Image: Cathal Noonan

The companies will integrate their employee communications and office management software into a combined entity reportedly worth $1bn.

Cork-based communications software company Poppulo is merging with US outfit Four Winds Interactive in a deal that values that combined company at a reported $1bn.

Denver’s Four Winds, which makes digital signage and office space management software, is a portfolio company of investment firm Vista Equity Partners.

The combined company will have more than 6,000 customers using its communications and office management tools for teams working remotely or on site. The Poppulo deal is Four Winds’ second acquisition after it snapped up UK start-up SmartSpace, which makes room booking software, last year.

“This merger is a game changer that will, for the first time, enable organisations to deliver long-overdue consumer-grade workplace communications that their people are used to in their personal lives,” Andrew O’Shaughnessy, chief executive of Poppulo, said.

“The ability to connect and engage with every employee, and to give them a sense of belonging and purpose, has never been as critical as it is right now because of how radically the workplace has changed – and that’s where internal communication is critical.”

Poppulo will continue to operate out of its bases in Cork, Boston and Luton, and the company’s platform will be integrated into Four Winds. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter. No terms for the transaction were disclosed but the combined business is believed to be worth around $1bn.

The Cork-headquartered company previously raised €30m in funding in 2019 from Susquehanna Growth Equity.

Four Winds was founded in 2005 with Vista Equity investing in the company in 2019. Its chief executive, David Levin, said the merger of the two companies will address the evolving work environment during and after Covid-19.

“With the rapidly evolving nature of work and the increase in remote, hybrid and non-traditional workplaces, employee communication has never been more important than it is right now. This is true for both frontline and office workers,” he said.

“This is about putting the employee at the centre of communications and making sure they have the information they need, when they need it, to ensure they are able to work effectively.”

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin