British consumer insights software company GWI has raised $180m (£133m) in a Series B funding round, bringing the company’s valuation to more than $850m and on course to reach unicorn status.
The round was led by Permira’s growth fund and the fresh funds will be used to bolster the company’s software as a service (SaaS) platform, which provides businesses with insights on consumer demographics, preferences and behavioural attitudes.
Its platform is currently available across 48 countries. GWI said it plans to use the capital injection to expand to new markets.
It is the company’s second funding round since it was founded in 2009. In 2018 it raised $40m in a Series A funding round with backing by New York-based growth fund Stripes Group.
GWI’s first customer was Microsoft and it now counts the likes of Google, Spotify, Red Bull and Twitter among its clients.
Its platform lets companies analyse harmonised-data sets across geographies, with the goal of providing insights more quickly.
“Companies today need an instantaneous view of their audience everywhere in the world,” said Tom Smith, CEO and founder of GWI. “The traditional approach of market research is not fit for purpose – too slow, incredibly expensive, and lacks the scale and detail needed.
He added: “Our technology has solved this problem and the result has been incredible growth over the last three years. We can’t wait to work with Permira on our five-year goal to put audience insights in the workflow of every professional”.
GWI says it has tripled recurring revenue and has increased its team to about 400 employees across its offices in London, New York, Prague, and Athens. It aims to add 200 more employees to its roster in 2022.
GWI joins Carta, Fullstory, G2, Klarna and Sysdig, among others, as a Permira portfolio company.