Vertiseit Acquires Grassfish, Creating Major Retail Digital Signage Provider

May 27, 2021 by Dave Haynes

Guest Post: Florian Rotberg, Invidis

This post first appeared in the German language publication managed by Invidis.

The Swedish digital signage integrator and software provider Vertiseit is taking over Grassfish, one of the leading CMS providers in Europe, for EUR 13.5 million. With the merger, the two providers create the European retail digital signage market leader with 100,000 active licenses. 

Grassfish and Vertiseit have merged to become the leading retail digital signage platform provider in Europe. 

Together they are strengthening their range of services and their reach for global brands and retailers as well as their regional footprint. Both companies share the vision of actively shaping the future of retail with digital retail solutions and of attaining a leading global role in the market.

With the transaction, Grassfish will now become part of the Vertiseit Group, a digital signage provider listed on the Swedish Nasdaq. Vertiseit digs deep into its pockets and pays 13.5 million EU for Grassfish (10 million EU in cash / 3.5 million in shares). 

As part of the cash/share deal, the two Grassfish managing directors Roland Grassberger and Alexander Korte become important shareholders of Vertiseit. Both companies have grown noticeably faster than the digital signage market in recent year,s and count international companies in more than 70 markets worldwide as their customers.

Who is Vertiseit?

Vertiseit has always been overshadowed by the larger Swedish digital signage players ZetaDisplay, VisualArt and MultiQ. The company founded by CEO Johan Lind has grown in the past few years through more than a handful of smaller acquisitions, primarily in the Swedish home market, to a turnover of 7 million euros (2020). 

Since the takeover of the digital signage software provider Dise, which is also located near Gothenburg, Scala’s former largest Scala partner Vertiseit has its own retail digital signage CMS platform.

Well-known customers of Vertiseit / Dise are Volvo, the fashion brands Peak Performance, J.Lindenberg, Lindex and Gina Tricot and the British department store chain Marks & Spencer. invidisXworld and CEO Johan Lindt visited a Volvo dealer near Gothenburg equipped with digital signage by Vertiseit

“Grassfish is an inspiration and thought leader in the industry. The companies are a perfect match, both from a cultural and strategic point of view. And above all, we share the vision of how digital retail will shape the future of retail,” says Johan Lind, CEO of Vertiseit.

Together with the wholly owned software subsidiary Dise, Vertiseit is pursuing the goal of becoming the world’s leading digital retail provider. The group of companies based near Gothenburg specializes in strengthening the brand experience in the store by creating a seamless customer journey between digital and physical channels.

Grassfish was founded in 2005 and is today a leading digital signage software platform provider in the DACH region. The Viennese deliver the digital signage platform for global networks from BMW, Porsche and DHL. After the Scala takeover by Stratacache, Grassfish was able to win some of the leading European digital signage integrators as partners. Grassfish has been changing its role within the value chain since 2019 and works both through partners and directly with global brands.

invidis calls this strategy ISV + – based on a mixture of software platform provider and integrator. Grassfish founder Roland Grassberger, like Stratacache CEO Chris Riegel, advocates the thesis that digital signage platforms today are much more than just CMS software and the depth of integration on the customer side (ERP, CRM, etc.) requires a high level of specialist knowledge, which is only available from the platform developers themselves can be delivered. This results in a different understanding of the distribution of roles between ISV (Independent Software Vendor), integrator and customer.

“Vertiseit and Grassfish both focus heavily on supporting large retail and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands in the demanding digital transformation of their stores – with a great platform, 360 ° knowledge and innovative solutions. Together we can advance innovations, technologies and our solutions at a faster pace. We look forward to offering our customers an even more comprehensive service and enabling them to exploit their digital potential today. I am very happy that Grassfish has found the perfect complement in Vertiseit,” says Roland Grassberger, CEO of Grassfish Marketing Technologies.

The Vertiseit Group is now present in Scandinavia (Sweden), in the DACH region (Austria and Germany) and in Great Britain with its own offices. The combined company has 120 employees. In order to achieve the ambitious goal of “becoming the global market leader in the digital in-store sector.” Further acquisitions are planned.

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