Apr. 26, 2022, 07:16 AM

Leaders Strategy™ Investment to Support Growth of Data-Driven Advertising Software

CHICAGO, April 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — GTCR, a leading private equity firm founded in 1980, announced today that it has made a strategic investment in SQAD LLC (“SQAD”), the advertising research, analytics, and media planning software company, through GTCR’s portfolio company Dreamscape, Inc. (“Dreamscape”), a partnership with marketing technology veterans Scott Knoll, David Hahn and Michael Iantosca. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. As part of the transaction, SQAD’s Chief Executive Officer, Marc Krigsman, will step down and Mr. Knoll will assume that position.

SQAD is a provider of dynamic software and data solutions for advertisers, agencies and brands for media planning strategies. These tools, employed by some of the largest advertisers and publishers in the world over the past 40 years, include SQAD’s MediaCosts benchmarking platform, which has processed more than $1 trillion in actual transaction ad costs from advertising systems of record, its MediaTools solution, which provides advertisers with a leading media planning software tool, and its MediaLogic audience analytics research tool. This end-to-end solution allows clients to develop and deploy media strategies across network, local, & cable television, radio, out of home and internet channels that are informed by innovative research, review, planning, management, and reporting insights.

“We are incredibly excited to make this investment in SQAD alongside GTCR,” said Mr. Knoll. “SQAD helps a significant number of the largest advertisers in the world plan their media and we fundamentally believe that this function is critical to the success of these businesses, particularly in a dynamic media landscape. The expertise and resources that Dreamscape and GTCR will bring to this investment will help SQAD innovate and continue to deliver actionable data in all digital formats and buying and selling platforms. Marc and his team have done a great job and we look forward to working with the SQAD team to expand the scope and functionality of its solutions to further help its customers.”

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT, Dreamscape was founded in May 2020 as a partnership between Messrs. Knoll, Hahn and Iantosca and GTCR. The partnership’s focus is to acquire companies and assets as part of a strategy to build a leading marketing technology business. The acquisition of SQAD is the first for Dreamscape and it continues to seek opportunities across a wide range of assets in the marketing sector to continue to build its capabilities.

The formation of the Dreamscape partnership is part of GTCR’s unique Leaders Strategy™ approach, finding and partnering with management leaders in core domains to identify, acquire and build market-leading companies through transformational acquisitions and organic growth. Messrs. Knoll, Hahn and Iantosca are 20+ year veterans of the technology, marketing and advertising industries. They worked together from 2011 to 2019, most recently as Chief Executive Officer, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Revenue Officer, respectively, at Integral Ad Science (“IAS”), a leading marketing technology business that measures media quality to verify and optimize the placement of digital ads through its fraud, viewability, brand safety and optimization capabilities. During this time, they grew IAS from a startup to a global leader in the ad verification industry.

“SQAD’s cost data is essential for anyone buying or selling media and we believe this is an excellent investment for the Dreamscape team,” said Craig Bondy, Managing Director and Co-Head of TMT at GTCR. “Together, GTCR, Dreamscape and SQAD can grow SQAD’s existing capabilities and look for new tools to further enhance its offerings. This investment exemplifies the GTCR investment approach of bringing together experienced management leaders with well-positioned companies, and then partnering to build out best-in-class services, solutions and products.”

“The marketing and advertising technology industry continues to evolve and providing data-driven insights and solutions has never been more important,” said Stephen Master, Principal at GTCR. “We believe SQAD is uniquely positioned in the market, and adding additional expertise, perspective and networks from the Dreamscape team will position the business to continue to grow and to meet the needs of clients in an increasingly fragmented digital and online media landscape.”

“SQAD is a market leader with its cost products, audience analytics and end to end media management platform,” said Marc Krigsman, Chief Executive Officer of SQAD. “Our clients look to us for the tools to plan, forecast, optimize, and automate more of the manual steps it takes to manage their media activities. Throughout my seven-year term as CEO, the incredible people of TEAM SQAD have worked tirelessly to further the leadership position of SQAD and I am incredibly proud to have worked with each and every person. The vision that GTCR and Dreamscape have for the future is one I am excited about, and look forward to, as SQAD enters this new relationship.” 

Kirkland & Ellis acted as legal advisor and LUMA Partners acted as financial advisor to GTCR and Dreamscape. Cooley acted as legal advisor and Lazard acted as financial advisor to SQAD.

About GTCR

Founded in 1980, GTCR is a leading private equity firm focused on investing in growth companies in the Business & Consumer Services, Financial Services & Technology, Healthcare and Technology, Media & Telecommunications industries. The Chicago-based firm pioneered The Leaders Strategy™ – finding and partnering with management leaders in core domains to identify, acquire and build market-leading companies through transformational acquisitions and organic growth. Since its inception, GTCR has invested more than $20 billion in over 250 companies. For more information, please visit www.gtcr.com. Follow us on LinkedIn.

About Dreamscape
Dreamscape was formed in 2020 as a partnership between Scott Knoll, David Hahn, Michael Iantosca and GTCR. Dreamscape’s mission is to build a leading marketing technology business. For more information about Dreamscape, please contact info@pcdreamscape.com. 

About SQAD
SQAD LLC. has been an industry leader for more than four decades, processing more than $1 trillion in actual transaction ad costs from advertising systems of record for its MediaCosts benchmarking platform. SQAD also serves advertisers and agencies with its mission-critical MediaTools planning software, a robust and flexible end-to-end media planning solution, and publishers with its MediaLogic audience analytics research tool. Learn more at www.sqad.com.