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Impel Acquires Automotive Customer Engagement Platform Outsell
in $100M+ Deal, Expanding to 8,000 Dealerships, 51 Countries. | Details

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Impel Acquires Automotive Customer Engagement Platform Outsell
in $100M+ Deal, Expanding to 8,000 Dealerships, 51 Countries. | Details

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Syracuse startup makes $100 million acquisition to boost auto marketing biz

Author: Rick Moriarty

Syracuse, N.Y. — A fast-growing Syracuse startup founded by two former Christian Brothers Academy classmates just grew a lot more, acquiring an automotive customer engagement platform in a deal valued at more than $100 million in cash and Impel equity.

Impel, which employs 150 people in downtown Syracuse, acquired Minneapolis-based Outsell last month, creating a combined company that serves 8,000 auto dealers, Impel said in an announcement Tuesday.

Impel sells a service that enables auto dealers to post interactive 3D images of the inside and outside of their vehicles on their websites for shoppers to view. Some 6,000 auto dealers in 51 countries subscribe to the service.

Founded in 2004, Outsell employs 170 people. The company provides a digital platform that automates sales and service marketing programs at 2,000 auto dealerships in the U.S. In the last 12 months, it has delivered more than 500 million messages via text, email, direct mail and social media to 61 million consumers, according to Impel.

Impel co-founder and CEO Devin Daly told syracuse.com the company plans to integrate Outsell’s platform into its own, creating an “end to end” sales and marketing automation platform for auto dealers.

“It’s a natural extension of our product,” he said. “It moves our capabilities one step higher.”

Daly said the data that Outsell has collected over 20 years gives it insight into how consumers respond to marketing campaigns and what triggers a sale.

Outsell will remain in Minneapolis, and Impel will maintain its headquarters in Icon Tower in downtown Syracuse, Daly said. Impel is expanding its space on the second floor of the building and taking space on the first floor, he said.

Daly and Impel Chief Strategy Officer Michael Quigley, former classmates at Christian Brothers Academy, founded the company in 2011, originally to help fashion companies market their products but later switching to the automotive industry. Before launching the company, Daly worked on Wall Street for a private equity firm and Quigley worked in the tech sector.

In January 2023, Impel received a $104 million investment led by Silversmith Capital Partners, a Boston-based growth equity firm, with participation from existing investor Wavecrest Growth Partners. At the time, the company said it would use the investment to rev up growth through product expansion, and mergers and acquisitions.

The acquisition of Outsell is the third by Impel in as many years. In 2021, it acquired Pulsar AI, a company in the Republic of Georgia that created a conversational artificial intelligence platform for the auto industry. In 2022, Impel acquired Los Angeles-based CarLabs.ai, which automates service reminders and other communications with auto dealer customers via email and texts.