Communispace expects to fill new digs in Boston

Communispace expects to fill new digs in Boston

Communispace Corp.’s sale this week to Omnicom is unlikely to slow its plans to fill out 80,000 square feet of space in Boston.

The deal was worth “slightly more than” $100 million, sources confirmed. The $100 million figure was first reported in Stuart Smith’s MarketingWeek blog.

That’s no grand slam, but it’s a happy multiple of six on the $17 million investors Dominion Ventures, Women’s Growth Capital and a handful of angels put into the Watertown, Mass. provider of online customer focus groups. Communispace was profitable in 2003, and took its last outside capital in 2004.

CEO Diane Hessan declined to comment on the terms of the deal, but said the company plans to continue hiring and growing in Boston – to which end it will occupy 80,000 square feet in a new building on downtown Boston’s Russia Wharf, this summer. That lease was announced in November. Communispace has about 320 employees now, and currently has about 20 open positions. Hessan has previously said in public appearances that sales have grown 30 to 35 percent in each of the past two years, and got close to $50 million in 2010.

“Our clients want us to be global faster,” Hessan said in an interview today. “It’s really hard to do that alone.” Existing clients are eager to apply Commmunispace’s brand of online customer engagement to overseas markets, Hessan said. Clients include large brands ranging from Coca Cola to Pepsi, and Bank of America to Liberty Mutual. “If anything we’ll be hiring more people faster.”

Hessan said she plans to stick around long-term, and is not fearful of losing the company’s independence under Omnicom. The merger was a “management decision,” driven by the need to grow internationally, she said. “One of the reasons we’re excited about Omnicom is they’re known for letting their companies be independent and chart their own destiny,” she said. “They’re a great firm but we’re really proud of our company and our culture.”

Read more: Communispace expects to fill new digs in Boston | Boston Business Journal

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