GAINESVILLE & BOCA RATON, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research (the Institute) announced today that SharpSpring, providers of comprehensive sales and marketing management systems, has been acquired by SMTP, Inc. (NASDAQ:SMTP), a global provider of email delivery services. SharpSpring, with technology developed at the University of Florida, was funded through the Institute’s Seed Capital Accelerator Program at the end of 2012. It is the first company in the Institute’s portfolio to complete a successful exit event.
SharpSpring is a cloud-based marketing automation provider offering a next-generation solution that rivals the industry’s other platforms in terms of features, functionality and performance. According to Rick Carlson, SharpSpring president, “in less than a year, more than 200 marketing agencies have signed on as SharpSpring partners and have used the platform to bring the benefits of marketing automation to their clients. We want to thank the Institute for the confidence they had in us early-on, and simply put, this merger would not have been possible without their support.”
“The Institute exists to support scalable young companies like SharpSpring that are bringing innovative products to market and changing the way people live, work and play,” said Jamie Grooms, Institute Chief Executive Officer. “We are delighted that they have joined forces with a global market leader like SMTP, which will enable them to expand their products and services, and look forward to their continued success.”
About the Institute
Formed by the Florida Legislature in 2007, the Institute for Commercialization of Public Research is a non-profit organization that works collaboratively with the technology licensing and commercialization offices of Florida’s state universities and private research institutions to leverage a $2B+ research base and form investable companies that create clean jobs in new industries that are driving the global economy. Over 100 new company projects have been identified across the state, and in the Institute deploys both company building and company funding programs to promising Florida companies. Thirty-three companies have been funded since the program’s inception.
SharpSpring provides easy-to-use, affordable marketing software for small-to-medium businesses, enabling marketers to do far more with their resources than ever before possible. Through analytics and automation designed specifically for SMBs, SharpSpring empowers marketers to streamline the lead generation and sales process and accelerate growth. In contrast to solutions designed for large enterprises, SharpSpring’s unique SMB platform is designed to be used and managed by as little as one marketing person with almost no learning curve or implementation time, providing immediate return on investment through increased lead generation and sales.