DoubleDutch Mobile App Maker Raises $45 Million in KKR-Led Round

DoubleDutch Inc., the maker of mobile applications for events and conferences whose clients include Novartis AG and Reebok International Ltd., raised $45 million in a round led by New York-based private equity firm KKR & Co.

Ted Oberwager, a principal at KKR, will join the San Francisco-based company’s board, according to DoubleDutch Chief Executive Officer Lawrence Coburn. Existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners and Index Ventures also participated in the investment, Coburn said.

This latest round of funding brings the total to $78.5 million, Coburn said. It will take about two more years before he’d start to think seriously about taking the company public. He declined to provide a valuation.

“We expect this to be the last round of funding” before an initial public offering, he said. “Our business plan calls for us to start approaching break-even with this round.”

DoubleDutch sells software that provides an app-creating service and data analytics for marketing strategies, as well as event logistics. The company currently receives all its revenue from selling one-year subscriptions to event organizers.

The software includes a build-an-app workshop, where customers can pick and choose features for a customized mobile application for attendees to download and use during an event. Each app provides information on venues and speakers and comes with a social network component. DoubleDutch also offers real-time monitoring and data analytics based on factors such as sentiment to measure performance.

Data Mining

DoubleDutch plans to use some of the funding to develop products that would provide a new revenue source, Coburn said. Possibilities include using attendee data to provide marketing strategies to exhibitors and sponsors. The company may also pursue acquisitions, Coburn said.

The fundraising is the latest step in KKR’s push to expand its Silicon Valley presence and compete with traditional venture capital firms for deals. This year, KKR has led investments including daily fantasy sports company FanDuel Inc.’s $275 million round last month.

“What some of the West Coast folks out here should understand is that KKR is coming” as a serious competitor to traditional venture capital firms, Coburn said by phone.

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