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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

April 6, 2012 at 10:29 AM

Visible Technologies buys Boston firm, swaps CEO

Bellevue media analytics company Visible Technologies today made its first acquisition, buying a Boston-based competitor called Cymfony.

The move looks like it was driven by investors, to bulk up Visible and broaden its reach. It also consolidates the stakes that advertising giant WPP held in both companies; it now owns 49 percent of the combined entity.

As part of the deal, about 20 employees will lose their jobs but it’s not clear yet where the reductions will take place. Visible has satellite offices across the country and in London.

Visible had about 85 employees, and Cymfony had around 60 before the deal. The combined company will employ about 125.

Visible Chief Executive, Kelly Pennock, is the first to go. He was replaced today by by Richard Pasewark, president of Cymfony. The company will remain headquartered in Bellevue and fortunately keep Visible’s name, rather than operate as Cymfony.

“Bringing together Cymfony and Visible will uniquely position the company to deliver actionable insights and global solutions via expert services, scalable technology, and international content,” Pasewark said in a release.

Cymfony gives visible “global content, sophisticated analytics, scalability to thousands of enterprise users and actionable consumer insights,” the release said. That’s being combined with Visible’s social monitoring and analytics platform, which is used by large companies to track and tweak their online reputations and marketing.

Visible’s investors besides WPP include Centurion Holdings, Ignition Partners, In-Q-Tel, Investor Growth Capital. WPP owned 24 percent of Visible and all of Cymfony before the deal and will own 49 percent of the merged company.

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