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Crescendo Finance advises on its first cross-border transaction of the year with the sale of French WannaSpeak to English Iovox

The French start-up WannaSpeak, which specialises in the management and measurement of online customer relations, will be able to deploy its technologies on an international scale. With a simple little “call me back” button placed on the Orange, Bouygues Telecom or Humanis websites, it succeeded in making a digital service more individual. Since then, the French start-up WannaSpeak has come a long way and developed new solutions based on the relationship between voice and the Internet. It was bought by Iovox, a London-based start-up . It was founded in 2007, and had raised a total of nearly 10 million euros.

“We have always developed on our own funds to keep our independence,” explains Thibaut Behaghel, co-founder and CEO of WannaSpeak. “But the market is consolidating and we will have to invest. Despite our profitability, we had to join forces with another actor to become a European leader.” Marchex (listed on Nasdaq), one of the world’s leading voice call tracking and analysis companies, acquired Callcap and Telmetrics last November, ushering in an era where only larger companies will remain.

WannaSpeak and Iovox are focusing on Europe and the Asia-Pacific zone, they are not interested in the North American market yet, and are counting on the new entity to deploy their new services more quickly. In addition to call-back, the start-up and the British company are offering more thoroughgoing solutions to their customers, particularly on mobile phones. Both can now track inbound and outbound calls worldwide, analyse calls and integrate all the data collected into marketing and CRM platforms. Although the amount of the transaction is not disclosed, Iovox has carried out a capital increase thanks to its main shareholder, Octopus Ventures, to complete the acquisition of WannaSpeak. And it has kept room for other possible future acquisitions. The new entity has grown and employs 40 people who work in London and Paris, in particular to ensure the follow-up and prospecting of French clients. WannaSpeak is also present in luxury and catering, and has a solid base in France. Iovox will thus be able to expand its client portfolio with entities such as Direct Energie, BNP Paribas and Audi.