December 8, 2022

Darwin CX Announces $38.4M Funding Co-Led by First Ascent Ventures and Felicitas Global Partners

Darwin CX ("DCX") announced today that it has raised $38.4M USD in funding. The funding was co-led by Toronto-based First Ascent Ventures and California-based Felicitas Global Partners. Additional funding was provided by New York-based Metropolitan Partners Group and Liam Lynch.

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Darwin CX ("DCX") announced today that it has raised $38.4M USD in funding. The funding was co-led by Toronto-based First Ascent Ventures and California-based Felicitas Global Partners.  Additional funding was provided by New York-based Metropolitan Partners Group and Liam Lynch.  

"Darwin is on its ascent to establish itself as the industry leader thanks to our strong culture led by dedicated employees and supportive partners," said DCX Executive Chairman and lead investor Liam Lynch. "We're thrilled to add these experienced and savvy B2B SaaS investors led by Richard Black and Tony van Marken at First Ascent Ventures, Bonar Chhay at Felicitas Global Partners, and Max Segal at Metropolitan Partners Group, to propel our next stage of growth."

"This funding from top-tier investment groups accelerates Darwin's mission to serve our clients with tools and capabilities to grow their subscriber bases and save up to half of their fulfillment and marketing costs," said Darwin co-founder and CEO Laas Turnbull. "This funding means we can confidently scale our operations, build strategic channel partnerships, and continue investing in our very ambitious product roadmap, led by Michael Smith, our co-founder, CTO, and Head of Innovation." 

DCX is an industry-leading software-as-a-service platform that leverages real-time data to increase acquisition and retention rates while decreasing marketing spend for publishers and membership-based organizations. It enables data-driven transformations for brands that often have sophisticated requirements for customer acquisition and retention, reporting, and customer service.  DCX integrates seamlessly with third-party applications and fulfillment providers.  DCX delivers a far superior customer experience compared to the industry's legacy technology and processes—the driving motivation behind another recent partnership announcement with publishing powerhouse a360 Media.

"Numerous industries that relied on legacy mainframe-based technology—costly and rigid—have been disrupted by cloud-based systems like Darwin," said Richard Black, co-founder and Managing Partner of First Ascent Ventures. "This partnership will ensure that Darwin's cloud-based technology will replace the legacy mainframe-based technology still used in the subscription economy." 

DCX has scaled clients by a factor of 10 in the past 18 months, adding new customers and channel partners across North America. Through a mix of organic growth and acquisition, DCX will continue in its drive to become a major voice in the subscription economy, which has grown more than 23% in the past year to $51 billion. By 2025, it is expected to be a $141-trillion economy. 

"At Metropolitan, we see a large number of investment opportunities in the lower and middle market—Darwin stands out given its leadership team and growth strategy," said Metropolitan Vice-President Max Segal.  "Partnering with First Ascent Ventures and Felicitas to support Darwin is a winning combination."

The transaction team was led by Chief of Staff Toby McCoy, CFO Jon Soucy, and General Counsel Chris Bedor at Darwin; Senior Associate Noah Chaikof at First Ascent Ventures; Director Calvin Marks and Associate Cody Odening at Felicitas Global Partners, with support from David McQuaid, Bruce Winans, and Alfonso Alejo at Compass Securities/Palladium Capital Group; Britt Rogers at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld; Kevin Kilduff at Kilduff Law; Aaron Rothman at K&L Gates; and Rebecca Chilton at Nelson Mullins.

About Darwin CX

Darwin CX is a transformative SaaS platform at the leading edge of the subscription and membership economies. It helps brands accelerate acquisition and retention—and increase loyalty—through innovative and customized check-out pages, targeted audience offerings, real-time A/B testing, and best-in-class analytics. The Darwin CX platform enables clients to have complete freedom and control over customer data in order to tailor the best possible customer experiences.

About Metropolitan
Metropolitan Partners Group is a private investment firm that provides asset-based debt capital to non-sponsored situations in the domestic lower middle market space, unconstrained by industry or asset class. Metropolitan works directly with business owners and management teams to grow their balance sheets and build lasting value with its tailored capital solutions, while aiming to provide downside protection to its investors.

About First Ascent Ventures 
Founded in 2015 by Richard Black and Tony van Marken, First Ascent Ventures invests in early-stage, emerging, and growth-oriented enterprise software companies in the information technology sector. The First Ascent Ventures team brings deep bench strength as operating executives and investors having built and invested in significant, global enterprise software companies.    

About Felicitas Global Partners 
Felicitas Global Partners is an alternatives investment firm that manages portfolios of secondaries, private credit, and private equity investments. Felicitas manages capital from an institutional base of asset management firms, foundations, family offices, and private wealth managers, with approximately $700M Assets Under Management.

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