Ed Barrow

Corporate Strategy, Market Mapping and M&A

Ed Barrow co-founded Idio (alongside Andrew Davies, now CMO at Paddle), raising first outside capital from Notion Capital in 2013.

Idio developed a powerful predictive marketing platform, leveraging AI to predict the interests of individual buyers and automatically delivering personalised digital purchase journeys. 

After several years exploring different GTM models and target markets, in 2017 Ed and team developed a hyper-focused 'Ideal Customer Profile', targeting 650 B2B Enterprise organisations in Software and Finance verticals across UK and North America - which dramatically accelerated growth and customer value. With a focus on a US GTM Strategy, the result was a blue chip client base including IBM, Salesforce, Intel, Fitch Ratings and S&P; and being named AI Breakout Vendor by Forrester Research.

Idio took an integration-first approach to customer value delivery, and with a clear understanding of the technology ecosystem they operated in, Idio was able to compete effectively against larger competitors and incumbents whilst establishing relationships with multiple potential future acquirers.

In mid-2019 Idio launched a dual track M&A//IPO process with Canaccord Genuity, completing the full pre-launch UK AIM public market listing process before ultimately selling to CMS vendor Episerver, Inc backed by their Private Equity owner Insight Partners.

Post-acquisition, Ed transitioned to running Product Strategy, Corporate Development and Strategic Alliances for Episerver globally. Covering a portfolio of 12 major product lines to establish build/buy/partner/compete decisions, leading to the acquisition of 4 technology vendors including Welcome, Inc (aka NewsCred), Zaius, Inc. (a leading Customer Data Platform) and well-known Silicon Valley startup Optimizely, Inc (which the entire organisation was then re-branded as). The end-to-end corporate development process involved target identification across more than 20 categories, sourcing, negation, financing, due diligence and post acquisition integration planning, working closely in conjunction with Private Equity owner Insight Partners. Placing an ex-founder to lead Corporate Development enabled Episerver/Optimizely to articulate a founder-friendly acquisition strategy to target startups, and harness their entrepreneurial talent to drive growth and innovation across the organisation.

Today, Ed helps a portfolio of high-growth SaaS startups in the Notion portfolio to develop their understanding of the technology ecosystem within which they operate, and to establish focused, purposeful partnership, M&A and exit strategies which will maximise both commercial growth and long-term enterprise value.

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