Emerald Acquires PlumRiver to Boost Digital Commerce Capabilities

The acquisition by SSI’s parent company allows it to use PlumRiver’s Elastic Suite B2B SaaS platform across thousands of customer brands.

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. — Emerald Holding (NYSE: EEX), parent company of SSI, CEDIA Expo and several related media brands, announces the acquisition of PlumRiver, an international provider of software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology through its Elastic Suite solution.

Elastic Suite’s platform “streamlines the wholesale buying process for both brands and retail buyers, creating a digital year-round transactional platform for use by Emerald’s customers,” according to the joint announcement.

The acquisition “will accelerate Emerald’s strategy to provide 365-day-per-year engagement for its customer base regardless of location by significantly expanding its digital commerce capabilities and providing its customers with robust transactional functionality,” the announcement says.

That includes “deep enterprise-level integration to brands’ ERP systems, allowing customers to manage orders, real-time inventory and product merchandising,” according to the announcement.

PlumRiver, which was founded in 2002, is integrated with manufacturers and retailers across numerous industries, most notably in the outdoor, surf, cycling, footwear and sporting goods verticals, and will complement Emerald’s portfolio of show brands, including Outdoor Retailer and Surf Expo.

PlumRiver’s Elastic B2B platform “bridges the gap between sellers’ order processing systems and allows brands to sell directly to their buyers using print-free digital product catalogs and merchandising technology,” according to the announcement.

This “enables clients to increase their efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability and profitability,” the announcement says. Key client brands include Patagonia, The North Face, Burton, Shimano, Scott Sports, Rip Curl, Boardriders, Volcom, Timberland, New Balance, Vans, Orvis and Puma.

Why Emerald Acquired PlumRiver

“Over the course of 2020, we launched many digital product offerings focused on customer engagement, new customer acquisition, and delivering high-value customer solutions,” says Emerald COO Brian Fields.

“From our customers’ feedback, the highest value of these needs is clearly centered on the transaction between buyer and seller. Through our acquisition of PlumRiver and the Elastic platform, we now have the capability to offer a full spectrum of bundled solutions to our customers — from product discovery, lead-generation, to transaction — across both in-person, face-to-face events as well as year-round, digital opportunities,” he adds.

“The acquisition of PlumRiver is a natural extension of our live events business; we can now offer a complementary, year-round interaction and transaction platform,” says Emerald President and CEO Hervé Sedky.

“PlumRiver’s technology is already used by world-class clients and will foster increased engagement between Emerald and our customers. Importantly, the Elastic B2B eCommerce SaaS solution is expected to strengthen our existing live events, expanding both their relevance and growth profile, while also bringing an additive subscription-based revenue stream to Emerald,” he says.

“Elastic has clearly emerged as the preferred wholesale purchasing and digital merchandising solution among both brands and retailers,” says PlumRiver CEO Josh Reddin.

“Looking forward, I couldn’t be more encouraged by the opportunity to establish Elastic as the standard B2B ecommerce solution across even more verticals as we expand our business through our combination with Emerald. Their portfolio of industry-leading events provides significant growth opportunities for our solutions.”

“We are thrilled to join Emerald to bring our innovative, market-driven solutions and efficiencies to thousands of brands and retailers across the globe in a rapidly expanding B2B digital economy,” says PlumRiver Co-Founder John Marchione.

“We are equally excited for the many new opportunities for our team members,” he adds.

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