AnswerLab Secures Strategic Investment from Shamrock Capital
Leading Independent UX Research Firm Partners with Shamrock to Expand Enterprise-Level Research Offerings for Digital Product Development
SAN FRANCISCO, September 21, 2022 – AnswerLab, a leading independent UX research firm, today announced it has secured a strategic investment from Shamrock Capital, a Los Angeles-based investment firm specializing in media, entertainment, communications and related sectors. The investment will drive continued growth and expansion of AnswerLab’s service offering and team as it seeks to deliver critical insights for enterprises looking to improve engagement, reduce costs and increase conversion on their digital products.
Founded in 2004 by CEO Amy Buckner Chowdhry, AnswerLab helps enterprises with their digital transformation efforts by offering research services in digital strategy, optimization and measurement across the product development lifecycle. With its suite of research methods, consulting services and flexible engagement models including large-scale centers of excellence, AnswerLab helps leading global brands scale the impact and influence of their digital product development efforts. This year, as UX research has become core to product development for companies seeking to invest more in digital transformation, the firm has experienced strong momentum and outperformance, with over 50% year-over-year revenue growth and a growing client base that includes highly influential, global companies, such as Google, Meta, Amazon, American Express, Paypal, Airbnb, Genentech, and Fedex.
“When considering the right strategic partner to help with our next phase of growth, industry experience and cultural alignment were at the top of our priority list,” said Buckner Chowdhry. “We believe the partnership with Shamrock will allow us to grow and expand to the next level while continuing to invest in the employee experiences that have made us a certified Great Place to Work®.”
AnswerLab has a team of approximately 300 experienced researchers and research operations professionals worldwide. Concurrent with growing the business’ suite of research offerings, Buckner Chowdhry has prioritized initiatives around diversity, equity, and inclusion, including commitments around recruiting and employment practices as well as a financial commitments of $1 million specifically for DEI initiatives.
“Shamrock’s dedication to DEI, including their own internal initiatives and how we are building our newly-created board, made them an ideal partner for AnswerLab. We would only consider firms who could demonstrate a commitment to DEI through their actions and resulting impact,” said Buckner Chowdhry.
In parallel with Shamrock’s investment, AnswerLab is establishing a Board of Directors, which will include Buckner as well as Shamrock Partner Laura Held and Vice President Alicia Zhu. Held, who brings deep industry experience to the board, also currently serves on the board of directors of Highwire, VidMob, EDO, Adweek, Bayard and Wpromote, and previously held positions with The Walt Disney Company, The Carlyle Group and Credit Suisse. In her role at Shamrock, Zhu serves as a director of EDO and Skillable and has supported other Shamrock Capital investments including Ad Results Media and Pixellot.
“AnswerLab is uniquely positioned to benefit from the tailwinds of digital transformation as demand for UX research becomes an increasingly important element of the product development lifecycle,” added Held. “We are extremely impressed by the depth and innovation of AnswerLab’s UX capabilities, as well as their scale, quality client base, rapid growth, and stellar reputation. Also, we were attracted to their strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, which not only aligns with Shamrock’s values but has also been a key driver of their success. We are excited to be their partner during their next stage of growth and expansion.”
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP served as legal advisor to Shamrock Capital on the transaction. Clearsight Advisors, Queen Saenz + Schutz PLLC, and BDO served as advisors to AnswerLab on the transaction.
AnswerLab is a full-service user experience insights firm. With its broad suite of research methods, consulting services, and flexible engagement models, AnswerLab enables leading global enterprises to apply a human-centered design process to every product they launch. The company’s research experts deliver insights that the world’s leading brands need to create digital products and services that people love and want to use. Answerlab helps digital experience leaders scale their impact, influence, and make the right decisions for their end users and businesses. Research insights from the AnswerLab team have been published by Entrepreneur, Mashable, Forbes, UX Magazine, Inc., and VentureBeat. AnswerLab is Great Place to Work®-Certified and was on the Inc. 500/5000 lists for seven years running and the San Francisco Business Times Top 100 fastest growing companies for six years.