Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Customer-feedback firm sold

Tell Us About Us will stay in city

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TELL Us About Us, the Winnipeg-based customer feedback company started 14 years ago by brothers Tyler and Kirby Gompf, has been sold.

Market Force Information, a leader in customer intelligence solutions and the largest mystery shopping company in the world, has purchased TUAU for an undisclosed price. TUAU will remain intact in Winnipeg as a division of the Denver-based firm.

"(Market Force) is the North American leader (in the industry). Joining forces with a larger entity allows us to broaden the programs offered to our A-list of clients," said Tyler Gompf, CEO of TUAU.

"Whether it's quickly gathering and responding to social media posts, expanding feedback opportunities with a wide variety of survey methodologies or providing efficient call centre services, our measurement systems are designed to give clients the opportunity to delight their customers. With the added scale and big vision that Market Force brings, we can really deliver world-class solutions."

TUAU, which recently relocated into a 10,000-square-foot office on Stradbrook Avenue, doubling its old space on Market Avenue, has 65 employees. It was the brainchild of Tyler Gompf, who had a poor experience while shopping for a stereo and thought there needed to be a better way for companies to get feedback from customers.

Karl Maier, Market Force's CEO, described the purchase of TUAU as a "milestone acquisition" for the six-year-old company. He said Gompf and the TUAU employees will head up a "centre of excellence" for Market Force.

"We've grown our customer feedback portfolio over the past several years and with TUAU, we'll have greater capabilities spanning even more markets and geographies. What's more, TUAU's 800-call centre services and social media monitoring and outreach naturally complement our current solutions and will give our clients even more resources for their customer intelligence," he said.

With Market Force buying out all of TUAU's shareholders, the move also brings to an end the $500,000 in venture capital invested in TUAU a decade ago. The Ensis Growth Fund, which was acquired by GrowthWorks Canadian Fund nearly three years ago, put in $400,000 while a private group connected to Ensis put in another $100,000.

Harold Heide, Winnipeg-based vice-president of investment at GrowthWorks, said the company received a "very acceptable" return on its money.

"If I would have done that well on every investment we made, we would be pretty happy campers," he said. "We invested in good guys who knew what they were doing so we weren't that concerned."

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 29, 2011 B5

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