Scaleworks Buys E-Commerce Search Company Nextopia, Names Pete Messana as CEO

By Iris Gonzalez
Nextopia is now a Scaleworks company

San Antonio-based venture equity firm Scaleworks has acquired  Nextopia, an e-merchandising software company specializing in search and navigation solutions. The company is the second purchase for the San Antonio private equity firm’s second $80 million fund announced in February. Nextopia is also in the online search and navigation space as is competitor SearchSpring, which Scaleworks acquired in May.

Read more: Scaleworks Acquires SearchSpring, Leader In E-commerce SearchSpring

“Every step of the customer journey in e-commerce has a big impact on sales – from search to landing pages to merchandising, said Lew Moorman, Scaleworks general partner and co-founder. “With Nextopia and SearchSpring we are assembling the best-of-breed toolset to help merchants of all size sell as effectively as the biggest players.”

Peter Messana, who became CEO for SearchSpring after Scaleworks’ acquisition, will also run Nextopia as its CEO.  There are no current plans to merge the two entities, according to Scaleworks. Messana has over 20 years’ experience in retail and technology and previously worked for GroupBy, Home Depot, and was CEO of Summit Sports/Austin Kayak. Messana moved to San Antonio from Austin for the SearchSpring acquisition earlier this year.

Founded in 1999  in Toronto, Canada, Nextopia is a global provider of e-commerce site search and navigation solutions servicing over 1,600 customers. Clients include Delta Apparel, Wrigleyville Sports, Geiger, Global Healing Center, BENQ, NewAge Products, Jimmy Jazz, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Toys R Us, Party Delights, Tommy John, Noritake, The Tie Bar, Paul Fredrick, and Gerber.

E-commerce sales are projected to skyrocket to $5 billion worldwide by 2021, so incorporating a quality search experience will be instrumental to capturing that growth, Messana wrote in a SearchSpring post. The Scaleworks acquisition will enable Nextopia to continue its growth in an effort to capture more of that projected market.

“This new chapter will see continued investment and product innovation advancing our machine learning and AI and entering new markets like B2B,” wrote Nextopia founder Sanjay Arora. “Today Nextopia becomes part of the Scaleworks family, equipped with the resources for continued advancement.”

The company has over 30 employees who will stay in Toronto. Messana will build a new team to lead product and marketing for the company in San Antonio, according to a Scaleworks representative.

Peter Messana is the new CEO of SearchSpring. Courtesy image.
Peter Messana is the new CEO of Nextopia and SearchSpring. Courtesy image.

Scaleworks acquired eight businesses with its first fund and has since had three companies exit its portfolio. FollowUp was acquired in May 2018, Assembla was acquired in November 2018, and Scalewworks sold its stake in Mailgun in April.  The most recent acquisition has brought the number of Scaleworks’ companies in its portfolio up to seven: Nextopia, Chargify, Filestack, Qualaroo, Earth Class Mail, Keen, and SearchSpring.

“We’re excited to be able to service a larger market segment and grow the team to help define that strategy, starting first with hiring a VP of Marketing and VP of Product based here in San Antonio,” Messana wrote in an email.

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