Cint, the Swedish software company for online market research, is aiming at further growth in overseas markets with potential bolt-on acquisitions on the back of bringing in a new investor, according to Managing Partner at Cipio Partners Roland Dennert.

Cipio Partners, the Luxembourg-based private equity firm, has invested EUR 4m in Cint. The transaction was completed last week and Cipio acquired shares from early investors in Cint, as well as injecting a lesser amount of growth capital in the firm, he noted.

Dennert declined to specify how much equity Cipio acquired but noted it is “a significant minority.”

Cipio will look to expand Cint with a geographical focus on the US and Japan, and to continue investing in product development, Cint CEO and company founder Bo Mattsson said. Japan and the US are the two biggest markets in this field and there is still scope to grow organically there, Dennert said.

However, the market is fragmented and Cint is likely to make acquisitions of companies with complementary technology to integrate into its portfolio. Potential targets could be smaller companies with a technology that make use of online market research panels more efficient. Currently, Cint’s market penetration is highest in the Nordic region but the scope for growth is less there due to the small size of the market, Dennert noted.

Cint’s market share of the USD 2bn global online panel market research industry is currently in single digits, Dennert noted. Main players in the space include uSamp and Survey Sampling International (SSI), he added.

The company reported turnover of SEK 117m (EUR 11.5m) in 2011, according to corporate directory allabolag.se. Dennert noted the company had grown “significantly” since 2011 but declined to specify further.

OpinionHUB, Cint’s exchange platform, gathers market insight by reaching more than 10m people in 50 countries through 500 different panel owners, which include publishers, local media outlets, market research agencies and not-for-profit organisations.

The company is backed by Creandum and Prime Ventures and a series of smaller investors.

Stockholm-based Cint was founded by Bo Mattsson in 1998 and has offices in major cities across Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region. Cipio generally exits its investments with a trade sale in three to five years, Dennert said, noting it is likely to follow this trend with Cint.