Vancouver-based customer intelligence software firm Vision Critical is spinning off its North American research and consulting division and selling it to international customer intelligence services firm Maru Group, the companies announced today.

Operating as a standalone organization within Maru Group as Maru/VCR&C, the new business will continue being led by the current Vision Critical research consulting executive team, and collaborate with Vision Critical under a strategic partner agreement.

Financial terms of the sale, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016, were not disclosed.

In a statement, Vision Critical CEO Scott Miller said the spinoff would allow Vision Critical to focus on improving both its signature customer intelligence platform, Sparq, and its support team while expanding the company’s reach, in addition to giving Maru/VCR&C the opportunity to develop and deliver world-class research consulting services of its own.

Under the spinoff agreement, all current Vision Critical research and consulting employees – approximately 160 people in offices across North America – will retain their present roles at MARU/VCR&C and continue to serve the same customers, while as a strategic partner, Vision Critical will continue to benefit from the expertise of its former research and consulting team, which provides market research services based on Vision Critical’s Insight Communities approach.

Founded earlier this year, Maru Group uses multiple technology platforms to provide quick, strategic customer feedback to large enterprises in a variety of international industries and markets, while Vision Critical’s customer intelligence SaaS platform is used by more than 700 companies around the world, including software giant Adobe Systems Inc., power tool company Dewalt, and U.S. media conglomerate Univision Communications Inc.

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