Boss Insights - Tech M&A Round Up - 6th March 2020

Access Acquires CoreHR to Create HR & Payroll SaaS Software & Services
Colchester, Essex - 5th March 2020 - The Access Group, has announced the acquisition of CoreHR, a UK and Ireland market leader in HR and Payroll software for Mid-Market & Enterprise level businesses.  The addition of CoreHR, follows soon after the groups’ acquisition of People, one of the UK’s leading providers of HR software to Small & Medium Enterprises (SME’s).  Combined with Access’s existing market presence, it will become the HR and Payroll leader in the UK and Ireland markets, with capabilities to support organisations of any size, with all their HR and Payroll needs. Chris Bayne, CEO of Access, commented: “The European HCM and Payroll market is worth $5.2Bn with just under half of this market being served by pure SaaS solutions with an impressive growth rate of over 15%.  CoreHR is a key player in this space and adds significant scope for Access to deliver even more solutions, to a broader range of organisations, across multiple markets, in particular allowing us to bring Access Workspace to the Irish market.  The combined HCM offerings, Access can now deliver, will further strengthen our ability to take a bigger share of this growing market over the coming years, with our goal to double the current revenues by the end of our 2024 financial year.”

WPP Acquires Data Science Firm Sandtable
5th March 2020 - WPP-owned GroupM has confirmed its acquisition of London-based data science specialist Sandtable on undisclosed terms in a break from broader moves to ‘streamline’ its agency proposition for brands. Sandtable is pioneering the use of simulations to understand human behaviour, explore future scenarios and support better strategic decision making. A world-leading specialist in Agent Based Modeling (ABM), Sandtable offers cutting-edge analytical capabilities to help clients develop more effective strategies in complex, changing markets. Founded in 2009, Sandtable is headquartered in London and employs highly skilled data scientists, software engineers, behavioural scientists and strategic planners. Integrated into GroupM’s technology practice, the acquisition is in line with WPP’s strategy to deepen its technology offer by further strengthening its investment and innovation in data science. Sandtable will make GroupM the first media agency group to purposefully invest in ABM. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

MindBridge Completes Acquisition of Brevis, Expands AI and Data Analytics Services to Accountancy and Financial Services Firms in the UK
Ottawa, Ontario – 4th March 2020 - MindBridge, a global provider of artificial intelligence-based risk and anomaly detection solutions for the financial services industry, has announced that it has completed its acquisition of Brevis Limited, an accountancy technology firm serving the UK. This acquisition strengthens the MindBridge commitment to positively transform the accountancy and financial services professions while enhancing its position in serving its growing client base in the UK and Europe. “Brevis has carved out a unique and valuable position in local accountancy marketplaces,” said Eli Fathi, MindBridge CEO. “We are aligned in our vision to transform the industry using artificial intelligence and ready to address the most pressing opportunities in helping organizations understand and leverage their financial data to make better decisions.” Commenting, Stuart Cobbe, CEO, Brevis, said: “The industry is waking up to the value of data to bring trust and transparency into businesses and we are proud to be part of that change.”

Sonata Software Makes Strategic Acquisition of GBW, a Global Player in the Exciting Customer Experience (CX) Space
Bangalore – 4th March 2020 - Sonata Software has announced the signing of definitive agreements to acquire GAPbusters Limited (GBW), the Melbourne headquartered company that has been amongst pioneers in the CX domain serving renowned brands globally for nearly thirty years. As companies are increasingly focusing on measuring and managing customer experience to stoke their growth, CX solutions are playing a significant part in most organizations’ digital transformation initiatives. According to a new study by Fortune Business Insights, the global customer experience management market is anticipated to be worth US$23.9 Billion by 2026, as against US$6.2 Billion in 2018, growing at a CAGR of 18.5%.  The GBW acquisition, coming after Sonata’s acquisition, last year, of Brisbane headquartered Scalable Data Systems, amongst the other acquisitions & investments that Sonata has made over the last 24 months, not only strengthens Sonata’s footprint in Australia but also opens up new geographies in South East Asia & Europe, where GBW has large clients in the QSR, retail, automotive and oil & gas space.

Salesforce Acquires The CMO Club
2nd March 2020 - Salesforce Chief Marketing Officer, Stephanie Buscemi, has announced that the company is buying The CMO Club. The CMO Club is Salesforce’s third acquisition this year. In January, it acquired Evergage and in February VLOCITY. The CMO Club is a network of marketing executives who host events and collaborate on reports from professionals in the industry. Going forward, Salesforce and The CMO Club are going to provide global community, digital platform, programs and events to connect marketers. The CMO Club’s existing members can expect the same levels of independence that the organization has always been known for since it launched. In a release, Stephanie Buscemi said: “..we are welcoming founder and CEO Pete Krainik and the entire The CMO Club community to the Salesforce family. The CMO Club is the world’s most innovative and engaged member-based community of CMOs and progressive marketing leaders, with more than 30 global chapters and 650+ members from leading global brands. We are committed to advancing The CMO Club’s core mission of fostering deep relationships and peer-to-peer problem solving for CMOs and marketing leaders.”

Nguvu Acquired by Customer Experience Software Company Genesys
Montreal – 3rd March 2020 - nGUVU, a Montreal-based tech startup that offers an employee engagement platform for contact centers, has been acquired by Genesys, a United States-based software company that focuses on customer experience software. Tony Bates, CEO of Genesys, said: “This marks a major milestone for nGUVU and we couldn’t be more excited. Helping organizations elevate ordinary transactions into meaningful connections that reinforce to customers how much they matter is central to our vision. While this is no easy feat, it can be done with a combination of advanced cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and a highly engaged workforce … that’s why we are bringing nGUVU into the Genesys family to help organizations positively influence employee behaviour and performance.” Founded in 2013, nGUVU uses machine learning and ‘gamification’ to make work experience better for contact center agents in the hopes of reducing employee turnover. Its cloud-based software uses machine learning and behavioural analytics to improve employee engagement and performance. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though, Genesys noted that it has acquired the Montreal company as a way to bolster its employee experience capabilities and “empower tomorrow’s workforce with gamification and machine learning.”

Equinix Completes Acquisition of Bare Metal Leader Packet for $335 Million
Redwood City, California – 3rd March 2020 - Equinix, Inc, the global interconnection and data center company, has announced it has completed the acquisition of Packet, a bare metal automation platform. The transaction, announced on January 14, 2020, accelerates Equinix's strategy to help enterprises seamlessly deploy hybrid multicloud architectures. As a part of the $335 million transaction, the combined company will operate the existing Packet business as "Packet, an Equinix company," while developing new solutions for enterprise customers that combine Packet's leading bare metal automation technology with the rich ecosystems, global reach and interconnection fabric of Platform Equinix®. Zachary Smith, former CEO of Packet, will serve as managing director of the bare metal business. Sara Baack, Chief Product Officer, Equinix, said: "The Packet acquisition represents a bold move to accelerate our strategy for helping enterprises quickly and seamlessly deploy hybrid multi-cloud architectures on Platform Equinix. By combining Packet's innovative and agile bare metal automation technology with our dynamic data center and interconnection platform, we can offer our customers an alternate, agile way to deploy and consume private digital infrastructure. This approach will make it easier for our customers to extract greater value from our rich ecosystems, superior global reach and the interconnection platform."

BMC to Acquire Compuware
Houston – 2nd March 2020 – BMC, a KKR portfolio company and a specialist, global IT solutions company for the digital enterprise, has announced the signing of a definitive agreement to purchase Compuware, a Thoma Bravo company and provider of mainframe application development, delivery and support solutions. The transaction builds on BMC’s track record of investing in growth, and is expected to be completed in the coming months subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The strategic combination of BMC and Compuware will build upon the success of BMC Automated Mainframe Intelligence (AMI) and the Topaz suite, ISPW technology, and classic product portfolios from Compuware to further modernize the mainframe industry. This transaction brings together two companies focused on consistently delivering innovative, best-of-breed products to meet the needs of enterprise organizations worldwide. The combined company will help customers better manage their mainframe operations, cybersecurity, application development, data, and storage as part of their enterprise DevOps strategies, as well as provide seamless integration of the mainframe platform development and management processes into the enterprise technology stack.

Freshworks Acquires AnswerIQ, Targeting Larger Businesses with Enterprise Scale AI Customer Service Offerings
San Mateo, California - 26th February 2020 - Freshworks Inc., the customer engagement software company, has announced the acquisition of AnsweriQ Inc., a provider of ML (machine learning) and AI for larger enterprises that want to better serve their customers. AnsweriQ complements Freshworks’ AI engine, Freddy, by enabling enterprise organizations to fully leverage their existing customer data to scale self-service experiences and automate complex customer workflows. AnsweriQ’s unique ML models leverage AI algorithms against millions of customer interactions to generate automated self-service Q&As and improve next-step escalations. AnsweriQ’s technology augments Freddy’s AI capabilities and helps scale self-service for large enterprises. Freddy will incorporate AnsweriQ’s AI to learn from ticket data and agent actions within the Freshworks Customer-for-Life Cloud and improve customer self-service capabilities. Freddy will extend its capabilities from a knowledge base dependent AI engine to learn from ticket conversations on the fly. Freddy will be able to anticipate customer needs, make recommendations for agents based on the conversations and perform tasks such as refunds and cancellations with no manual input required—significantly improving customer self-service and freeing up agent time to handle more complex requests.

Salesforce Signs Agreement to Acquire Vlocity for $1.33B
San Francisco - 25th February 2020 - Salesforce recently announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Vlocity, Inc, a provider of industry-specific cloud and mobile software, built natively on the Salesforce platform. Under the terms of the agreement, the Company will acquire Vlocity for approximately $1.33 billion, net of the value of shares currently owned by the Company, subject to customary purchase price adjustments. In a blog about the acquisition, David Schmaier, CEO & Founder, Vlocity, said: “I am thrilled to share that today Salesforce has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Vlocity… Our deep expertise in vertical industries enables organizations to digitally transform while delivering seamless, industry-specific processes and data models across any channel, helping to increase sales, service and marketing agility, operational efficiency, digital adoption and simplicity… With today’s news, the voice of the customer just magnified. The best customer experiences are industry-specific. Together, our customers, our partners and our employees have accomplished so much. I am thrilled about our future with Salesforce.

ASL Group expands into North West of the UK
Cambridge, UK – 20th February 2020 – As part of its growing strategy to become the UK’s largest, independent Managed Print Services (MPS) provider, ASL Group has acquired B&M Office Machines Ltd. The purchase of B&M Office Machines Ltd will further extend ASL’s provision of MPS, providing customers with a more concentrated and enhanced level of service. This acquisition is ASL’s fourth in 14 months, following Smart Print Technology, Reprotec and Geerings Digital Ltd. Customers will benefit from a broader portfolio of managed-office services including unified communications and production print. Mark Garius, Managing Director of ASL, said, “It’s very exciting to kick off 2020 with a new acquisition. This is a very positive start to the year, and it increases our run rate to £43m, which we are extremely proud of. 37-years in operation, B&M have an outstanding reputation and are a fantastic business, so we are very much looking forward to joining forces with them. It’s our mission to be able to provide impartial, independent advice for all business office requirements, and as we strive to be the largest independent MPS supplier, this acquisition enables us to utilise B&M’s expertise, combine it with our own – strengthening our service offering for customers.”

06 March 2020
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