Boss Insights - Weekly Software Sector M&A Round Up - 8th December 2018

08 December 2018

HCL Technologies to Acquire Select IBM Software Products For $1.8B

Armonk, NY – 6th December 2018 and Noida, India – 7th December 2018 - IBM and HCL Technologies have announced a definitive agreement under which HCL will acquire select IBM software products for $1.8 billion. The transaction is expected to close by mid-2019, subject to completion of applicable regulatory reviews. Combined software products from the acquisitions represent a potential market of more than $50 billion. C Vijayakumar, President & CEO, HCL Technologies, said of the acquisition: “We continue to see great opportunities in the market to enhance our Mode-3 (Products and Platforms) offerings. The products that we are acquiring are in large, growing market areas like Security, Marketing and Commerce, which are strategic segments for HCL. Many of these products are well regarded by clients and positioned in the top quadrant by industry analysts. I am confident that these products will see good growth trajectory backed by our commitment to invest in product innovation coupled with our strong client focus and agile product development. In addition, we see tremendous potential for creating compelling ‘as-a-service’ offerings by combining these products with our Mode-1 and Mode-2 services”.

XDD Acquires Leading AI Automation Software Company, Esquify, Further Optimizing the Company’s Managed Review Service Offering
Mission, Kansas 5th December 2018 - Xact Data Discovery (XDD), an international provider of eDiscovery, data management and managed review services for law firms and corporations, has announced its acquisition of Esquify, a cutting-edge software company that provides powerful AI automation workforce management solutions for legal review. Esquify is the world’s first AI-driven workforce management platform for law. It leverages powerful, proprietary and patented productivity benchmarking, communications and virtual supervision technology to augment the capabilities of eDiscovery reviewer teams. Esquify’s innovations will be embedded into XDD’s existing managed review business to help drive increased client value and technology-driven results. “We’re beyond excited to be bringing our AI innovations to XDD’s vast client base and launching our award-winning, 21st century technology to a wider audience,” said Drew Stern, Esquify CEO. “Our reviewer technology, powering XDD’s existing, market-leading managed review business will drive huge value for clients and be a game-changer for the eDiscovery industry.”

MRI Software Acquires Thesaurus Technology to Expand its Comprehensive Range of Solutions Specifically Designed for the UK Residential Market
London – 5th December 2018 - MRI Software, a real estate software solutions company, has announced the acquisition of Thesaurus Technology, the UK-based provider of cloud-based, self-service software for residential sales and lettings agents. The acquisition, revealed at MRI's International Users Conference in London, enhances the company's technology choices for residential property agents, developers, owners and investors in the UK, from smaller-scale systems for local businesses up to fully-tailored, enterprise-level options for the largest organisations. Dermot Briody, Executive Managing Director of Europe, MRI Software, said, "We believe in the power of technology to help property businesses of any size identify commercial opportunities, enhance services and create efficiencies. By further expanding our ability to help clients harness technology across multiple touchpoints for their customers and stakeholders, we can continue to partner with real estate organisations at every stage of their business development."

Serba Dinamik buys 30% of India’s eNoah for RM15M
Kuala Lumpur - 6th December 2018 - A tech unit of Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd has acquired 30% of information technology (IT) solutions provider eNoah iSolution India Pvt Ltd for RM15 million as part of the group’s expansion into the tech sector, for which it has earmarked RM30 million for the execution of existing and upcoming projects next year. Serba Dinamik’s wholly-owned subsidiary Serba Dinamik IT Solutions Sdn Bhd (SDIT) has signed a share purchase agreement with eNoah to acquire 251,152 shares, representing approximately a 30% stake in the latter, for US$3.6 million (RM14.94 million). The acquisition will be financed from Serba Dinamik’s initial public offering proceeds of RM95 million allocated for business expansion through investments and acquisitions. Serba Dinamik’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Dr Mohd Abdul Karim Abdullah, said although the company’s focus remains very much on providing engineering services, it foresees potential growth for its IT division, which currently contributes a little over 1% to the group’s total revenue, but is projected to double its contribution to 2% or 2.5% next year. “Being a substantial shareholder of eNoah enables us to access state-of-the-art technology in the global market,” he said, adding that it also gives Serba Dinamik a toehold in the Indian market and further strengthens the company’s market presence in the region.

Online Tech Acquires Neverfail's Global Cloud Infrastructure Business
Ann Arbor, Michigan - 4th December 2018 - Online Tech, a provider of secure, compliant private, hybrid and multi-cloud solutions for service providers, channel partners and enterprise organizations, has announced that it has acquired the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and data protection assets and products of IT provider Neverfail. The acquisition, which includes Neverfail’s five cloud nodes and assets in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, significantly increases Online Tech’s geographic footprint and its ability to serve direct customers while adding tens of thousands of new end-users through extensive channel programs. As part of the transaction, the two companies have entered into an ongoing strategic partnership in which Online Tech will become Neverfail’s preferred cloud provider for their software solutions. The acquisition and agreement allow Neverfail to focus exclusively on software while partnering with Online Tech to provide the cloud infrastructure for compliant sensitive customers requiring a high level of confidence in their cloud solutions.

Civica Acquires Election and Membership Services Leader, ERS Group

London - 4th December 2018 - Civica Group, a company which produces business-critical software applications, digital solutions and managed services for the public sector and regulated markets, has announced that Civica UK Limited, the company’s wholly owned subsidiary, has acquired specialist election and civic engagement services group Electoral Reform Services Limited and its subsidiaries. Based in London, ERS Group is a provider of software and services for election management, membership engagement, democracy and governance. Its unrivalled experience includes managing more than 50 million registrations and 30 million online votes. Sian Roberts, Chief Executive, ERS Group, said, “Our products and services are relied upon to deliver key services at critical times. Being part of Civica will allow us to continue with current activities but with access to increased resources which we believe will deliver exceptional value to employees, customers and partners and spur our growth."

Digital Locations Acquires EllisLab – Creator of ExpressionEngine®

Santa Barbara, CA – 3rd December 2018 - Digital Locations, Inc, developer of an artificial intelligence platform for personalized digital content, has announced the execution of a definitive agreement under which the Company has acquired 100% of the issued and outstanding common stock of EllisLab. Recently, EllisLab transformed their content management system (CMS), ExpressionEngine into a free and open source software platform (FOSS), following in the footsteps of RedHat Linux, WordPress and other successful open source platforms. Management believes that doing so will increase the user base of ExpressionEngine and service revenue opportunities for EllisLab. Bill Beifuss, President of Digital Locations, commented, “After two years of actively pursuing an acquisition strategy in the information technology space, we are excited to have finally completed our first acquisition. Open source is a proven strategy and ExpressionEngine is a proven CMS. We look forward to working with the EllisLab team to capitalize on the next phase of growth in the content management market.”

Aceable Secures $47M Series B to Fuel Nationwide Expansion of Course Catalog in Existing and New Verticals
Austin, Texas - 4th December 2018 - Aceable, a company offering digital high-stakes education, has announced it has secured $47 million in a Series B funding round, led by Sageview Capital. The funds will be used to expand the company’s national footprint, grow the team and move into new industries. Dean Nelson and Mike McClure of Sageview Capital will also be joining the Aceable Board of Directors. Dean Nelson, Partner at Sageview, said, “The future of required education is online and mobile first, and the Aceable team has done a terrific job building a leading business at the forefront of this revolution. Aceable’s best-in-class product, exceptional team and relentless drive to improve student outcomes, position the company well, to continue its impressive growth in both existing and new market verticals. We’re thrilled to be partnered with the Aceable team and look forward to helping them build a large and impactful education technology business.”

Experian leads US$10M funding in Malaysian fintech firm Jirnexu

Malaysia - 3rd December 2018 - Malaysian fintech start-up Jirnexu has announced that it has raised a US$10 million Series B follow-on investment, led by global consumer crediting reporting agency, Experian, and existing investor Japan-based SBI Group. Experian said that the investment in Jirnexu is in line with the company’s strategy to bring financial inclusion to large swathes of underserved consumers in Asia. Ben Elliott, CEO Asia Pacific, Experian, said, “In Asia, more than 1 billion people still have no access to formal financial services - meaning no formal employment, no bank account and no meaningful ability to engage in commerce on or offline.” Through its new strategic and financial partnership with Experian, Jirnexu will be able to tap into its marketplace solutions, which include demand generation, analytics and digital on-boarding technologies. “Both the investment and partnership will provide Jirnexu’s existing financial marketplaces, with improved performance in demand generation, better eligibility matching through analytics and the ability to deliver more seamless consumer experiences,” said Elliott.

PLDT acquires 46% of Multisys in deal worth P2.16 Billion

3rd December 2018 - PLDT Inc. has closed a P2.16-billion investment in Philippine software development and IT solutions provider, Multisys. Upon approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission of the capital increase of Multisys, PLDT said it would own an equity stake of 45.73 percent in Multisys through a combination of new and existing shares. The transaction will be completed through wholly-owned subsidiary PLDT Global Investments Holdings Inc. and is expected to complete by January. Multisys has developed a number of software platforms that can be used by its pool of programmers to create highly scalable, flexible and customizable software solutions as required by clients. The software platforms include those for payment gateways such as Bayad Center, utilities, data center setup and connectivity, big data handling and analytics and cybersecurity. “This investment positions PLDT as a telecoms and digital services provider with core software development capabilities,” said PLDT chairman and Chief Executive, Manuel Pangilinan.