October Philly Software / SaaS & Tech Enabled Services Deals

Billtrust Goes Public via SPAC

Tom Paine

Software/SaaS companies are often selling for a premium now; enterprise software is particularly in demand. Others, smaller and less established, seek stronger financial or strategic partners. Some may desire to sell by year end, based on their expectations for the election or tax situations.

October was a busy month for Philadelphia firms.

Billtrust, a Lawrenceville NJ B2B payments firm, avoided the IPO hassles by pursuing a SPAC merger, and is now trading on the Nasdaq under BTRS. . Billtrust had an initial trading value of $1.3 billion, much higher than expected when it announced it was seeking a. buyer several. months ago.

AGI (Analytical Graphics), Exton, which tracks space junk, sold to Pittsburgh-based Ansys for $700 million, an impressive <9x its $80 million annualized sales. Ansys knows what to do with that type of engineering talent and it should be a good fit for both.

Wirecard NA, the former eCount and Citi Prepaid which somehow was able to immediately declare itself a free agent when its German parent collapsed, sold for considerably less than the $400 million initially expected.

Health Advocate, the somewhat smaller version of its Plymouth Meeting neighbor Accolade, sold to the French for $690 million. Accodade, post-IPO, now trades as ACCD on the Nasdaq with a market cap of $1.9 billion..

TargetX, a Conshohocken-based CRM product for higher ed built upon Salesforce, sold to Liaison.

Anexinet and Qlik both made interesting niche acquisitions.

Somewhat in this category as an ecommerce company, Nutrisystem sold for $575 million, down from $1.3 billion less than two years ago.  Kainos Capital was the buyer, assisted by MSD Capital, Michael Dell’s private family fund.

Was it the food?.

Is Billtrust on verge of being sold?

Tom Paine

Billtrust founder & CEO Flint Lane
(Billtrust website)

Though not surprised by it, I missed the note that appeared back in June in PE Hub (registration required), saying that Lawrenceville (NJ)-based Billtrust was on the market. Its specialty is automating and speeding up the B2B payment process, slower to modernize in some areas than consumer payments, which are more easily converted to mass production techniques..

Sources were telling PE Hub that Billtrust expected to fetch $600 t0 $700 million, which sounds realistic. An incoming bid apparently triggered an auction process. Goldman, also an investor, was advising Billtrust. Billtrust, with 400 employees, was founded in 2001.

Goldman Sachs Private Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, and Visa were among major investors. Billtrust had raised $104 million in total, according to Crunchbase. Edison Partners, its first institutional investor, has already exited with a more than 10x return on its investment, the venture firm said.

Late last year Visa and Billtrust had launched the Business Payments Network (BPN), which JPMorganChase (which bought Philly healthcare payments site InstaMed in the spring) has just joined.

Flint Lane, founder & CEO, tweeted this today:

Which may have been simply intended to recognize that anniversary, but to me sounded like perhaps a deal or transition of some kind is imminent and Lane is sunning things up.

But I could be wrong