Monthly M&A Reviews
Join our distribution list
to get M&A monthly reviews via email
2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

December, 2015

Computer Sciences Corp agreed a 190p per share takeover offer for Xchanging, the business processing, procurement and technology services provider which valued the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Xchanging at approximately £480m on the basis of a fully-diluted share capital.  Capita, the FTSE 100-listed outsourcer, had previously made a lower-value initial bid at 160p for Xchanging which was trumped by CSC and subsequently said it did not intend to raise its offer.  CSC acquired 9.99% of Xchanging's issued share capital from Capita for 190p per share which gave CSC ownership or irrevocable undertakings in respect of 57.1% of Xchanging's total share capital by 23rd December 2015.

In data and information services, following its acquisition of C6 Intelligence in November 2015, Mergermarket, the online financial news service backed by private equity owners BC Partners, bought Creditflux, a provider of intelligence, analysis, data and events covering CLO and credit fund pricing.London Stock Exchange Group completed the acquisition of assets from XTF, a provider of exchange traded fund (ETF) data,  analytics and ratings. Bloomberg, the provider of real time financial news, market data and analysis, acquired Barclays Risk Analytics and Index Solutions, the provider of benchmark and strategy indices, portfolio analytics, risk and attribution models, and portfolio construction tools for $790m. TRData, which provides investors with accessibility to real-time market information, primarily Russia, the Ukraine, Central Asia and Africa, received backing from 500 Startups and is targeting the concept of a “Bloomberg for emerging markets”

In payments, CVC Capital Partners invested $80m in growth equity to Kount, a provider of online and mobile fraud detection and prevention solutions, to accelerate product innovation, expand its global footprint, and enhance customer support services. Pamplona Capital Management, the specialist investment manager, made a strategic financial investment in Patientco, a payment technology company built specifically for healthcare. QuanCheng, a Software as a Service (SaaS) corporate expense management start-up, completed a series B financing led by Eight Roads, the proprietary investment arm of Fidelity International, with participation also from ClearVue Partners and Arbor VenturesMasabi, the mobile ticketing and transport fare collection business, announced a $12m funding round led by Lepe Partners with investment from KeolisMasterCard, and MMC VenturesCurve, the start-up payments company, announced a $2m seed funding round from a range of investors, including venture capital funds SeedcampSpeedinvest, and the Mayor of London’s London Co-Investment Fund.

Elsewhere, banking group Raiffeisen acquired 10% of banking software provider Avaloq to strengthen its capital base and position for future opportunities, reward-based crowdfunding platform, Crowdfunder UK, secured over £1.3m through its Crowdcube campaign with more than 900 people investing in the share offer, which valued the company at over £15m and Apis Partners, the private equity asset manager focused on financial services in the growth markets of Africa and Asia, acquired a significant minority stake in MicroCred, the financial services provider across seven countries in Africa and Asia. General Industries the acquisition vehicle, acquired Murja, a provider of treasury management consultancy services for £1.2m and ESF Capital, which invests in and underwrites loans on European peer-to-peer lending platforms, acquired a 73.4% equity stake in peer-to-peer secured business lending platform ThinCats.

November, 2015

In payments, Ebury, the international business finance specialist, announced that it had raised $83m (£54m) in equity capital from Vitruvian Partners with existing investor 83North (formerly Greylock IL) also contributing significantly and bringing the total invested in the company to date to over $110m, mobile money payments platform provider Bango raised c. £11m through a share placing, SalaryFinance, the financial employee benefit service, raised $6.1m from FinTech venture capital investor Brightbridge Ventures to increase its customer acquisition and expand its operations team. Prepaid Financial Services, the e-money specialist in prepaid cards announced the sale of a 5% stake to an undisclosed strategic investor for £2.5m and PeerTransfer Corp (trading as FlyWire), the provider of global payment solutions for the education industry, acquired Collective Enterprises (trading as Uni-Pay), the provider of payment services for university students

Investment technology was also busy in November. Robo-adviser MoneyFarm, which uses technology to deliver advisory and discretionary services, raised €16 million in financing from Cabot Square Capital and United Ventures as it prepares to launch in the UK market. Wealth management, asset servicing and asset management firm Northern Trust acquired Aviate Global, the institutional equity brokerage offering market research, trading and execution services. In lending technology, Spanish bank BBVA acquired an almost 30% stake in Atom, the UK’s first digital-only lender for £45m, peer-to-peer loan provider Funding Circle listed its small business investment trust on the London Stock Exchange raising £150m, the UK-based peer-to-peer lending business Sensible Lender raised £7m in first round venture capital with lead investor Venture Capital Partners and SME alternative finance platform Growth Street raised £5m from venture capital provider Arts Alliance Ventures.

In trading technology, Intercontinental Exchange acquired OTC energy and commodities market trading and aggregation software provider Trayport from global brokerage BGC Partners for $650m, exchange group Deutsche Börseand financial information provider Markit agreed $50m backing for a capital markets fintech investment fund for Illuminate FinancialIG Group, the online trading specialist, acquired online wealth manager InvestYourWay as part of IG’s partnership with BlackRock to offer a range of ETF-based investment portfolios, FXCM Inc., the online provider of FX trading and related services, completed its sale of FXCM Securities Limited to AS Expobank.  Finally FinTech firm Nous Global Markets raised a second round of seed funding, c. £0.3m, to use gaming applications to educate people on financial markets and M&A intelligence provider Mergermarket Group, a BC Partners portfolio company, acquired global risk intelligence and data provider C6 Intelligence.

October, 2015

In payments, Visa Inc. announced it will buy its European counterpart Visa Europe for as much as €21.2bn in cash and stock, in a deal that would bring the payment network’s global operations under one roof.  The acquisition will create a windfall for the 3,000 banks, other financial firms and payment networks that own the privately held European cooperative. Mobile payments and digital loyalty platform, Pepper closed a £1.1m investment by London Business Angelsand associated investors including the LBA EIS Roundtable Syndicate Fund 2015 and the £25M London Co-Investment Fund. Following last months $4m raise and acquisition of US-based Cover, restaurant payments app Velocityacquired Tab Payments Corp., another mobile payments app for the hospitality industry.  Payment startup Marqeta raised $25 million in Series C funding from new investor IA Capital and existing backers including 83NorthGranite Ventures and Commerce Ventures. Shared living app Splittable raised a $1.2m investment from venture capital groups SeedcampPlayfair Capital and the London Co-Investment Fund, which is backed by the Mayor of London.

In trading technology, Ripple, the global financial settlement technology provider, announced that Santander InnoVenturesSantander Group’s $100m fintech venture capital fund, joined its Series A funding round as an investor, bringing the round’s total to $32m and trading technology provider Rapid Addition acquired the business, assets and employees of DET Technologies, a provider of low latency hub and monitoring software to support electronic trading. In investment technology, the investment and treasury management software solutions provider SimCorp invested in Opus Nebula, the fund and client reporting software as a service provider.

Elsewhere, ingage, the investor relations company, announced a third equity financing round for £1.1m from new and existing shareholders, peer to peer lender Funding Circle acquired Zencap, the peer-to-peer lending platform that allows private savers to lend money directly to small and medium sized businesses in Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands.  Banking solutions business The Core Banking Group acquired the Verisim e-simulation solution for banking software development and training, BSAVE, the savings account offering daily interest for deposited Bitcoin, raised $0.4m in seed capital which will be used to kickstart operations and complete a full launch and Moven, the mobile banking platform that provides real-time behavioral feedback to consumers, raised $12m in Series B funding. Route 66 Ventures led the round with participation from other investors including Anthemis GroupMoneytime VenturesAtlas Asset Management and New York Angels.

September, 2015

Xchanging, the business outsourcer, announced that it had received proposals from Capita and US buyout group Apollo Global Management, valuing the company’s shares at as much as £421m. Apollo’s all-cash offer valued Xchanging’s shares at 170p each, whilst Capita latest revised offer was understood to be lower than Apollo’s at 160p a share. Equiniti, the technology, finance and administrative services provider controlled by private equity house Advent International is seeking admission to the premium segment of the Official List on the London Stock Exchange with the float expected to raise up to £390m.

Data analysis and research was also active. Lloyds Banking Group’s private equity arm LDC backed the management buyout of PEI Media Group, the alternative assets information group, and BC Partners’ portfolio company The Mergermarket Group, the global news, intelligence and analysis provider, acquired AVCJ Group Limited, the Hong Kong-based private equity, venture capital and M&A information provider and Unquote, the UK-based private equity and venture capital information provider from Incisive Media Limited, a portfolio company of Alchemy PartnersStyle Research, the portfolio analysis and research provider for global institutional investors raised growth capital from Lyceum Capital to accelerate geographic and product expansion. Synechrona provider of financial services software solutions and services, acquired Crossbridge, a financial services consulting firm.

In the payments sector, Advent International and Bain Capital Partners, the private equity owners of Worldpay Group decided to pursue an initial public offering in which the payments processor is expected to raise c. £890m, after rebuffing a bid by Ingenico GroupWorldpay plans to list its shares on the London Stock Exchange, with the company’s publicly traded shares expected to be at least 25% of outstanding stock. Flywire (formerly peerTransfer), the provider of education industry payment solutions acquired UK tuition processor Uni-Pay, restaurant payments app Velocity raised a further $4m (£2.6m) from investors, following its $12m funding round less than three months ago, and also acquired Cover, a restaurant mobile payments app. Mining company Winston Resources Inc announced its intended acquisition of white label crypto currency exchange Crypto Next for C$9m. Post completion, Winston intends to change its name to CryptoNext Exchange Inc, and its business to a crypto currency exchange. Ravelin the real-time fraud detection and prevention platform, raised a £1.3m of financing from technology venture capital houses Amadeus Capital PartnersPlayfair Capital and Passion Capital who invested from the institutional side. Synova Capital and FiveW Capital invested into Merit Software, the provider of payable and receivable reconciliation and workflow solutions to global investment banks, brokers and clearing houses.

In the trading sector, Euclid OpportunitiesICAP’s early stage fintech funding business, provided strategic follow on Series B funding in Duco, a provider of hosted reconciliation services. ICAP also invested through Euclid Opportunitiesin regulatory reporting outfit Abide FinancialEBS BrokerTec, ICAP's electronic foreign exchange and fixed income business, acquired Molten Markets, a foreign exchange technology provider for asset managers and pension funds. Beeks Financial Cloud, the cloud computing foreign exchange trading firm, acquired futures specialist VDIware for an undisclosed sum. Ancoa, the surveillance and analytics provider for exchanges, regulators, buy- and sell-side firms, raised Series A funding increasing total investment to £4.1m. Investors included Buysse & Partners, LRM Capital, SmartFin CapitalVelocity Capital and Ancoa’s management team as well as a number of high net worth individuals and family offices. Clearmatics, the blockchain-based clearing and settlement technology business, raised financing from Route 66 Ventures and Nyca Partners.

In lending technology, SME alternative finance provider MarketInvoice secured an additional £5m investment from the government-backed British Business Bank, taking the Bank’s total investment in the MarketInvoice’s platform to £10m. NoviCap, the invoice trading marketplace closed a $1.7m seed round from backers including Partech VenturesTechstars Ventures and Cabiedes & Partners.

Finally in investment technology, IRESS, the financial markets and wealth management software systems provider, acquired Proquote, the provider of trading, market data and connectivity solutions and Pulse Software Systems, the portfolio management software provider, for £37.6m including an earn-out in respect of Pulse. In addition, fund manager Aberdeen Asset Management acquired Parmenion Capital Partners as part its strategy to become a leader in using technology to provide investors with portfolios appropriate to their needs.

August, 2015

In trading technology, financial information services provider Markit announced two acquisitions this month with the acquisition of financial data creation, management and distribution services provider CoreOne Technologies Holdings for approximately $200m, followed by the subsequent acquisition of DealHub, a provider of trade processing and trading services to the foreign exchange market. CSC the US-listed IT services and solutions provider, acquired Fixnetix, a provider of front-office managed trading solutions in capital markets and IPC Systems, a provider of specialized communications and managed network-as-a-service solutions for the financial trading community, acquired ASPoneNetworks, a voice and data network provider to the financial markets.

Payments continues to be active. Private equity firms Palamon Capital Partners and Corsair Capital agreed to jointly acquire control of Currencies Direct, a specialist provider of foreign exchange and international payment solutions to private and corporate clients with a transaction value of c. £200m, foreign exchange provider moneycorp agreed to acquire a minority stake in Brazilian international payments and retail FX provider Novo Mundo Corretora de Câmbio, payments acceptance company iZettle raised €60m from previous investors Intel Capital and Zouk Capital, mPOS tech start up SumUp raised €10m from investors including BBVA VenturesGroupon and American Express and rewards platform Loyalty Bay raised $1m from private investment office Talis Capital

Investment technology was also busy. SavingGlobal, a financial marketplace that enables savers to access deposit rates across Europe, closed a €20m Series B financing led by Ribbit Capital and Index Ventures, and technology firm Genpact acquired Citibank’s OpenWealth platform in the UK, which powers both Aviva’s advised platform and NucleusGenpact purchased the US OpenWealth platform from Citibank earlier this year and has now added the UK business. Retirement specialist LV= has taken a majority stake in Wealth Wizards, an automated advice expert, to enable the company to develop a ‘white-label’ automated advice platform and Royal London sold the client book of its online fund supermarket, Fundsdirect, to direct-to-consumer investment platform Strawberry Invest.

In lending technology, the private equity arm of Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered, co-led an investment consortium that invested c.$207m in, the Chinese peer-to-peer online lender, online lender Prospa Advance raised $60m to fund the small business market with investors including The Carlyle GroupEntrée CapitalIronbridge Capital and Airtree Ventures, and peer-to-peer lending platform MarketInvoice raised a further £6m, in addition to £5m raised in December 2014, from existing investors Northzone, and the family offices of Paul Forster. Elsewhere, Electra Partners’ legal and fiduciary services portfolio company Elian acquired structured financing corporate services business SFM Europe, including more than €1 trillion of assets under administration and QuanTemplate, the cloud-based analytics platform for the wholesale insurance industry, raised £5.2m led by Route 66 VenturesTransamerica VenturesAllianz Digital Corporate Ventures and Anthemis Group.

July, 2015

Data and financial information was active this month with Nikkei Inc, the business and financial information firm, announcing the acquisition of the Financial Times Group, publisher of financial newspapers, for £844m in cash. Credit Benchmark which develops credit risk data using data gathered from major global banks, raised US$20m in a Series B funding round led by Balderton Capital and existing investor Index Ventures, online information and events group Euromoney Institutional Investor acquired 10% stake in Estimize, the financial estimates platform, for $3.6m as part of a $6m Series B round aimed at expanding the capital base of Estimize with other key investors including Contour Venture Partners and Longworth Venture Partners. Real-time market data collaboration solutions provider for the trading community MDX Technology announced the completion of a first round of funding to accelerate further growth, venture capital firm Northstar Ventures invested into financial product review platform Smart Money People to enable further development of the company's platform and support marketing activity and Salviol, the big data solution provider that optimizes businesses through the detection, prevention and management of fraud, announced it raised €6.5m in Series A funding led by Orange Growth Capital to expand its international operations and to drive product sales.

In payments, Banco Santander established a £20m joint venture with UK mobile money group Monitise to invest in global financial technology start-ups that threaten to disrupt the sector. The fund is due to launch later this year and is designed to identify innovative future partners for Santander whilst boosting revenues for Monitise, in which Santander has a key stake. Following a rebranding from traditional media brand to global multimedia discovery platform,TimeOut led a £7m investment round in Flypay, a restaurant bill mobile payment app which will be used to expand both restaurant partners and customer base. Outsourced technology and solutions provider Equiniti announced the acquisition of TransGlobal Payment Solutions which provides the platform forEquiniti’s foreign exchange payments business, Equiniti International Payments. Money transfer through a smartphone app startup Revolut announced a £1.5m funding round led by European venture capital investor specialistBalderton CapitalCognia, the provider of cloud PCI payment solutions for telephone-based transactions, announced an investment from Swisscom Ventures, the corporate venture arm of Switzerland's largest telecommunications provider and Money Mover, the provider of online currency exchange and payments service for SMEs, raised £1m from a group of financiers, entrepreneurs and technologists.

Lending technology was also active. The Lending platform Iwoca raised $20m Series B funding from Commerzbank’s venture capital arm CommerzVentures, private equity firm Acton Capital, VC firm Redline Capital and other existing investors. The funds will be used to accelerate Iwoca’s growth across Europe for SME business. Equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs announced a £10m Series A fundraising round led by Woodford Patient Capital Trust and Augmentum CapitalCrowdcube, the platform for crowdfunding, raised £6m in funding. The round was led by Numis CorporationBalderton Capital and Draper Espirit.

In insurance technology, insurance professional services provider Charles Taylor and private equity firm The Riverside Company together acquired a majority interest in Fadata AD, a specialist software solutions provider to the global insurance industry, healthcare and insurance service provider Cegedim acquired Activus, the supplier of health and protection insurance software and Reward Gateway, the enterprise employee engagement software business, was sold to Great Hill Partners, a Boston-based technology investor by current owners, Inflexion Private Equity for £140 million and will fuel the continued expansion of products, technology and additional geographic expansion. Italian insurer Generali acquired My Drive Solutions, a firm specialising in the use of data analytics to profile driving styles.

Elsewhere, private equity firm Bridgepoint backed the management buy-out of Appleby Fiduciary & Administration, from Appleby Trust. Information management software solutions provider Microgen acquired Jobstream Groupthe offshore trust management software business for £3.5m and retirement specialist LV= has taken a majority stake in automated advice specialist Wealth WizardsLV= will inject development capital into Wealth Wizards to enable the company to develop a widely available ‘white-label’ automated advice platform.

June, 2015

In the payment sector, money transfer services firm Azimo raised $20m in financing led by Frog Capital, with participation from MCI and Greycroft Partners, currency conversion and payment solutions provider Currency Cloud secured $18m in Series C funding led by Sapphire Ventures with participation from Rakuten’s FinTech Fund, AnthemisAtlas VenturesNotion Capital and XAnge Private EquityVelocity Mobile, the restaurant payments app, has raised $12m in a Series A funding round with private investors including former Thomson Reuters CEO and Chair of Morgan Stanley’s Technology Committee, Tom Glocer, and Initial Capital Partner, Shukri Shammas. Miura Systems, the provider of mPOS devices, announced it had raised $16m and sold a minority stake to an investment syndicate led by DFJ Esprit Secondaries. mPOS business SumUp announced that Swiss venture capital firm Venture Incubator AG had become a new investor in the business. Together with the previous investment rounds led by American Express,Groupon and BBVASumUp has now increased its total funding to date to €40m. AIM-listed payments services provider SafeCharge unveiled a strategic partnership with German company FinTech Group AG, which is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, including the acquisition of 5% equity of FinTech for c. €10m and bitcoin investment fund Bitcoin Capital raised $1m on the equity crowdfunding platform Bnk To The Future.

Lending technology was also active. Beijing Kunlun, a Chinese-listed technology company, agreed to back peer-to-peer platform LendInveswith a £22m investment. UK digital banking start-up Mondo, whose founders includeGoCardless's co-founder Tom Blomfield, raised its first funding round from venture capital firm Passion Capital, who have invested £2m with a further c. £15m-20m planned before full launch, subject to the Bank of England’s regulatory capital requirements. Elsewhere, Microgen Financial Systems announced the acquisition of Finalysys, a wealth management software provider for the offshore finance industry to increase its presence within the trust & fund administration sector, listed outsourcing specialist Capita announced the acquisition of mortgage administration specialist Vertex Mortgage Services for £35m, subject to approval by the Financial Conduct Authority, ADVFN PLC, the AIM-listed online financial information provider, signed heads of agreement to acquire London South East, the provider of stock data and business information and business media publisher Incisive Media acquired global risk and compliance technology specialist Chartis Research, which analyses the systems, products, vendors, applications and trends in the global risk technology market.

May, 2015

In the payments sector, online payment provider Optimal Payments acquired white-label, multi-level mobile wallet system FANS Entertainment for C$16m, cryptocurrency exchange Cryex secured a $10m investment led by White Star Capital and Northzone Ventures, which will be used to expand throughout Europe and introduce tier-one financial services to connect traditional regulated financial markets to the “blockchain economy”. Venture capital firm Partech Ventures announced co-leading a €10m financing round in Kantox, the foreign exchange services provider for SMEs and mid-cap companies, AIM-listed provider of multi-channel mobile banking and payment solutions Vipera raised GB£2.7m and mobile payments startup Droplet raised a £575k seed investment round on crowdfunding business finance platform Crowdcube for a 12.6% equity stake in the business.

Cash management specialist Loomis UK acquired the retail cash handling operations from Cardtronics UK for £18.2m, including £3.7m of fixed assets, as part of Cardtronics’ strategy to divest of a non-core business. Cennox PLC, the ATM parts and service provider, announced that its Sterling Bank Servicesarm acquired PSSI International, a project management, electronic security, and installation company for government, and the financial and commercial industries and secure print and payment solutions provider The Tall Group acquired DLRS to extend into the standard cheque and credit books segment of the cheque printing market.

Elsewhere, the London Stock Exchange acquired trading system quality assurance business Exactpro, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire a 10% stake in Borsa İstanbul, portfolio management software provider Third Financial Software raised a £2.5m minority investment from CIT Growth Capital to help drive the company’s continued expansion, Monese, the soon-to-launch UK/European mobile banking service for immigrants and expats raised $1.8m from pan-European accelerator Seedcamp and venture capital firm SmartCapGLI Finance, the alternative finance sector investor, invested £1.25m in return for a 28.9% stake in the ordinary equity and £0.75m of preference shares of SME online alternative finance credit broker Funding Options and ShareIn, the software provider to help businesses raise finance through crowdfunding, raised $1m to support plans to treble staff numbers.

Finally, Markit the listed provider of financial information services agreed to acquire Information Mosaic, the software provider for corporate  actions  and  post trade securities processing, eVestment, the asset management data and analytics provider for institutional investors, acquired TopQ, the private equity analytics business, Asset International, the provider of data, information and marketing solutions to the asset management industry, acquired Intelligent Financial Systems, a provider of financial market data research and analysis to banks, brokers, asset managers and trading venues and Covenant Review, the bond and loan covenants information provider, and its majority private equity shareholder Leeds Equity Partners, acquired CapitalStructure, the independent provider of European sub-investment grade credit universe news and analysis to expand CapitalStructure’s coverage into the US.

April, 2015

Lending technology has been particularly active during April. Funding Circle, the online marketplace to help businesses source finance, raised US$150m in venture capital led by investment management software provider DST Global, with participation from Baillie Gifford, a fund managed by BlackRockSands Capital Ventures and Singaporean investment company Temasek. Alternative business lenders Everline and EZBOB received £30m funding structured as convertible debt from investment fund Oaktree Capital Management to refinance existing debt, accelerate growth and provide further SME loans, Chinese P2P lending platform Jimubox completed a $84m Series C funding round, led by Investec Bank, with co-investment from Haitong Kaiyuan Investment CoMandra Capital and Zhong Capital. Crowdfunding platform Crowd2Fund secured £2m Series A from a range of investors across Europe, China and the Middle East; taking the company’s valuation to £10m, Credit Reporting Agency, the credit checking and credit reporting websites operator secured growth capital from Santander to support their international growth strategy, social media-based consumer credit assessment business Friendly Score raised growth funding from Mercia Fund Management and peer-to-peer lending company Assetz Capital secured £3m through equity investment crowdfunding firm Seedrs.

Payments continued to be active as peer-to-peer currency transfer specialist CurrencyFair raised a €10m funding round led by venture capital firm Octopus Investments and existing investors Frontline Ventures, AIM-listed technology commercialisation business Imperial Innovations Group led a £5.9m Series A funding round for mobile payments and loyalty company Yoyo Wallet committing £5.0m alongside other angel investors with sector background, Dopay, the payroll service provider for the unbanked that went through Barclays London-based fintech accelerator, closed a $2m seed round funded by private equityfirm ACE & Company and venture capital fund TechStars Ventures and OrbitRemit, the remittance services provider, completed a funding round.

Elsewhere, Artivest, the technology platform connecting private equity funds and hedge funds with suitable investors, completed a $15m funding round led by investment firm KKR with existing investors RRE VenturesPeter ThielNyca PartnersAnthemis Group and FinTech Collective. Advisory and fund administration services provider Maitland completed the acquisition of fund administration services provider Phoenix Fund Services which has £6.2 billion under administration across 70 funds operated by 22 investment management groups. Find A Wealth Manager, the online service matching affluent investors with wealth managers, raised funding from angel investors and OTAS Technologies, the provider of market data analytics, announced that it had been acquired by a private investment group to enable it to accelerate growth and global expansion of its equity market analytics product line.

March, 2015

M&A activity in the payments sector continues. Optimal Payments, the provider of payment and money transfer services, agreed to acquire Skrill, the provider of digital wallet solutions and online payment processing capabilities, from CVC Capital Partners and Investcorp Technology Partners in a reverse takeover for an enterprise value of €1.1bn. Subject to completion, the enlarged group will seek a main market listing as soon as possible. Remitly, the online global remittance service, announced a $12.5m Series B funding round led by DFJ with participation from DN Capital and other existing investors to expand its team, scale marketing efforts and broaden the service to include new countries, and Santander’s recently formed venture capital fund Santander InnoVentures Fund invested $5m in the mobile payment and loyalty provider MyCheck.

Insurance technology has also been active. Lloyds Banking Group's private equity arm LDC backed a £207m management buyout of technology house SSP, the provider of IT systems and services to the general insurance industry, Australian law firm Slater & Gordon acquired the professional services division of AIM-listed business process outsourcing firm Quindell, including claims management software businesses iSaaS Technology Limited and Intelligent Claims Management Limited for £637m and insurance outsourcer The Innovation Group (TIG) sold the UK customer contracts for its Innovation Symbility property claims solution to Symbility Solutions, the provider of the software for Innovation Symbility, for £4m.

In trading technology, software and consulting services company First Derivatives has been busy acquiring both Canadian data software development and consultancy services company Affinity Systems for C$14.5m as well as broking, FX and fixed income software business Activate Clients for €4.75m plus a further up to €2.0m in deferred consideration, Turkish stock exchangeBorsa İstanbul acquired The London Metal Exchange’s 2 percent stake in clearing house LCH.Clearnet, foreign exchange industry holding company Currency Mountain Holdings acquired TraderMade Systems, the supplier of real-time market data and proprietary analytics software, ETX Capital, the online FX, CFD and spread trading platform provider acquired the client list of Alpari (UK) from special administrators KPMG, Markit, the Nasdaq-quoted global provider of financial information services, acquired the Halifax House Price Index from Lloyds Banking Group and OpenGamma, the OTC market risk management firm secured a $1.25m financing round.

In lending, peer-to-peer lender RateSetter secured a £20m investment from fund managers Woodford Investment Management and Artemis to be used to invest in technology and marketing, financial technology start-up Property Partner, the crowdfunding platform for buy-to-let properties, announced a £5.2m funding round led by venture capital firm Index Ventures following earlier backing from Octopus Investments and Seedcamp and institutional equity investors invested £3m into SME online funding provider EZBOB and Chinese investors have helped to support crowdfunding platform Crowd2Fund's valuation to £10m in conjunction with a £2m Series A investment round. 

Elsewhere, Inflexion-owned fund administrator The Sanne Group raised over £140m through a London IPO valuing the company at £232m, Synova Capital supported the management buy-out of financial information business Defaqto Group investing alongside the existing management team and acquiring a majority shareholding, HSBC Holdings, through its strategic investments program, has become the latest investor in cloud-based treasury management solutions provider Kyriba, in conjunction with their Series C financing, Roman Abramovich's fund, Millhouse Capital, led a $2.25m seed round into iAngels the private investor / angel early-stage co-investment platform and early stage online fraud prevention business Ravelin secured seed financing from venture capital firm Passion Capital.

February, 2015

In lending technology VPC Specialty Lending Investments, investor in companies through Victory Park Capital Advisors, announced its intention to launch a £200m initial public offering with proceeds to be invested in opportunities within the specialty lending market primarily through online lending platforms.  Alternative efinance market provider Orange Money, trading as Ezbob, acquired short term business loan service Everline to leverage Everline’s technology platform and underwriting process.  Private equity investor CV6, following an initial minority investment in 2008, acquired a controlling interest in car and asset finance systems provider Frontline Solutions, following an equity sale by the company’s founder Andy Shuter and venture capital investor Anthemis Group acquired Bento the provider of financial services for small businesses.

Payments was also active.  Online money transfer services business Worldremit raised US$100m in a Series B funding round led by Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), with participation from existing investor Accel Partners, that will allow WorldRemit to extend its existing reach of send and receive countries and expand existing partnerships. Payment services provider UPG acquired online payment platform PayCo to strengthen its European offering, listed payment services provider Mi-Pay Group raised £1.75m in a share placing for general working capital purposes, micropayments platform tibdit completed an undisclosed equity crowdfunding and listed mobile payments technology specialist Monitise continue to be the subject of sale speculation following recent underperformance.

Elsewhere, listed capital markets software and consulting business, First Derivatives, acquired marketing technology specialist Prelytix for initial consideration of $7.5m and a maximum total of $20.0m, Société Générale bought a minority stake, following Deutsche Börse, in UK start-up trading platform Global Markets Exchange Group and will provide execution and clearing services for its clients when the London-based venue goes live in the second quarter, cloud-based collateral and margin management technology solutions provider CloudMargin raised financing for growth and client adoption from financial technology fund llluminate Financial Management. Private equity funds Five Arrows Principal Investments and Camwell Management acquired Pirum Systems, which provides post-trade market infrastructure technology for the securities finance industry, software development services provider Luxoft Holding acquired commodities and financial services trading and risk management firm Excelian, wealth intelligence and research firm Wealth-X acquired wealthy consumer market research firm Ledbury Research and fund administration provider Apex Fund Services acquired fund services provider Pinnacle Fund Administration.

January, 2015

In investment technology, private equity house Bridgepoint acquired alternative investment management software provider eFront for approximately €300m. Data, market intelligence and productivity solutions provider Ipreo acquired alternative asset investor portfolio monitoring applications provider ClearMomentum, life company Royal London, which has owned a majority stake in investment platform Ascentric since 2007, bought the remaining shares from the platform’s founders and management to give Royal London full ownership. P2P Global Investments, which invests in consumer and SME loans and corporate trade receivables originated via peer-to-peer and investment platforms, announced the placing and open offer of up to 20 million C shares to raise up to £200m from investors, transaction collateral management business SmartStream Technologies acquired assets related to software, sales and support of IBM’s Algorithmics collateral solution to expand its cash and liquidity management offerings, private equity firm Victory Park Capital announced an investment in SME lending platform Assetz Capital and online personal finance business Money Dashboard secured £2.5m in financing led by Calculus Capital with participation from Ariadne CapitalPar Equity and the Scottish Investment Bank.

Payments also continues to be active. Online money transfer provider TransferWise raised US$58m in Series C funding led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from existing investors Sir Richard Branson, Peter Thiel’s Valar VenturesIndex VenturesIA Ventures and Seedcamp to fund further global expansion with Ben Horowitz joining TransferWise’s board as part of the deal. Mobile payments platform Judo Payments raised £6m in a funding round led by financial technology venture capital firm Route 66 Ventures and listed mobile payments technology specialist Monitise are understood to be considering expressions of interest after missing sale growth targets.

Elsewhere, Singapore’s state-owned fund Temasek Holdings is reported to be among a number of potential buyers interested in acquiring banking software vendor Misys which is currently owned by US private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, fixed-income sales and trade matching broker software supplier Codestreet raised a significant minority investment from venture capital firms Rochester Advisors and Cerium Technology, multi-asset exchange and post trade technology supplier Global Markets Exchange Group International announced a strategic stake in post-trade software firm Avenir Technology as well as a 25% stake in exchange business ALTX Africa Group, digital bank technology provider Crealogix acquired online trading information and transactions systems supplier MBA Systems, venture capital firm Zouk Capital invested $15m in the supplier financing platform Taulia and IFA compliance and support services firm Simply Biz reported plans to consider selling a stake in the firm or floating the business on the Alternative Investment Market with a reported target valuation of up to £100m.