Homeserve acquires 40% of Checkatrade and 70% of Habitissimo for a combined £37M

homeserveHomeServe plc, the home repair and improvements business, has acquired shareholdings in Checkatrade in the UK and Habitissimo in Spain, two separate businesses that provide access to high quality tradespeople performing home repairs and improvements via online platforms.

Checkatrade, based in Selsey, is a UK online directory of customer recommended tradespeople with nearly 1m unique customer visits a month, resulting in approximately 1.3m jobs per annum.  HomeServe has acquired a 40 per cent interest in the business with an option to increase its position by a further 35 per cent in two years.

Habitissimo is an international online business that provides support for home improvements and repairs, connecting homeowners to trusted local tradespeople.  Based in Mallorca (Spain), Habitissimo receives over 3.6 million unique customer visits a month, resulting in approximately 0.25m jobs per annum across nine countries in Europe (Spain, Portugal, Italy and France) and Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Colombia).  HomeServe has acquired a 70 per cent interest in the business with an option to increase its position by a further 30 per cent in either four or five years’ time.

The combined consideration for these two acquisitions was £37 million.

Richard Harpin, Chief Executive, HomeServe plc, commented: “Our investments in Checkatrade and Habitissimo underline HomeServe’s ambition to be at the forefront of the technological revolution as the world’s most trusted provider of home repairs and improvements.  Both of these businesses provide innovative digital platforms, connecting customers to reliable tradespeople.  With leading positions in the home repair and improvements market, these businesses will broaden HomeServe’s reach enabling us to meet the needs of younger, non-insurance minded customers who are looking to find immediate help from a wide range of home trades.

UK, Walsall, West Midlands & UK, Selsey, West Sussex & Spain, Palma De Mallorca, Islas Baleares

 

Time Out Group acquires YPlan

Time Out Group plc has acquired Leanworks Limited (YPlan). London-based YPlan is the “mobile-first” events discovery and booking platform. It offers a mix of event tickets on its app and website allowing people to discover and book things to do in the city. Combined with Time Out’s curated content, this addition will enable the Company’s monthly global audience of 137 million to discover, book and share what the world’s cities have to offer.

Since its foundation in 2012, YPlan has invested heavily in the development of an award-winning e-commerce platform and associated software for the events industry as well as in customer acquisition marketing. As a result, in the year to 31 December 2015, being its last full financial year, YPlan generated a pre-tax loss of £6.2m. Subsequent reductions in its cost base have materially reduced losses in the current year.  Consequently, the transaction is expected to be mildly dilutive to Time Out’s earnings in the current financial year and broadly neutral in 2017.

Julio Bruno, CEO of Time Out Group plc, commented: “Developing e-commerce and monetising our audience is an important element of our ambitious growth strategy. We acquired YPlan because its advanced technology will significantly accelerate this strategy. It will enable us to offer our large audience more online booking opportunities, whilst improving the user experience.”

The consideration will be payable in Time Out ordinary shares. 1,166,644 shares will be issued and payable on completion with a value of £1.6 million based on a share price of £1.393. A deferred issue of ordinary shares with a value of up to £0.8 million is also payable 12 months after completion subject to no warranty claims being made.

UK, London

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Ascentual acquires One Click Retail

ascentialAscential plc, the  business-to-business media company has acquired US-based e-commerce analytics provider Oneclickretail.com LLC for an initial cash consideration of $44 million plus future earn outs.  

Future earn outs, based on multiples of adjusted EBITDA, are payable in the four years 2016 to 2019  in cash or, for certain elements, shares at Ascential’s option.  A portion of the earn-out payments is also subject to founders remaining in employment with the company.  The total aggregate consideration, including initial consideration and earn out payments, is capped at $225 million in the event that stretching profit targets are reached. The transaction is expected to complete on 31 August 2016.

one-clickOne Click Retail provides data analytics to help brands optimise their eCommerce activities.  Customers include Procter & Gamble, HP, Unilever, Hamilton Beach, Nestle and Panasonic.  Revenue is generated predominantly through recurring annual subscriptions to the company’s Dashboard product which provides insights to help customers drive sales through Amazon and other eCommerce retailers.  The insights focus on product market share, its drivers, and the actions that can be taken to increase sales.

 One Click Retail had revenue of $4.9 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $3.4 million for the twelve month period ending December 2015, with a year-on-year growth of 59% and 78% respectively.  Gross assets at December 2015 amounted to $0.8 million.  Annualised subscription contract value stood at $10.1 million as of July 2016.

Duncan Painter, Chief Executive Officer of Accentual said, “We are delighted to welcome One Click Retail and Spencer and his team to Ascential.  It is a quality business that we have been tracking for some time in an exciting part of the retail vertical.  As a high-growth, globally scalable subscription information service product, One Click Retail fits with Ascential’s strategy of owning scalable, global market-leading products and we look forward to helping its talented management team to accelerate its growth.”

The company was founded in 2013 by former Amazon and Walmart executive Spencer Millerberg, and is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

UK, London & USA, Salt Lake City, UT

PCH acquires Fab

pchPCH, a privately held Irish company which designs custom manufacturing solutions for startup companies and with USA headquarters in San Francisco, has acquired the ecommerce website Fab.com for an undisclosed amount of cash and equity.

Tech Crunch had reported that that Fab was selling to PCH for around $15 million. Fab had raised $165 million at a $1 billion valuation just over a year ago!

In recent months, Fab has undergone significant restructuring to bring costs in line with sales, to stabilize operations, and to grow its core audience of urban professionals and design enthusiasts.

FabAs part of the deal, 35 Fab employees – including engineers, merchants, graphic designers and marketers – will remain with the company. Fab founder and former CEO Jason Goldberg has stepped down as CEO and will not be involved with the business going forward. Renee Wong, general manager since May 2014, will continue to run day-to-day operations.

Key hires in merchandising and marketing will be added to supplement the experienced core team, and additional measures will be undertaken to grow the business and attract established and emerging designers. PCH will also explore forming a design advisory board and recruiting a creative director in residence.

“We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Fab,” said PCH Founder and CEO Liam Casey. “We love the brand, the customer experience, and the focus on lifestyle products. We see an opportunity to reinvigorate the Fab audience – keeping the current focus, and adding a variety of more distinct and exclusive goods from designers. And because Fab has a flexible and dynamic technology platform, we have a good foundation to test new selling modes that will excite customers.”

Ireland, Cork & USA, San Francisco, CA

Slyce buys SnipSnap for $6.5 mln

Visual product search platform Slyce Inc. has acquired mobile couponing company, SnipSnap App Limited Liability Company for $6.5 million, made up of: US$1 million in cash payable at closing, plus US$3 million in Common Shares issued at Closing Date at an issue price of CDN$0.80 per share and up to US$2.5 million in Common Shares issued at future determined share prices, upon the achievement of revenue milestones by December 31st, 2015 and December 31st, 2016.

Slyce CEO Mark Elfenbein said of the acquisition, “SnipSnap and its four million users represent an enormous opportunity for Slyce to widen its service offering to leading retailers. The team has solved a huge problem for retailers-effectively building a bridge between analog and digital coupon distribution. Furthermore, this acquisition enables users who are already taking photos of coupons to now take photos of real world items, a natural extension of the SnipSnap app’s current use case. With the addition of the SnipSnap platform and team including founder Ted Mann, Slyce instantly becomes the go-to provider of not just visual search applications but the very best out-of-store customer engagement solutions for retailers.”

SnipSnap Founder Ted Mann will continue to lead SnipSnap, which will remain based in Philadelphia.

Canada, Toronto, ON

KKR acquires Trainline

KKRGlobal investment firm KKR has acquired Trainline. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

trainlineTrainline is the most downloaded travel app in the UK and its website ranks 5th by gross transaction value in the UK e-commerce sector. The company has 4.7m active customers, 20.8m visits per month and operates platforms for both consumers and businesses. Trainline is licensed to sell rail tickets on behalf of all UK Train Operating Companies, Deutsche Bahn and Trenitalia.

Dominic Murphy, Member and Head of KKR operations in the United Kingdom commented: “The investment in Trainline adds to our track record of partnering with entrepreneurs and management teams to build global companies and industry leaders. Similar to our Alliance Boots investment, we will support a strong investment program leading to a further transformation and strong international expansion of the company.”

USA, New York, MY & UK, London

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News Corp acquires Indian start-up BigDecisions.Com

newscorpNews Corp has acquired BigDecisions.com in India.

BigDecisions.com aims to help Indian consumers make smarter financial decisions through interactive, decision-making tools powered by sophisticated algorithms and data. Its mission is to provide a platform to deliver unbiased information and analysis to consumers on topics ranging from life and health insurance and retirement planning to providing for a child’s education or buying and renting real estate.

big decisions“Our latest investment builds on our abiding belief that a digital India needs more trusted, reliable and independent data,” said Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp. “BigDecisions.com will help Indians make the most important decisions by using accurate information tailored to their personal needs. This platform will be high quality, privacy-protected and easy-to-use.”

The acquisition of BigDecisions.com includes the site’s parent company, FinDirect Services Pvt Ltd.

The investment follows News Corp’s acquisition in November of a 25% stake in PropTiger.com, a residential real estate platform that also provides accurate and independent data and information to India’s homebuyers. News Corp’s other operations in India include Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal, Factiva and HarperCollins Publishers businesses.

Started in early 2013 by Manish Shah and Gaurav Roy, and operating until recently as bigdecisions.in.Following the acquisition, both co-founders will help oversee a significant expansion of the Mumbai-based BigDecisions.com team as well as its consumer offerings. They will report to Raju Narisetti, News Corp Senior Vice President, Strategy.

USA, New York & India, Mumbai

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