NZ retail software company Vend sold for $455m

Credit: Original article can be found here

Business

11 Mar, 2021 10:16 PM

Vend founder Vaughan Fergusson with partner Zoe Timbell. Photo / File

Auckland-based Vend – which makes software that allows cash registers to be replaced by iPads – has been sold to North American company Lightspeed for US$350 million ($455m).

Vend was founded in 2009 by Vaughan Fergusson, who had just sold his first startup – an online travel booking platform – to Trade Me.

Vend was valued at US$100m with its last major capital raise around 2016 – indicating the sale is a considerable payday for shareholders.

Ahead of the deal, the largest shareholder was Movac with a 9 per cent stake.

Vaughan Fergusson, his ex-wife Mel Rowsell and early backer Sam Morgan were the next largest shareholders, each with an 8 per cent share (the sale represents Morgan’s third major share after the sale of his stakes in Trade Me and Xero).

The sale will also represent major gains for two smaller earlier investors: Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures and Lance Wiggs’ Punakaiki Fund.

Vend claims more than 25,000 retailers worldwide use its cloud-based point-of-sale software. It generated revenue of approximately US$34m in the 12-months to December 31, 2020, Lightspeed said in a statement.

The deal will close in April, subject to approvals.

The Canadian-founded, NYSE-listed Lightspeed is in the same market as Vend, selling cloud-based point-of-sale software, but is many times larger with a market cap of just under US$10b.

Vaughan Fergusson is today devoting most of his time to running the Pam Fergusson Charitable Trust, named after his paraplegic mother, who raised he and his two brothers solo.

Wiggs told the Herald, “We are delighted for Vaughan and his family, as well as the large number of investors and even larger number of people who participated in employee share schemes. It’s a big day for all and we should celebrate this success.”

There was no immediate word on its new owner’s plans for Vend’s NZ HQ (the company also has outposts in Canada and Germany), but chief executive Ana Wight said in a statement, “As a New Zealand-based company, we’re proud to be globally recognised for the product and company we have built and are excited about this next step in our journey.”

Vend had at times been seen as an IPO candidate. Its trade-sale is another blow to the NZX.

It comes on top of today’s news other big sale news – that Christchurch-based geoscience software maker Seequent has just been sold to Nasdaq-listed Bentley Systems in a US$900 deal, and Vocus Group’s pending sale to Macquarie and Aware Super that has scuppered plans for an NZX listing of Vocus’s NZ assets, valued around $722m.

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