14 deals that transformed Philly’s tech scene in 2021


The relentless rise in U.S. tech stock prices since the last recession and the valuations of private companies following those stock trends have fueled a trading rush from tech and private equity giants this year, reshaping the landscape for tech employers. from Philly alongside everyone else. other.

As recently as last week, Oracle, the Silicon Valley enterprise software giant, which has brought a chain of Philly-area software start-ups into its Conshohocken office, agreed to spend $ 28 billion. dollars for Kansas-based health information technology maker Cerner Corp.. City, whose local base includes the former offices of Shared Medical Systems along US 202.

Oracle, whose logo can be seen as you walk past passengers on the Schuylkill Expressway, “already has nearly 1,000 local employees”, mostly focused on sales and service. “And the Cerner Agreement will replace them,” notes Dean Miller, who heads the Philadelphia Alliance for Capital & Technologies. He would like to see Oracle engage more with “the Philadelphia tech scene”, its business groups and networks.

That would be a welcome escalation: So far, Oracle’s presence and participation in Philadelphia has been modest compared to global rival SAP, the German enterprise software giant with US headquarters in Newtown Square, has Miller said.

Overall, this is a “hot seller’s market” for private companies in general, and software companies in particular, according to GF Data Resources, a Conshohocken company that tracks sales from private companies.

The typical sale for companies worth less than $ 250 million was valued at 7.6 times profits, the highest since the company started tracking in 2005.

Miller provided this list of past deals that transformed Philly tech companies in 2021:

1) In May, private equity software investor Francisco Partners and partner TPG agreed to purchase Boom, the Chesterbrook-based developer of cloud-connected business software that has helped many companies move their workers to secure remote networks long before the pandemic. Dell Technologies sold Boomi for $ 4 billion.

Boomi has grown from 30 employees to over 1,300 in the decade since Dell bought the company as a start-up. This was before founder Michael Dell decided it was time to reduce the number and scope of business units the company had accumulated under his watch.

CEO Chris McNabb, who plans to retire, says Francisco and TPG are the fastest growing type of private equity owners, not the kind to strip and sell – and which Boomi plans to step up. hiring on TPG’s watch.

2) In February, Dutch tech giant Royal Philips NV paid $ 2.4 billion in cash (plus $ 400 million in cash and debt assumption) for BioTelemetry Inc. the manufacturer of Holter heart monitors that employs nearly 2,000 people, with offices in Malvern and factories in Linwood, Delaware County and Minnesota.

The company was called CardioNet when it was based in Conshohocken, until 2013. As BioTelemetry, it increased sales to over $ 400 million through a series of acquisitions under the leadership of CEO Joseph H. Capper, a former Bayer executive.

3) Ametek Inc., the Berwyn-based instrument and electronics maker with more than 200 factories worldwide, has made a series of acquisitions, including Abaco Systems Inc., a manufacturer of ruggedized computer systems in Huntsville, Ala., For nearly $ 1.4 billion.

4) Sidecar, The Center City-based company, which employs 175 people and helps advertisers market their products on Facebook and Google, has agreed to be acquired by Quartile, a New York-based company focused on growing advertising business. fast from Amazon.

The company will take the name Quartile and will be run from New York by boss Daniel Knijnik, but Golsorkhi says he and his staff will be a key part of its growth. The buyer won’t say what he paid, but shareholders such as Nate Lentz of Osage Venture Partners and Paul Melchiorre of Stripes say their early investors have been well rewarded.

Other SideCar backers include the GO Philly Fund of Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Robin Hood Ventures, Mid Atlantic Angel Group, Gabriel Investments LLC of Pennsylvania Bank Secretary Richard Vague, iPipeline Founder Tim Wallace, Owner of Fanatics Michael Rubin and LiquidHub Founder Jon Brassington. Most are betting on new growth, taking Quartile stocks, and hoping for a bigger paycheck to come.

5) Bentley Systems, family-owned construction software maker Exton that went public last year, has agreed to acquire Power Line Systems, an electricity transmission design software company based in Madison, Wis., from the owner of private equity TA Associates, for approximately $ 700 million.

Bentley went public at around $ 33 in September 2020 and topped $ 70 in September, before dropping to around $ 50 in recent trading. At a market value of $ 14 billion, the price still implies very rapid growth expectations, given the company’s annual sales, which could exceed $ 1 billion for the first time next year.

6) Vertex inc., the King of Prussia’s state and foreign tax software company, also listed on the stock exchange last year, has also stepped up acquisitions, adding Irish digital tax and transaction software maker Taxamo, the software maker of SAP tax LCR-Dixon Corp. and Tellutax’s “IT edge” during the year. The shares recently traded below last year’s IPO price.

seven) CoreDial, a 16-year-old Blue Bell cloud communications and contact center developer who sells what he calls UCaaS (meaning “unified communications as a service”) to 32,000 business customers, agreed to to be acquired by New York-based BCM One, which will combine CoreDial with its own SkySwitch platform, creating what the buyer says is the biggest player in the industry.

“Our team [will] join the BCM One family, CoreDial boss Alan Rihm said in a statement.

On December 21, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor announced that 62 CoreDial employees would be permanently laid off.

BCM One strengthens its national reach. It has acquired at least five companies since St. Louis-based Thompson Street Capital Partners began funding its transactions in 2019.

8) Clinical ink, a remote clinical trials developer based in Horsham and led since 2012 by Ed Seguine, former investment strategist and healthcare technology advisor to Eli Lilly, has agreed to purchase clinical trial design company Digital Artifacts, from Iowa City. Its goal includes analyzing and collecting data for brain treatments. Clinical Ink’s expansion follows a significant investment from GI Partners of San Francisco last year.

9) PCI Pharmaceutical Services, a drug distributor based in northeast Philadelphia has 4,000 employees worldwide who have worked for a series of operating and investment owners, currently Kohlberg & Co. LLC and the National Investment Fund of Abu Dhabi Mubadala Investment Co .. PCI has agreed to purchase LSNE Contract Manufacturing, a Bedford, NH-based drug manufacturer.

ten) Anexinet, a Blue Bell-based software integrator who recently focused on cloud services, used capital from New York-based owner Mill Point Capital for its acquisition of Atlanta-based Light Networks LLC, furthering the goal of Mill Point to make the company a national enterprise.

11) Thoma Bravo is the Chicago software investor who previously purchased Philly-born software makers Qlik (commercial sales), iPipeline (insurance) and Elemica (supply chain). Last May Thoma Bravo Okay to buy Greenphire, a rapidly growing Prussian-based clinical trial financial software provider. Greenphire employs over 250 people and recruits aggressively.

12) SEI Corp., the Oaks, Montgomery County-based investment and financial technology firm has acquired Finomial, an investor services automation firm with offices in Boston and Calcutta. Like Vanguard Group, SEI cuts costs by helping clients digitize financial advice wherever possible.

13) Also, last week, OrthogenRX Inc., the developer of osteoarthritis of the knee in Bucks County, has agreed to sell to Avanos Medical Inc., Alpharetta, Ga., for $ 130 million upfront, plus up to $ 20 million more if its FDA-approved treatments are selling as expected.

OrthogenRx plans to continue hiring as part of Avanos, with a new product, Signal NPV, expected at the end of next year, said CEO and science founder Michael Daley. Sales totaled $ 70 million this year. Its backers include pharmaceutical industry veteran Dave Owens and over 60 others, who have together raised over $ 3 million, as well as support from Ben Franklin Technology Partners and Bucks County’s Venture Capital for Bucks County (VC4BC ), funded by the county pension plan.


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