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funding

Aspect Software to be acquired by Vector Capital

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Aspect Software has entered into a definitive merger agreement to be acquired by Vector Capital, a private equity firm specialising in transformational investments in established technology businesses.

Under the terms of the agreement, Vector Capital will invest more than $100 million of equity capital in Aspect’s business, which provides customer engagement, workforce optimisation, and self-service omni-channel solutions.

Aspect’s existing lenders will continue to support the company by providing Aspect with a new credit facility at closing.

The transaction is subject to standard and customary closing conditions including the receipt of regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019.

“We are excited to partner with Vector Capital as we continue to accelerate Aspect’s strategic transformation, execute on our growth plans and refine our go-forward strategy,” said Chris Koziol, Aspect’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Vector Capital brings substantial operational and financial resources as well as a proven track record of helping enterprise software companies invest in new products, accelerate innovation, and build market leading businesses.”

“We are thrilled to partner with the team at Aspect Software, which has established, market-leading product offerings and an exceptional blue-chip customer base,” said Andy Fishman, a Managing Director at Vector Capital. “We believe Aspect is well positioned to capitalise on the tremendous opportunity in the growing Customer Engagement Centre market.”

“We have always been impressed by Aspect’s strong business and leadership team,” continued Sandy Gill, a Principal at Vector Capital. “We look forward to backing Aspect during its next stage of growth and helping the Company accelerate its development through both organic initiatives and strategic acquisitions.”

Jefferies LLC and DCS Advisory served as Aspect’s financial advisors. Aspect’s legal counsel was Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. Vector Capital’s legal counsel was Paul Hastings LLP.

AI customer service specialist Afiniti raises $130m, is valued at $1.6bn

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

AI in customer service is hot right now, as illustrated by the fact that Washington DC-based Afiniti just raised $130 million in Series D funding, valuing the company at a whopping $1.6 billion.

Privately-held companies with a valuation of more than $1 billion are extremely rare, and it’s expected that the firm will complete an IPO within the next 12 months, with profitability imminent.

Afiniti now has an impressive roster of backers, who are all making a serious collective bet that AI will be very much be at the forefront of customer service in years to come.

Participants in the latest round of funding include Washington Post CEO Fred Ryan, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg, Global Asset Management, The Resource Group and Zeke Capital, with previous backers including McKinsey, Elisabeth Murdoch, former Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer and former BP CEO John Browne.

The company has some big clients too – T-Mobile USA, Virgin Media, Caesar’s Entertainment and Sky – plus some big hitting employees, including none other than Princess Beatrice as its Vice President of Partnerships.

Led by CEO Zia Chishti the firm doesn’t sell its platform as a service but instead takes a cut of any sales its clients secure via its systems.