Information VP scores big with $1.55 bln sale of Adaptive Insights

Information Venture Partners is seeing a lucrative payday with the US$1.55 billion sale of a Silicon Valley business-planning software provider.

Adaptive Insights, backed by Information VP for more than a decade, was sold this week to Workday. The deal gave the Toronto venture firm about 10x its investment, a person with knowledge of the matter told PE Hub Canada.

The sale, which short-circuited Adaptive’s plans to go public, was probably just as gainful for other VCs, such as Bessemer Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Onset Ventures, some of which invested longer.

Information VP declined comment.

Founded in 2003, Adaptive today has more than 3,800 global customers, many of them acquired in the past two years, according to the company’s IPO prospectus. It reported revenue of US$106.5 million for fiscal 2018, up 30 percent from a year earlier.

In all, Adaptive raised about US$175 million in VC funding. Information VP, then known as RBC Venture Partners, first invested in 2007.

General Partner Robert Antoniades says Adaptive’s success owes to technology that gives finance and management teams an alternative to old-world manual processes, such as spreadsheets.

“Adaptive had the right product for solving a big problem, making budgeting and planning easy, effective and measurable,” he said. “And it came at the exact moment when the market was looking for a cloud-based solution.”

Adaptive is one of several major liquidity events Information VP completed in recent months.

In January, it exited Igloo Software, a Kitchener, Ontario, provider of digital workplace solutions, following a $60 million (US$47 million) majority investment by Frontier Capital. Information VP realized about 5x the money it put into the company, according to the Globe and Mail.

The firm was with Igloo from the beginning. Founded in 2008 by CEO Dan Latendre, Igloo emerged from the Centre for International Governance Innovation, a Waterloo think tank. A Series A financing led by Information VP facilitated the spinout.

Igloo’s timing, like Adapative’s, was propitious, General Partner Dave Unsworth said.

“Ongoing workplace change can result in disconnected people, processes and information,” he said. “Igloo solves this problem by helping companies build a digital destination for collaboration, achieving more productive and profitable work.”

Igloo has shown annual revenue growth of about 50 percent since 2016.

Late last year, Information VP also cashed out of eSentire, a Cambridge, Ontario, managed cyberthreat-detection and -response platform. The exit resulted from a majority investment by Warburg Pincus, reportedly valued at more than $126 million (US$100 million).

The team at Information Venture Partners (left to right): Kate Grant, Kavi Karunadeva, Dave Unsworth, Robert Antoniades, Kerri Golden, Alex Tong and Sonia Kohli

Fund II at the halfway mark

Along with shedding portfolio assets, Information VP has been steadily adding to them.

Two years ago, the firm closed its second fund at $106 million. Information Venture Partners II, which invests in early-stage financial technology and enterprise-software companies across North America, is now about 50 percent invested, Antoniades said.

The fund has made seven investments to date, including mobile line-item receipts manager Sensibill and context-as-a-service company Flybits, both based in Toronto.

One of Information VP’s most recent deals, closed last November, involved Coconut Software, a Saskatoon provider of appointment scheduling software. Founded in 2011 by CEO Katherine Regnier, it raised $4.2 million in a Series A financing.

Antoniades says Information VP led the round because Coconut’s technology accounts for a wide scope of scheduling metrics, helping enterprises “avoid the costs of missed appointments and make more effective use of workforces.”

Coconut has the potential to become a “global platform and certainly a North American one,” he said.

In June, Information VP also joined the US$30 million Series B financing of BigID, a New York enterprise data-protection and privacy company. BigID is led by CEO Dimitri Sirota, founder of Vancouver API management vendor Layer 7 Technologies.

Fund II is expected to make up to seven additional investments.

Information VP was founded in 2014 by Antoniades and Unsworth. They led a management buyout of the portfolio of RBC Venture Partners, the in-house fund of Royal Bank of Canada.

The team includes Partner and CFO Kerri Golden and Associate Alex Tong.