Background

  • Semafone Limited (Semafone) is a leading data security and compliance SaaS platform underpinned by a highly differentiated product set and suite of IP
  • Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Guildford, UK, Semafone's solutions protect against the risk of fraud and the associated reputational damage, ensuring compliance with industry regulations such as the Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
  • Semafone has over 90 employees working from their UK and US offices and serves customers globally and across all industries
  • Semafone received two separate investments from Octopus, a first tranche in 2010 and a second in 2014, and from Business Growth Fund (BGF) in 2014 – together, Octopus and BGF owned the majority of the business

Process

  • DC Advisory (DC) was engaged by the shareholders of Semafone to advise on the sale of the company in November 2020
  • DC ran a tailored process, leveraging its sector expertise, cross-border connections, and senior relationships with private equity buyers, raising strong interest from both European and North American funds
  • A carefully messaged, detailed analysis, illustrating the key drivers of the business, was provided throughout the process

Outcome

  • DC ran a competitive process, which involved a number of international private equity bidders
  • Following a thorough but expedited due diligence process, Livingbridge committed significant growth funding to support Semafone’s plans to boost its market penetration and product expansion
  • With over 150 investments in 25 years, Livingbridge has a track record of investments and partnerships with leading software and IT services businesses that, similarly to Semafone, have strong IP and serve large and growing markets internationally
  • The transaction was signed and completed in June 2021

“The DC Advisory team has been a great partner to us throughout the process. Their knowledge and experience translated to sound counsel and guidance, making for a seamless transaction that aligned with our vision for future growth. Semafone prides itself on providing frictionless customer experiences and we found that in DC Advisory as well."

Gary Barnett
CEO, Semafone

“We are delighted to have supported Semafone’s shareholders and management team on their successful transaction. Gary and his team have built a leading SaaS business that is primed to further accelerate their international growth with Livingbridge as their new partner. This marks yet another successful deal for our software, SaaS and cyber, risk & compliance franchises”

Sebastian Daumueller
Managing Director, DC Advisory UK

“An outstanding outcome for Gary and the Semafone team – Livingbridge is the perfect partner to help Semafone further penetrate North America and other markets globally, and to continue building out a portfolio of industry-leading solutions that protect highly sensitive data traversing through contact centers. We are pleased to have worked with such outstanding teams on both sides of the transaction, and in the ability of our global cyber, risk and compliance team to deliver another premium outcome on behalf of our client.”

Matt Fiore
Managing Director, DC Advisory US