Acquisition roundup: Nanotech Security, Kira Systems, iQmetrix

Kira Systems office

Three Canadian tech companies have recently made acquisitions or have been acquired. Here are the details on Canada’s movers and shakers.

Nanotech Security to be acquired by Meta Materials

Burnaby’s Nanotech Security has agreed to be acquired by Meta Materials in an all-cash deal that values the company at approximately $90.8 million CAD. Meta is set to purchase all of Nanotech’s common shares at a price of $1.25 CAD per share.

Nanotech, which is traded on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol ‘NTS,’ develops secure and visually memorable nano-optic security features used in the government, banknote, and brand protection markets. Under the terms of the deal, Meta Materials is set to acquire Nanotech’s management and team.

Dartmouth-based Meta Materials, which is listed on the Nasdaq under the symbol ‘MMAT,’ develops high-performance functional materials and nanocomposites. Nanotech said it expects the acquisition to give it greater access to capital and allow Nanotech to accelerate its growth and commercialization strategies. Nanotech told BetaKit the transaction stands to provide “certainty and immediate liquidity to Nanotech shareholders.”

Nanotech’s board of directors has approved the deal, which still awaits shareholder approval and remains subject to customary closing conditions. The acquisition is expected to close in early October. As part of the agreement, Nanotech has also preserved the ability to respond to superior proposals.

Kira Systems to be acquired by Litera

Toronto-based contract analysis startup Kira Systems is set to be acquired by Chicago legaltech company Litera for an undisclosed amount. The deal is expected to close around September 1.

Litera plans to acquire Kira and its technology “to form a new cornerstone for its Transaction Management platform as it looks to transform the due diligence process.” Kira told BetaKit that 150 of its 180 employees, including a majority of its management team, will join Litera as through the acquistion, which will see Kira continue to operate under Litera. As part of the deal, Kira will also spin off a new Toronto-based company named Zuva, which will commercialize Kira’s AI technology in new products for the corporate market.

Founded in 2011, Kira helps lawyers analyze contracts more efficiently and accurately using machine learning and artificial intelligence, allowing them to quickly extract concepts and data points.

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As part of the acquisition, Insight Partners, an investor in Kira Systems since 2018, will further its investment in Kira by becoming a minority investor in Litera, while Hg will retain its status as Litera’s majority investor.

“We believe this acquisition will ensure Kira achieves ubiquity in the due diligence review process, as well as provide a welcome home for our customers and employees,” said Noah Waisberg, Kira’s CEO and co-founder.

Waisberg will serve as a strategic advisor to Litera and lead Zuva as CEO, while Alexander Hubek, Kira’s co-founder and CTO, will serve as strategic advisor and board director. Zuva is set to officially launch and reveal its first product announcement in September.

iQmetrix acquires Shiftlab

Vancouver company iQmetrix, which provides telecom retail management software, has acquired Indiana-based Shiftlab. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Shiftlab offers a performance-based employee scheduling platform for retail organizations. The two companies have been partners since early 2020. iQmetrix, which was founded in 1999, called the acquisition “a natural progression of that strategic relationship,” adding that it serves as a product investment, allowing iQmetrix to expand its platform.

“Adding Shiftlab to the iQmetrix group of companies not only expands our retail management platform capabilities, but also solves a critical pain point for multi-store retail operators looking for employee scheduling automation that is seamlessly integrated into their point-of-sale system,” said Jeff Vall, iQmetrix’s VP of corporate development.

iQmetrix told BetaKit that the company has a history of incubating new business ideas organically, adding that this acquisition “is an extension of this strategy.” As part of the deal, the Shiftlab team will join the iQmetrix group of companies to independently build their business and the Shiftlab brand.

Mitch Black, Shiftlab’s CEO, said the company views the deal as a successful exit, and sees iQmetrix as an accelerator of its vision of turning workforce management “from a task to a profit-driving strategy for retailers.”

UPDATE (08/24/21): This story has been updated to include responses from Nanotech Security, Kira Systems, and iQmetrix.

Feature image courtesy of Kira Systems

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit staff writer who loves to tell Canadian business and tech stories. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.