Vancouver-based Zafin, which provides modernization software for traditional banks, has entered an agreement that will see Swedish private equity firm Nordic Capital acquire a majority stake of its business.
Although the transaction details were not disclosed, Vistara Growth managing partner and Zafin board member Randy Garg told BetaKit that “this acquisition represents one of the largest recent exits in the Canadian software industry.”
Nordic told BetaKit in an email statement that the investment is made by Nordic Capital XI, which typically invests in companies with an estimated valuation over €300 million ($321 million USD). The Globe and Mail reported that the agreement valued Zafin at more than $500-million USD ($677-million CAD) based on annual revenues believed to be between $75-million USD and $100-million USD.
Nordic also told BetaKit that its investment was made in partnership with Zafin’s founders and management, who will reinvest in the company and join Nordic as “significant minority owners” following the deal.
“We have been powering the modernization and transformation of banks and future-proofing their banking technology investments for years,” Zafin co-founder and CEO Al Karim Somji said in a statement. “With Nordic Capital’s scale, technology expertise, and deep market understanding, this partnership enables us to become a global leader in banking technology solutions.”
When BetaKit asked Zafin if its management was staying on and if layoffs were part of the deal, it said Nordic Capital was focused on accelerating growth, including the growth and development of its global team, and that Zafin’s founders and management team will “continue in their role leading the growth of the company.”
The transaction is expected to close before the end of Q1 2024.
Zafin, founded in 2002 by Somji and COO Anugopal Venugopalan, provides a range of FinTech software solutions, such as automated pricing, billing, and analytical tools, to traditional banks that may be held back by legacy architecture. Zafin says it has customers around the globe including CIBC, HSBC, and Wells Fargo.
After Zafin completed a $13-million raise in 2016, it launched its client offer management tool aimed at reducing operational costs through the automation of manual processes. In October 2017, it launched a digital platform, Zafin Origin in October 2017 to give banks access to more digital offerings.
In December 2018, IT consulting giant Accenture agreed to acquire some of Zafin’s financial services assets for an undisclosed amount. The transaction saw select professional-services employees at Zafin join Accenture as it became the preferred integrator of Zafin’s software platform.
Shortly after, Zafin closed a $22-million Series B round in 2019 led by Vistara Growth Partners, which was also a participant of its 2016 raise. Zafin told BetaKit that it has raised a total of $32.2 million USD ($43.6 million CAD) of external funding over two rounds.
“The company was highly capital efficient throughout its growth journey and raised strategically timed funding as both debt and equity reducing overall dilution, while supporting ambitious global growth and product development initiatives,” Garg said following news of Zafin’s acquisition. “Having a large new partner with significant FinTech experience, resources, and relationships should help the company continue its growth trajectory and global expansion efforts.”
UPDATE (02/13/24): This story was updated to note new information shared by Zafin and Nordic Capital, plus reporting from The Globe and Mail.
Feature image courtesy Zafin via LinkedIn.