Employee expense platform Chrome River is merging with rival Certify in a deal valued around $1 billion. The companies said the merger will allow both businesses to ramp up investments in technology in areas such as machine learning, AI, analytics and reporting.
Certify is a provider of travel, expense and invoice management software, and the parent company for SaaS platforms Nexonia, Tallie, Abacus, and Captio. Its customers across brands include LogMeIn, Mailchimp, McDonald's, Pinterest, Red Bull, Shopify, Subway, and SurveyMonkey.
In the short term, Chrome River and Certify will operate independently with separate management teams and the companies will continue to support all existing products. Over time, Certify will fold Chrome River into its family of brands for a more tailored go-to-market strategy targeting large enterprises, mid-market and SMBs.
"Unlike the traditional 'one size fits all' approach, this multi-brand strategy enables companies of all sizes and verticals to work with a single vendor, yet craft the solution that is best suited to their specific business needs," the companies said in a press release.
The combined Certify and Chrome River is taking the opposite approach to sector leader SAP Concur, which offers integrated travel and expense, along with other software-as-a-service providers like Expensify.
The combined Certify and Chrome River will have 11,000 global customers. To put things in perspective, SAP Concur serves more than 48,000 global companies comprising 75% of Fortune 100 and 500 companies.
The combined Certify and Chrome River still pales in scope when compared to global behemoth SAP Concur. The approach of offering a variety of different services instead of a single platform, though, has potential in a fragmented global market for expense software services.
Chrome River’s differentiator is giving accountants and travel folks more robust insights into spending patterns and travel behavior. It will bring larger customers into the combined organization’s client list and allow both companies to be more nimble as they plot a future together.
“We can create a solution for different customers and different products,” said Alan Rich, CEO of Chrome River. “Clearly there are advantages to scale. We’ll be 800 people in our company, well over $100 million in revenue. With our scale comes things we couldn’t do in the market as independent companies.”
Neveu and Rich both say the conversation is ongoing surrounding how the two companies will pool resources and work together going forward. Rich expects increased funding from K1 will help the combined company continue to grow, both organically and inorganically.
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