Norwest Venture Partners sells Clarus Commerce


Trivergance LLC, along with Falcon Investment Advisors LLC and Landon Capital Partners, has acquired Clarus Commerce. Financial terms weren’t announced. Norwest Venture Partners is the seller. Clarus Commerce owns Freeshipping.com, a provider of pre-paid shipping. BBVA Compass Bank and Whitehorse Capital provided senior debt financing. Sanjay Chadda of Petsky Prunier advised Clarus.

PRESS RELEASE

March 23, 2016 10:15 AM Eastern Daylight Time
FORT LEE, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Trivergance, LLC, a leading independent sponsor, in partnership with Falcon Investment Advisors, LLC and Landon Capital Partners, today announced the acquisition of Clarus Commerce from global venture capital and growth equity investment firm, Norwest Venture Partners. The management team at Clarus has built a dynamic company that capitalizes on the rapidly growing market opportunity at the intersection of eCommerce and subscription-based loyalty and rewards solutions. Specifically, Clarus has developed and manages a proprietary, flexible and scalable membership and benefit management technology platform. This platform delivers to consumers and its “white-label” partners a suite of valuable benefits that drive enhanced loyalty and customer engagement. Clarus offers its own portfolio of subscription products as well as a growing portfolio of custom “white-label” loyalty programs that Clarus executes in a holistic and turn-key manner on behalf of its eCommerce retailers, payment companies and other client partners.

Amongst other products, Clarus’ flagship product, Freeshipping.com, offers a suite of benefits to consumers including free shipping, 10% cash back, price comparison, price guarantee and other valuable savings across a consortium of over 1,500 of the world’s largest online retailers. The company has an extensive roadmap of feature and benefit enhancements, which will drive additional value to consumers and to its “white-label” clients.
Marc Byron, CEO of Trivergance says, “We are very proud to have sponsored and led this transaction. We believe Clarus represents the next platform opportunity for Trivergance to continue delivering on our track record of success in what we call the ‘Supply Chain of Customer Engagement.’ We have had great success in identifying trends early in these sectors and capitalizing on these trends to rapidly scale companies and create tremendous value. Trivergance acts as an accelerator to help achieve outsized returns and do it faster.”
Mr. Byron continues, “With regard to Clarus, we see a tectonic shift coming in how brands and marketers engage and reward prospects and customers, and how strategies and programs like this are funded. Gone soon are the days where a loyalty program is funded solely by the brand in a vacuum, resulting in a major cost center. Clarus’ suite of benefits and emerging solutions, in combination with specific intellectual property and operational know how of Trivergance, will deliver exciting innovations to this vast and highly fragmented market. Overall, the Clarus platform provides a ‘turn-key’ loyalty and membership management solution to its eCommerce and client partners that can be customized and rapidly implemented, increasing loyalty while at the same time driving profits to their bottom lines.”
Tom Caporaso, CEO of Clarus comments, “We had five great years with Norwest, which includes collaborating closely with Jon Kossow and David Su who have been active board members and great partners. Not only did they support us in materially growing the company to operational maturity, but we substantially grew both the top and bottom lines. With our new capital and operational partners, we can further scale the business and innovate the sector in ways that our product and platform yield significant and ongoing benefits to our consumers, eCommerce partners and ‘white label’ clients alike. The adoption of our first and core product Freeshipping.com is extensive across a network of more than 1,500 leading online retailers and other brands. They are hungry for further innovation that significantly drives more customer engagement, transactions, profitability, and ultimately more lifetime value. The industry can count on us to lead the way forward in re-inventing the dynamic sectors of loyalty, membership and rewards.”
Rafael Fogel, Partner at Falcon says, “We’re pleased to be partnering with Trivergance to support this great company and management team in the loyalty and rewards management space.”
Chris Sullivan of Landon Capital Partners adds, “We are delighted that this transaction will combine the Clarus team with the Trivergance team that brings unparalleled experience and success in direct to consumer marketing businesses over the past 20 years. We believe the Fortune 500 relationships Trivergance will bring to Clarus can further accelerate the company’s established outstanding track record of growth.”
Senior debt financing for this transaction has been provided by BBVA Compass Bank and Whitehorse Capital. Clarus Commerce was advised by Sanjay Chadda of Petsky Prunier, the leading investment bank for middle market transactions in the marketing, digital, eCommerce and related sectors.
About Clarus Commerce
Clarus Commerce (www.claruscommerce.com) is a recognized leader in e-commerce and subscription commerce solutions. Among its various properties, Clarus Commerce powers FreeShipping.com, the pioneer of the pre-paid shipping and cashback movement. Clarus Commerce also customizes and manages programs, such as Return Saver, which it co-developed with FedEx, and 2-Day Shipping by MasterCard, for clients across a wide range of industries.
About Trivergance, LLC
Trivergance, LLC (www.trivergance.com) is one of the leading independent sponsors, having invested over $1 billion of third-party, institutional equity capital since 2006. Trivergance is a unique combination of seasoned investment professionals and proven operators with a combined team of over 40 business building experts and executives. Trivergance leverages its operating team and intellectual property in the areas of branding, customer engagement, customer acquisition, direct and digital marketing to produce outsized returns for its portfolio companies.
About Falcon Investment Advisors, LLC
Falcon (www.falconinvestments.com) is a private equity firm which invests subordinated debt and equity capital in leading middle market companies. With over $2.6 billion of capital under management and an experienced investment team, Falcon is a responsive and resourceful financing partner. Falcon provides $25 to $75 million of capital per transaction and is investing through its current fund, Falcon Strategic Partners V, LP.
About Landon Capital Partners
Landon Capital Partners (“LCP”) is the direct private equity investment group of the Landon family and its select family office co-investment partners. LCP invests in middle market private equity opportunities across multiple sectors including business services, healthcare services, food and beverage, and niche manufacturing. Preferred LCP investment targets display a high percentage of recurring revenue and strong free cash flow conversion and seek to leverage LCP’s flexible approach to partnership and long-term growth orientation.
About Norwest Venture Partners
Norwest Venture Partners (www.nvp.com) is a global venture capital and growth equity investment firm that manages more than $6 billion in capital. The firm targets early to late stage venture and growth equity investments across a wide range of sectors including: technology, information services, business services, financial services, consumer products/services and healthcare. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., Norwest has offices in San Francisco and New York, and subsidiaries in Mumbai and Bengaluru, India and Herzelia, Israel. The firm has funded more than 575 companies since inception.
About Petsky Prunier
Petsky Prunier (www.petskyprunier.com) is one of the leading investment banks to the technology, media, marketing, eCommerce, and healthcare industries. Our firm’s merger and acquisition advisory and private placement capital raising services reflect a unique blend of product specialization and industry expertise. Together with strategic consulting firm Winterberry Group, a Petsky Prunier company, our organization represents one of the largest industry-specific advisors providing strategic and transactional services. We offer global reach supplemented through our partnerships with investment bank Altium in Europe, as well as The Mountain Capital Group in China, and Allegro Advisors and o3 Capital in India. Securities transactions are processed by Petsky Prunier Securities LLC, a member of FINRA and an affiliated entity of Petsky Prunier.

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