Compass Investment Partners, the New York-based private equity firm, has invested in I Drive Safely, an online provider of driving training products in 50 US states & Canada. Stuart Goldfarb, a member of the fund’s senior operating network, will join the Company’s Board of Directors as Executive Chairman, according to Compass’ statement. Sidley Austin served as legal counsel to the PE firm; William Blair and Sheppard Mullin advised the target.
Compass Investment Partners Closes Investment in I DRIVE SAFELY
Growth-oriented, sector-focused private equity firm to invest in leading nationwide provider of online driver training solutions
May 29, 2012 – Compass Investment Partners Fund, L.P. (“Compass Investment Partners”) has completed an investment in I DRIVE SAFELY, LLC (“I Drive Safely” or the “Company”). I DRIVE SAFELY is the leading provider of online driver training solutions serving teenagers, adults, senior citizens and corporations. The Company’s core product offering includes driver improvement programs, first-time driver education courses and corporate training solutions in addition to other online training programs and data services. I DRIVE SAFELY was founded in 1998 and serves customers across all fifty states in the U.S. and Canada.
“Gari and I are very excited to partner with Compass Investment Partners as we continue to expand both the product offering and geographic reach of the business,” said Rick Hernandez, Managing Director and co-founder of I DRIVE SAFELY. Gari Garimella, also Managing Director and co-founder, added: “The team from Compass Investment Partners is completely in sync with our long-term strategic vision of the Company. We view them as a highly strategic partner who will provide capital and resources that will accelerate a broad range of growth initiatives aimed at addressing the increased global focus on safety, compliance and training.” Mr. Hernandez and Mr. Garimella will continue to lead the business and will remain significant investors alongside Compass Investment Partners.
In addition, Compass Investment Partners has announced that Stuart Goldfarb, a member of the fund’s senior operating network, will join the Company’s Board of Directors as Executive Chairman. Mr. Goldfarb was formerly President and CEO of Bertelsmann Direct North America, a diversified multi-channel marketer of consumer products with over $1 billion in annual revenue, and currently advises growth companies in the online training and marketing space with a focus on corporate development and customer acquisition strategies.
“Since its inception, I DRIVE SAFELY has helped lead the shift from traditional classroom instruction to online delivery across a range of driver training programs,” said Scott Marden, Managing Partner of Compass Investment Partners. “This macro theme is a key tenet of our fund’s targeted investment strategy in the Business Information and Outsourced Services market.” I DRIVE SAFELY will be the first platform investment for Compass Investment Partners within its Knowledge Services sector focus. Justin Lipton, Managing Director of Compass Investment Partners, added: “The Company has developed a leading brand with a long-term strategy of working closely with state agencies, regulatory bodies and insurance companies to address a range of training and education issues. We look forward to working with Rick and Gari to build on the Company’s industry-leading position.”
Sidley Austin LLP served as legal counsel to Compass Investment Partners. William Blair & Company L.L.C. and Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP advised I DRIVE SAFELY on the transaction.
About I DRIVE SAFELY:
I DRIVE SAFELY, LLC is a leading provider of online driver training solutions serving teenagers, adults, senior citizens and corporations. The Company was founded in 1998 with a mission to provide consumers with a convenient and effective online alternative to traditional traffic school and driver education courses. I DRIVE SAFELY’s products promote safe and responsible driving with the goal of reducing collisions and saving lives. The Company is headquartered in San Diego, CA. For more information please visit: www.idrivesafely.com
About Compass Investment Partners:
Compass Investment Partners is a New York based private equity firm focused on investing in growth-oriented, middle-market companies across the Business Information and Outsourced Services markets in North America. The fund seeks to invest in proven, profitable businesses that provide their customer bases with critical information, proprietary content and value-added outsourced services. Targeted sectors for investment include: B2B information management, marketing services, business process outsourcing and knowledge services. For more information please visit: www.compasspartners.com