Sapphire Ventures-backed iovation is up for sale: sources

Iovation, the fraud-detection company backed by Sapphire Ventures, is up for sale, three sources said.

Raymond James is advising on the process, one of the sources said.

Launched in 2004, iovation provides consumer-authentication and fraud-detection software. CEO Greg Pierson co-founded the Portland, Oregon company. In September 2016, iovation acquired authentication company LaunchKey.

Iovation’s auction is targeting middle-market PE firms with a financial-services focus. This group typically includes buyout shops such as GTCR, Lightyear Capital, Lovell Minnick Partners and Stone Point Capital.

The iovation auction is believed to be mid-process, one of the sources said. How much iovation is selling for is unclear, but the company is seeking a multiple similar to ThreatMetrix Inc, the person said. RELX Group in January agreed to buy ThreatMetrix, a fraud-detection-service company, for 580 million pounds ($814 million).

Iovation appears to have raised about $17 million in venture-capital funding, according to PitchBook. This includes $50 million in convertible debt from EPIC Ventures in 2012.

Iovation collected $15 million in funding in 2008, including $10 million from Intel Capital. Sap Venture (now known as Sapphire Ventures) and European Founders also invested in the $15 million round.

The company’s website lists EPIC, Sapphire and Global Founders Capital as current investors. Intel and European Founders no longer appear to hold stakes in iovation, although it’s unclear when they sold.

Executives for iovation, Sapphire, Raymond James, Epic, Global founders, European Founders and Intel could not be reached for comment.

Action Item: Contact CEO Greg Pierson at +1 503-224-6010

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