Kyriba to Get $160M in Majority Stake Sale to Private Equity Firm

Kyriba has been making cloud-based software since well before software-as-a-service (SaaS) became a tech buzzword.

Nearly 20 years ago, the company, a spin-off of a French firm, began developing software to provide chief financial officers and other finance leaders with a comprehensive view of company cash and liquidity. Now Kyriba, which sells access to its corporate treasury and financial management software on a subscription basis, says it has reached a preliminary agreement to sell a controlling stake in the company to London-based private equity firm Bridgepoint.

Under the deal terms, San Diego-based Kyriba would get $160 million and its management team would remain unchanged, the company said. The Bridgepoint deal would bring Kyriba’s valuation to $1.2 billion, according to the company, which reported $110 million in revenue in 2018.

San Diego, a life sciences powerhouse, isn’t considered a software startup hotspot, although that narrative has begun to shift somewhat with locally based SaaS companies such as Measurabl, Classy, and Seismic experiencing significant growth.

Kyriba’s San Diego roots date to 2003, when Jean-Luc Robert, its chairman and chief executive, joined the company. (Last year, after having shifted its executive administration and other operations to New York for a time, Kyriba officially renamed San Diego its global corporate headquarters.)

Since its founding, Kyriba has expanded the capabilities of its software from treasury management into other areas of finance, including payments, risk prevention, and, with its January acquisition of FiREapps, management of global foreign exchange risk. Last year the company said it added more than 200 new enterprise clients. [Editor’s note: Informa, Xconomy’s parent company, is a Kyriba customer.]

“We’re addressing a problem that has been around for a while, but maybe wasn’t given the full, 100 percent attention of companies and CFOs, because the treasury function has historically been seen, perhaps, as a little less strategic, a little more operational,” said Kevin Bryla, Kyriba’s San Diego-based chief marketing officer. “When you can connect all these different elements to give a real-time view of cash and real currency…they get very excited about the way they can transform their finance and treasury function. All these decisions that were made off of spreadsheets, and maybe [using] delayed or old information, can be reconsidered in a very different way with real-time access.”

In recent years, the company has raised tens of millions of dollars to fund its growth, including $23 million in 2016 and $45 million in 2017. Some of its investors plan to cash out in the transaction; Daher Capital, Iris Capital, and Robert, the CEO, plan to retain equity, according to the company.

Kyriba has more than 2,000 customers worldwide, including some Fortune 500 companies, across a wide range of industry sectors. The $160 million in fresh capital would fund additional development of its software—the company says it has specifically earmarked $60 million over the next two years for product innovation—plus broader global expansion, Bryla said.

In addition to San Diego, where it has about one-fifth of its 600-plus person workforce, Kyriba has offices in New York, Paris, London, Tokyo, Dubai, and other cities.

In San Diego the company soon plans to double its office footprint. It recently leased more space near its existing headquarters, and anticipates adding 80 more employees to its local workforce in the next 12 months, Bryla said.

Bridgepoint, which has about $20 billion of assets under management, invests across a number of sectors. Other software companies in which it has taken a stake include Efront, which makes alternative investment management software, and Calypso, which makes capital markets software for financial institutions.

Sarah de Crescenzo is an Xconomy editor based in San Diego. You can reach her at sdecrescenzo@xconomy.com. Follow @sarahdc

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