Cherry Tree Advises XPrep Learning Solutions

Cherry Tree Advises XPrep Learning Solutions

XPrep Learning Solutions

Cherry Tree Advises XPrep Learning Solutions

INDUSTRY:
Education, Technology
DESCRIPTION:
100% Digital, Subscription-Based Online Test Preparation for Professional Board Exam Solutions to Veterinary, Veterinary Technician, Optometry, and Dental Hygiene Students.

Overview:

Originally founded in 2004 by three Veterinary students, XPrep Learning Solutions serves students worldwide as a well-respected leader in the online test preparation space. The Company delivers comprehensive professional board preparation solutions to veterinary, veterinary technician, optometry, and dental hygiene students. Its owners (three practicing veterinarians and one technology executive) were balancing full-time careers outside of the XPrep business and reached the right time to explore their strategic alternatives. Specifically, XPrep ownership was seeking a partner that could lead the Company through its next stage of growth while maintaining its strong brand reputation. The Company’s market leading products and strong internal leadership made a potential strategic partnership highly attractive to multiple parties. Through a Cherry Tree-led process, XPrep was able to find a highly strategic partner in PDH Academy, a portfolio company of Eden Capital, that values its brand reputation and could support its next growth chapter.
 
“We are very excited to partner with XPrep Learning Solutions and leverage best practices to provide additional professional training to our clients,” said Mark Newcomer, CEO of PDH Academy.
 
“Partnering with PDH Academy is a great fit for XPrep. The additional resources and expertise that PDH brings to the table will be a huge benefit for our students. We will be able to provide an even higher level of product and service,” said XPrep VP of Operations Brian Jensen.
 

Cherry Tree’s Role:

Cherry Tree leveraged its education experience and network of potential strategic partners and financial partners and worked closely with the owners and management team to create a competitive sale process that resulted in a favorable outcome for shareholders, employees, and students. It was especially important to the owners that the process was focused on finding a partner that would maintain the integrity of the brand and its stellar reputation among students. Additionally, the process was swift and efficient as to not disrupt nor distract the core business operations. Cherry Tree’s advisory role included introductions and discussions with numerous potential partners in marketing the opportunity, soliciting proposals, negotiating terms, supporting due diligence, and facilitating the closing of the transaction.
 

About XPrep Learning Solutions:

XPrep Learning Solutions: XPrep Learning Solutions provides online test preparation solutions to veterinary, veterinary technician, optometry, and dental hygiene students. Thousands of professionals have relied on VetPrep, VetTechPrep, OptoPrep, and HygienistPrep to pass their professional board exams.

About PDH Academy:

PDH Academy: PDH Academy provides regulatory training and certification to professionals and companies in real estate, healthcare, and specialized trades. The mission of PDH Academy is to help professionals start, manage, and advance their careers.

About Eden Capital:

Eden Capital: Eden Capital is a sector-focused private equity firm backing leading management teams in education, tech, and business services companies.

About Cherry Tree & Associates

Cherry Tree & Associates is a private investment banking firm headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Founded in 1980, it specializes in M&A transactions for both buyers and sellers of middle market companies. Additionally, it conducts private placements for attractive, entrepreneurially managed growth companies, provides strategic advisory services to CEOs and boards of directors, and prepares fairness opinions and other valuation services.

Cherry Tree & Associates provides investment banking services through our FINRA-licensed broker dealer.

DISCLOSURES
FINRA
SIPC

Cherry Tree Advises Scientific Learning on their Sale to Carnegie Learning

Cherry Tree Advises Scientific Learning on their Sale to Carnegie Learning

Scientific Learning

Cherry Tree Advises Scientific Learning on their Sale to Carnegie Learning

INDUSTRY:
Education Technology
DESCRIPTION:
Provider of Online, Reading and Language Learning Software Solutions for K-12
LOCATION:
Oakland, California
TRANSACTION TYPE:
100% Sale to Strategic Buyer

Overview:

In September 2020, Scientific Learning Corporation (OTC PINK:SCIL) (“Scientific Learning”), a provider of neuroscience-based online reading and language software, announced that it had been acquired by an affiliate of Carnegie Learning, Inc. (“Carnegie Learning”), a provider of educational resources and formative assessment, in an all-cash merger transaction valued at approximately $15 million. The rationale for the combination is to strengthen the education technology portfolio of both entities and to further drive forward their joint mission of improving student learning outcomes through leading-edge technology built from and validated by rigorous research.
 
Jeff Thomas, CEO of Scientific Learning, stated, “Through our combination with Carnegie Learning, we are pleased to deliver value to our shareholders while aligning our company with a highly complementary organization that approaches cutting-edge research and technology solutions for K-12 students with a like-minded mission-driven approach.
 
Scientific Learning was advised by Cherry Tree & Associates, LLC, due to our specialization in serving education technology companies.

About Scientific Learning

Scientific Learning: Scientific Learning is a leading developer and distributor of SaaS reading instructional products that enhance the processing efficiency of the brain for struggling learners. Scientific Learning’s products have been analyzed and proven effective through numerous research studies performed by marquee institutions. The Company has developed a strong core of loyal customers in K-12 schools and clinical providers located across the globe.

About Carnegie learning

Carnegie Learning: Carnegie learning is a provider of technology enabled education and formative assessment products for middle school and high school students. Carnegie’s solutions are based on scientific research at Carnegie Mellon University and deliver math, ELA, world language, computer science, and professional learning services. 

About Cherry Tree & Associates

Cherry Tree & Associates is a private investment banking firm headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Founded in 1980, it specializes in M&A transactions for both buyers and sellers of middle market companies. Additionally, it conducts private placements for attractive, entrepreneurially managed growth companies, provides strategic advisory services to CEOs and boards of directors, and prepares fairness opinions and other valuation services.

Cherry Tree & Associates provides investment banking services through our FINRA-licensed broker dealer.

DISCLOSURES
FINRA
SIPC

Glory

Glory

Glory

Cherry Tree Advises GLORY on its Investment in Acrelec Group SAS

INDUSTRY:
Technology, Business Services, Manufacturing, Consumer
DESCRIPTION:
Global Provider of Customer Experience Self-Service Solutions for the Quick Service Restaurant and Retail Industries
LOCATION:
Basingstoke, England and Saint-Thibault-des-Vignes France
TRANSACTION TYPE:
Strategic Advisor to Acquirer

Situation:

UK-based Glory Global Solutions (International) Ltd. and its parent company GLORY LTD published its 10-year Long Term Vision in 2018, with the stated goals of expanding business domains and increasing sales by more than 100%. As part of that vision, Glory identified the fast-growing self-service kiosk industry as a strategic adjacency to its existing cash technologies business, with large market potential and strong synergy opportunities. Internal analysis of the space identified acquisition as the preferred entry into the market, allowing Glory to become an industry leader very quickly. However, because Glory already has many partners and competitors in its strategic adjacencies (including the kiosk space), it would have been difficult for them to approach acquisition targets without unnecessarily exposing strategic initiatives.

Cherry Tree’s Personalized Solution:

Cherry Tree leveraged its buy-side M&A advisory experience to develop a custom plan to identify acquisition targets within the self-service kiosk industry for Glory. After completing initial evaluations of the targets, Cherry Tree introduced select targets to Glory to initiate acquisition discussions. One of these select targets was Acrelec Group SAS, a French firm that is focused on software, hardware, and services to reinvent the customer experience for restaurant and retail brands. Cherry Tree assisted Glory on its deep evaluation of Acrelec, including financial modeling, due diligence, and the negotiation of the purchase agreement.

Outcome

In April 2020, Glory invested approximately $223 million for a majority stake in Acrelec. The investment provides Glory a leading position in a fast-growing market and will provide Acrelec the strategic resources needed to bring its solutions to customers across the globe. The partnership is in-line with the Glory Group’s Long Term Vision.

About Glory

GLORY: As a global leader in cash technology solutions, Glory provides the financial, retail, cash center and gaming industries with confidence that their cash is protected and always working to help build a stronger business. The Company’s cash automation technologies and process engineering services help businesses in more than 100 countries optimize the handling, movement and management of cash. While Glory spans the globe, the Company personally engages with each customer to address their unique challenges and goals — enhancing staff efficiency, reducing operating costs and enabling a more rewarding customer experience. Employing over 10,000 professionals worldwide with dedicated R&D and manufacturing facilities worldwide, Glory is built on a rich customer-focused, technology-driven heritage spanning more than one hundred years.

About Acrelec

Acrelec is a global technology company focused on reinventing the customer experience for restaurant and retail brands. Leveraging decades of software, hardware and service expertise, Acrelec develops and integrates new platforms that increase customer engagement, optimize efficiency and improve operations. The Company’s 900 employees collaborate with customers and partners to design, create and build the world’s leading smart stores. Never satisfied with the status quo, Acrelec’s passion is in delivering breakthroughs that drive business results.

About Cherry Tree & Associates

Cherry Tree & Associates is a private investment banking firm headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Founded in 1980, it specializes in M&A transactions for both buyers and sellers of middle market companies. Additionally, it conducts private placements for attractive, entrepreneurially managed growth companies, provides strategic advisory services to CEOs and boards of directors, and prepares fairness opinions and other valuation services.

Cherry Tree & Associates provides investment banking services through our FINRA-licensed broker dealer.

DISCLOSURES
FINRA
SIPC

OurFamilyWizard

OurFamilyWizard

OurFamilyWizard

Cherry Tree Advises OurFamilyWizard on an Investment by Spectrum Equity.

INDUSTRY:
Consumer Software-as-a-Service
DESCRIPTION:
Provider of Software-as-a-Service Co-Parenting Applications
LOCATION:
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Situation:

In March 2020, the owners of OurFamilyWizard (“OFW”), the leading provider of SaaS-based co-parenting applications, welcomed as an equity partner Spectrum Equity. OFW was founded in 2001 and developed the industry leading co-parenting app, for a market that had little to no modern software solutions. The company experienced rapid adoption and growth as they worked with family law professionals and court systems that saw the need for co-parenting tools to help their clients through one of the most stressful situations in their lives.

The investment by Spectrum Equity will help OFW in continuing their mission to improve communication and reduce conflict in families after divorce or separation. Spectrum is a leading growth equity firm providing capital and strategic support to innovative companies in the information economy. Some of Spectrum’s current portfolio companies include SurveyMonkey, Headspace, The Knot Worldwide, and Ancestry.

Cherry Tree’s Personalized Solution:

Cherry Tree provided advice to the OFW management and its Board over many years, as they evaluated inbound interest and considered when would be the right time to bring in an experienced investor to support the company’s continued growth, while providing some liquidity for their original investors. Cherry Tree guided OurFamilyWizard through discussions with and evaluations by numerous parties, including a competitive process that resulted in a relationship with Spectrum Equity. Cherry Tree’s customized services included introductions and discussions with numerous potential investors in marketing the opportunity, soliciting proposals, negotiating terms, supporting due diligence, and facilitating the closing of the transaction.

Outcome

OFW’s strong financial performance, user engagement, and market leading position piqued the interest of numerous financial partners. OFW ultimately decided to proceed with Spectrum Equity as a partner due to their experience in supporting high growth consumer software solutions and their commitment to building high quality, long-lasting businesses.

About OurFamilyWizard

OurFamilyWizard: Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, OFW invented the concept of a co-parenting application. Its website, iOS and Android applications have been used by nearly one million people since the company was founded in 2001. The platform allows parents to communicate, share calendars and journals, track expenses and transmit payments. OFW is recommended by family law attorneys, mental health practitioners and courts in all 50 states, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

About Spectrum Equity

Spectrum Equity: Spectrum Equity is a leading growth equity firm providing capital and strategic support to innovative companies in the information economy. For over 25 years, the firm has partnered with proven entrepreneurs and management teams to build long-term value in market-leading software, information services and Internet companies. Representative investments include Ancestry, Bats Global Markets, Definitive Healthcare, GoodRx, Grubhub, Headspace, Lynda.com, SurveyMonkey, The Knot Worldwide and Verafin. For more information, including a complete list of portfolio investments, visit www.spectrumequity.com.

About Cherry Tree & Associates

Cherry Tree & Associates is a private investment banking firm headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Founded in 1980, it specializes in M&A transactions for both buyers and sellers of middle market companies. Additionally, it conducts private placements for attractive, entrepreneurially managed growth companies, provides strategic advisory services to CEOs and boards of directors, and prepares fairness opinions and other valuation services.

Cherry Tree & Associates provides investment banking services through our FINRA-licensed broker dealer.

DISCLOSURES
FINRA
SIPC

Agosto

Agosto

Agosto

Cherry Tree Advises Agosto on their Sale to Pythian, a Portfolio Company of Mill Point Capital.

“After our initial meeting with Cherry Tree, it was apparent that they were very knowledgeable about our industry and would be the right company to represent Agosto,” said Irfan Khan, founder and former CEO of Agosto. “Cherry Tree acted as trusted advisor to Agosto for four years, helping us position the company for an eventual sale. They served us with thoughtful guidance and integrity, ultimately helping us make sound decisions that culminated in a successful sale.”

Irfan Khan, Founder and Former CEO of Agosto

INDUSTRY:
IT Services, Technology, Business Services
DESCRIPTION:
A Premier Google Partner, Agosto is an Award-Winning Cloud Service Company
LOCATION:
Minneapolis, Minnesota
TRANSACTION TYPE:
Sale to a Private Equity Backed Strategic Buyer

The Opportunity:

Agosto was founded in 2001 and grew organically to become one of Google Cloud’s top channel partners, receiving Partner of the Year awards for performance in 2013 (Global) and 2016 (Americas). Cherry Tree’s Executive Director of its technology practice approached Agosto in 2016 as the public cloud market was beginning to heat up and Google Cloud was gaining traction. Having received inbound interest from multiple strategic parties, Agosto retained Cherry Tree to act as its exclusive representative and investment banking advisor. Since then, Cherry Tree has provided advice on the Company’s strategic and financial plans, including key business decisions and alternatives related to the sale and capitalization.

Cherry Tree advised Agosto shareholders on the complex task of selling its core business while maintaining ownership of its digital signage SaaS business unit called Skykit. Given Agosto’s compelling business model, market presence and reputation as a Premier Partner of Google, the process attracted the interest of multiple financial and strategic parties. Mill Point Capital’s proposal to combine Agosto’s re-seller model with Pythian’s global professional services capabilities was compelling and resulted in the best strategic opportunity for the Agosto shareholders.

Cherry Tree’s Role:

Cherry Tree was retained by Agosto shareholders to advise them on business and capital strategies to support their vision for continued growth in Google Cloud products and services. It was important to Agosto that its customers, employees, and partnership with Google were strengthened while they capitalized on the explosive growth of public cloud platforms within enterprises large and small. Cherry Tree advised Agosto through the development of business plans, financial reporting, and strategy formulation. Cherry Tree then led the Agosto shareholders through a process of discussions with Mill Point Capital and Pythian, coordinated due-diligence, negotiated terms and ultimately facilitated the closing of the transaction.

Outcome

Agosto was acquired by Pythian Services Inc. (“Pythian”), a leading cloud data and analytics services company. Pythian, a Mill Point Capital portfolio company, has been helping organizations use data, analytics, and the cloud to transform and win for over 20 years. Agosto shareholders have retained 100% ownership in Skykit.

About Agosto

Agosto is an award-winning cloud services company and one of the largest and most innovative Google Cloud Platform Partners in the world with specializations in IoT, Infrastructure, Application Development and Work Transformation-Enterprise. The company helps organizations leverage Google Cloud products by providing technical solutions, change management and training, migration and deployment from legacy systems, ongoing admin support, and custom product development.

About Pythian

Pythian is a global IT services company that helps organizations transform how they compete and win by turning data into valuable insights, predictions and products. From cloud automation to machine learning, Pythian designs, implements and supports customized solutions to the toughest data challenges. A Google Cloud Premier Partner with specializations in Cloud Migration, Data Analytics, Machine Learning, and Infrastructure, Pythian was also named 2018 Google Cloud Data Analytics Partner of the Year.

About Mill Point Capital

Mill Point Capital is a private equity firm targeting control investments in lower-middle market businesses, with a focus on industrials and business services companies in North America. Mill Point’s experienced team of investors and Executive Partners seek to enhance the value of portfolio companies by executing transformative strategic initiatives and operational improvements. Mill Point is based in New York, NY.

About Cherry Tree & Associates

Cherry Tree & Associates is a private investment banking firm headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Founded in 1980, it specializes in M&A transactions for both buyers and sellers of middle market companies. Additionally, it conducts private placements for attractive, entrepreneurially managed growth companies, provides strategic advisory services to CEOs and boards of directors, and prepares fairness opinions and other valuation services.

Cherry Tree & Associates provides investment banking services through our FINRA-licensed broker dealer.

DISCLOSURES
FINRA
SIPC