(Image credit: Dollar Photo Club.)
Thoma Bravo, LLC, a Chicago-based private equity investment firm, has announced that it will acquire iPipeline (Exton, Pa.). Thoma Bravo declined to disclose financial details of the acquisition but noted that it will acquire its interest in iPipeline from three venture capital firms: NewSpring Capital (Radnor, Pa.), Technology Crossover Ventures (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Volition Capital (Boston).
“The combination of a well-respected Private Equity firm with an industry leading technology provider is a positive move in the life insurance technology market,” comments Karen Monks, an analyst with Celent. “This should be a real boost for iPipeline going forward. iPipeline is a high growth life insurance technology firm offering a strong set of cloud based solutions aimed at both the agent and the insurer. With Thoma Bravo’s backing, iPipeline can pursue more opportunities that ultimately help life insurers become more digital.”
“iPipeline typifies what we look for in an investment opportunity,” comments Holden Spaht, managing partner, Thoma Bravo. “The Company is a market leader with a mission-critical product offering and has a strong secular growth opportunity from the continued migration of life insurance applications from print to digital.”
Tim Wallace, CEO, iPipeline says he expects the company’s relationship with Thoma Bravo will help to fuel organic growth and enable the iPipeline to pursue complementary acquisitions that will increase its value to the insurance industry. “We’re pleased to be joining Thoma Bravo, which has a track record of picking exceptional high-growth vertical market technology companies,” Wallace comments. “Thoma Bravo’s experience with high-growth companies will not only help us achieve these goals, but also aid us in our mission to continuously improve customer satisfaction levels.”
Continuation of M&A Pattern
The Thoma Bravo/iPipeline deal represents a continuation of a recent pattern for insurance-focused technology vendors, according to Rob McIsaac, senior VP of research and consulting, Novarica (Boston). “For this space, ‘R&D’ is frequently spelled ‘M&A,’ meaning the potential to acquire assets with a proven track record and known market presence can be more attractive than trying to ‘roll your own’ for comparable capabilities,” he comments.
iPipeline has focused on supporting the needs of insurance carrier front office organizations, with a specific focus on the new business application space, McIssac adds. “Given the complexity of the business, particularly for producers that have relationships with multiple carriers, having the right forms in the right place at the right time is critical, and they have built a notable capacity in the space,” he says. “Both through internal development and acquisitions—including Aplifi—iPipeline has staked out an important market share for the straight-through processing of insurance products.”