San Francisco, CA, Menlo Park, CA & Guildford, Surrey, UK – September 27, 2021 – Wells Fargo Capital Finance and Accel-KKR Credit Partners today announced that they have provided debt financing to support Livingbridge’s acquisition of Semafone, a market-leading provider of data security and compliance solutions. Accel-KKR Credit Partners is a credit fund managed by Accel-KKR, a leading global software-focused investment firm headquartered in Silicon Valley, and Wells Fargo Capital Finance is a division of Wells Fargo that provides specialized lending solutions. The financing was arranged by Alantra.
Semafone provides software to contact centers to facilitate sharing personal data securely over the telephone, text messaging and other forms of communication. Semafone’s patented data capture method collects sensitive information such as payment card or bank details and social security numbers directly from the customer’s telephone keypad for processing. This prevents personal data from entering the contact center, which protects against the risk of fraud and the associated reputational damage and ensures compliance with industry regulations such as PCI DSS. Further, the product allows for greater efficiency at call centers through streamlining required PCI DSS compliance processes.
Livingbridge announced its acquisition of Semafone in June 2021.
“We have spent the last decade building the best solutions in the industry, and now is the time to grow and take the company to the next level,” said Gary E. Barnett, CEO, Semafone. “We are excited to have Livingbridge as our partner as they share our vision for global market leadership. Our commitment to ensuring data security is as strong as ever, and with this investment we now have the opportunity to educate, inform, and change the way organizations process and secure sensitive customer data.”
“Our investment in Semafone is timed with an increased demand for consumer data protection,” said Curt Kahn, Head of US at Livingbridge. “With a portfolio of solutions that aid in the prevention of data breaches, identity theft, and payment fraud, the opportunity is now for Semafone to capitalize on its offerings, and we are thrilled to invest in the company’s growth. When selecting our financial institutions, the key factors were knowledge of the software sector, ease of execution and flexibility, all of which Accel-KKR and Wells Fargo delivered.”
“We are pleased to have delivered a financial solution that supports Livingbridge’s acquisition of Semafone.” said Michael Ackad, Senior Managing Director and Head of Technology Finance at Wells Fargo Capital Finance. “Data protection is a key focus for businesses globally and we are excited to be able to help Livingbridge and Semafone continue to grow, innovate, and expand even further.”
“Contact centers are evolving but the need for direct customer interactions will not change, yet consumer protection remains critical regardless of the communication channels,” said Samantha Shows, Managing Director at Accel-KKR. “Semafone has a robust, omnichannel platform and serves as a critical tool for contact centers to offer robust consumer information protection. Semafone is well positioned for future growth, and we are pleased to be able to support that.”
Semafone provides secure cloud, hybrid and on-premises solutions to contact centers and all businesses accepting payments. In a digital world that has transitioned to remote work environments, its award-winning payment solutions enable organizations to collect personal data securely across all channels – including the telephone, webchat, social media, email, SMS, QR codes and more. Through Semafone’s patented data capture methods, sensitive information such as payment card or bank details and personally identifiable information (PII), including social security numbers, are collected directly from the customer for processing. This data capture method prevents PII from entering the business and IT infrastructure, protecting against the risk of fraud and the associated reputational damage, ensuring compliance with industry regulations such as PCI DSS. Semafone’s suite of solutions creates a seamless, omnichannel experience that increases sales conversion rates and boosts customer loyalty, while simplifying compliance.
Founded in 2009, the company now supports customers in 26 countries on five continents. Semafone is vertically agnostic and its extensive customer base includes companies such as Amica Mutual Insurance, British Sky Broadcasting, BT Group, and Sutter Health.
As a recognized global leader in secure voice transactions, Semafone’s technology is integrated with over 30 Payment Service Providers. Semafone has achieved the leading security and payment certifications: ISO 27001:2013, UK Cyber Essentials certification, PA-DSS certification for its Cardprotect payment solution, PCI DSS Level 1 Service Provider, registered Visa Level 1 Merchant Agent and Mastercard Site Data Protection (SDP) Compliant Registered Service Provider. To learn more, visit www.semafone.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
Livingbridge is a mid-market private equity firm with offices in the UK, the US and Australia, investing in fast growing companies valued up to £300m. The team have been backing growing businesses together for twenty years and has done it over a hundred times, turning many into household names both at home and abroad. Livingbridge gets growth and understands the people behind growing companies in consumer markets; healthcare and education; technology, media and telecommunications; financial services and business services, and helps them achieve what’s right for them and their business.
Accel-KKR is a technology-focused investment firm with over $10 billion in capital commitments. The firm focuses on software and IT-enabled businesses, well-positioned for topline and bottom-line growth. At the core of Accel-KKR’s investment strategy is a commitment to developing strong partnerships with the management teams of its portfolio companies and a focus on building value alongside management by leveraging the significant resources available through the Accel-KKR network. Accel-KKR focuses on middle-market companies and provides a broad range of capital solutions including buyout capital, minority-growth investments, and credit alternatives. Accel-KKR also invests across a wide range of transaction types including private company recapitalizations, divisional carve-outs and going-private transactions. In 2019 and 2020, Inc. named Accel-KKR to “PE 50 – The Best Private Equity Firms for Entrepreneurs“, an annual list of founder-friendly private equity firms. Accel-KKR is headquartered in Menlo Park with additional offices in Atlanta and London. To learn more, visit accel-kkr.com.
About Accel-KKR Credit Partners:
Accel-KKR Credit Partners provides debt financing to leading software businesses. The fund structures non-dilutive investments for founder-owned businesses and flexible credit products for institutionally-owned businesses. The debt capital is used to support acquisitions, dividends, shareholder buy-backs and growth investment. Accel-KKR Credit Partners has completed over 40 investments and deployed over $500 million in capital.
Alantra is a global alternative asset management, investment banking, and credit portfolio advisory firm focusing on providing high value-added services to companies, families, and investors operating in the mid-market segment. The Group has over 540 professionals across Europe, the US, Latin America, and Asia. Alantra’s Credit Portfolio Advisory team is the leading portfolio advisory unit in Europe, having strong local presence across the UK, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Brazil and China dedicated to transaction execution, structuring, pricing, modelling and data enhancement in relation to credit portfolios and banking platforms. The team has advised on over 90 transactions for a total volume of over €62bn in the last two years.