Certify merges with Chrome River Technologies

Certify and Chrome River Technologies are combining in a deal valued at over $1 billion, uniting two companies that specialize in travel and expense management and invoicing software.

K1 Investment Management will hold a majority stake in the combined company, while the two organizations’ existing shareholders, including the company founders and Bain Capital Ventures, a private investment firm based in Boston, will keep a minority interest.

Certify and Chrome River plan to operate independently for a time, with separate management teams focused on support the companies’ existing products. They plan to continue to support all their existing products and work together on developing technology in areas such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, analytics and reporting, to improve their software’s travel, expense and invoice management features.

Certify travel expense management

“Over the past 11 years, Chrome River has established itself as the leader for global enterprises looking for sophisticated, highly scalable expense and invoice management software,” said Chrome River CEO and co-founder Alan Rich in a statement Tuesday. “Combining our resources with those of Certify, we can continue toward our goal of delivering the most innovative and agile solutions on the market.”

After the merger, Certify and Chrome River will have more than 11,000 combined customers in over 100 countries, with software available in more than 60 languages. The software integrates with various accounting and ERP systems, including SAP, Oracle, NetSuite, Sage Intacct, Microsoft Dynamics, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and QuickBooks.

“By bringing together Chrome River’s strengths in large enterprise and Certify’s strengths in mid-market and SMB, organizations of all sizes have the choice of technology suited to their specific requirements, rather than being forced to use a single product,” said Certify CEO and co-founder Bob Neveu. “With increased financial resources, the combined organization will have an even stronger focus on innovation, ensuring our customers will continue to optimize their travel, expense and invoice automation technology investments.”

The deal will unite Chrome River with Certify’s travel, expense and invoice management brands, including Nexonia, Tallie, Abacus and Captio, which came together through a 2017 merger and provide a bigger challenge to SAP’s Concur unit (see Expense management vendors combine to challenge Concur).

“The cloud expense management software market is seeing strong growth of 11.4 percent per year, and we expect it to be a $2.7 billion industry by 2022,” stated Kevin Permenter, a senior research analyst at IDC. “With this merger, Chrome River and Certify will be able to offer a suite of solutions for companies ranging from SMBs to large enterprises with complex global expense management requirements.”

K1 sees a chance to grow the market further. “It’s rare to have the opportunity to combine the two largest independent companies in such an attractive market,” said Hasan Askari, managing partner at K1 Investment Management, in a statement. “We’ve created the leading global organization covering the full scope of integrated travel, expense, and invoice management software that is able to serve the broadest range of companies in the market.”

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