Private equity ;rm K1 Investment Management has acquired a
majority stake in expense management ;rm Certify for $125 million and will merge it with its three other spend management
;rms: Expense Watch, Nexonia and Tallie. Certify claims that the
new, privately held entity forms the largest expense management
competitor to Concur, which is owned by the publicly held SAP.
That claim is based on the four brands' more than 7,500 corporate clients.
While Certify founder and CEO Bob Neveu will serve as CEO
of the group, each of the four expense companies will maintain its
own brand identity. "A forced switch is never easy," Neveu said of
customer preferences. "We fully intend to keep all the brands."
Before Certify entered the picture, K1 had tried to install a single
CEO over the other three expense management brands, but the
transition wasn't simple. Nexonia was already part of the K1 family
when Nexonia acquired Expense Watch in March 2016. By the time
K1 acquired a majority stake in Tallie in December of that year,
Nexonia CEO Neil Wainwright had left the company. The plan then
Certify Will Merge with Tallie,
ExpenseWatch & Nexonia
was to merge all brands under
Tallie CEO Chris Farrell, though
at the time it was undecided
which brand would win out.
By May 2017, however, Farrell
had left to become COO of a
startup called Liscio, accord-
ing to his LinkedIn page. Now,
Eric White, a K1 insider who
has worked for the ;rm since
October 2016, heads Nexonia/
ExpenseWatch and Tallie as
All four brands continue to
operate under their own names.
While Neveu maintained that
the brands would remain separate, he said Certify technologies could cross over to the
other brands to bene;t their
customers. Certify, meanwhile,
will use the infusion of capital
for product development, geographical expansion and hiring.
Certify also intends to make acquisitions of its own. "We plan
to grow organically and inor-ganically," Neveu said.
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