A long-running but rapidly rising tech firm in Kanata has been acquired by a company south of the border in a deal the firm’s CEO believes will help the business reach new levels.
InGenius Software said Tuesday it has been acquired by Texas-based Upland Software. The Kanata firm sold for $26.4 million in cash at closing, with an additional $3 million coming in a year’s time, subject to indemnification claims.
InGenius – named one of Techopia's tech firms to watch in 2019 – develops software for contact centres that connects phone systems to clients’ CRM systems, such as Salesforce. The 70-person company has been on a roll as of late, making the Growth 500 list of Canada’s fastest-growing companies two years in a row with three-year revenue growth of 540 per cent. InGenius counts the likes of Expedia and LinkedIn among its clientele.
InGenius got its start in the 1990s as an R&D consultancy working with local customers such as Nortel and Telesat. Dale Gantous, the firm’s CEO for the past 26 years, tells OBJ that the company realized a few years ago that the market was looking for a way to integrate phone systems into CRM platforms to provide salespeople with real-time insights about who they were calling. Since that telephony epiphany, the company’s growth has taken off.
“We really cottoned on to a good thing,” Gantous says.
InGenius recently hit $10 million in annual recurring revenue, prompting some reflection for the company’s management. That milestone led her and Rich Loen, the company’s founder, to consider what the company needed to do to reach the next level.
“InGenius needs to fight the competition and grow to $20 million (ARR) and beyond.”
“InGenius needs to fight the competition and grow to $20 million (ARR) and beyond,” Gantous says.
Gantous and Loen decided the firm needed a strong partner with substantial industry contacts, the type of company that could get InGenius into conversations at the CIO level of Fortune 500 companies. They had been meeting with investors large and small for the past year, but ultimately decided Upland was the right suitor to take InGenius into the future.
Upland Software holds a series of customer success solutions in its portfolio, many of which complement InGenius, Gantous says. One suite of the Texas-based company’s software helps contact centre agents manage information about clients, while another provides sentiment analysis on customer feedback.
Upland CEO Jack McDonald said in a release that the InGenius acquisition helps his company to offer a more personalized customer experience. On the financial end, InGenius’s contributions are expected to bring Upland’s annual revenues up to US$237 million.
Gantous will remain with the company as interim general manager for the next eight months. She says the decision to sell the company is a “sentimental” one, but she knows it’s the right thing to do for the firm’s long-term future.
“I'm too old to take it into the future in the long term. So it was the right time to do it,” she says, though she knows her job isn’t done yet.
“We’ve got a lot more growing to do, and I’ll be here to help that happen.”