November 29, 2018
Adtech isn’t exactly known for its sexiness. SaaS (software-as-a-service), on the other hand, has been on fire lately. “Recurring revenue” is everyone’s jam these days (yes, even ours) and SaaS products are the key drivers of recurring revenue. This would explain some of the REDONKULOUS multiples that we’ve been seeing of late in the SaaS space. Just last week SAP purchased Qualtrics, a Utah-based provider of experience management software, for $8b, or 23x TTM revenue. That’s no typo: 23x!
Of course, none of these companies, to our knowledge, was an adtech company. So, what is the market for a SaaS adtech company? Collective Inc. a/k/a Visto is about to find out.
Collective Inc. is a SaaS company that…
“…allows brands, advertising agencies, and advertisers to purchase and place advertising and monitor and evaluate data with respect thereto. Collective also offers managed services to media and publisher clients, where Collective employees provide proposals to clients, and then implement and monitor advertising campaigns for those clients.
It was once a high-flying startup that grew to $174mm in revenues in 2013 and was on the verge of an IPO. But…
within the next twelve months and before any IPO went to market, Collective began experiencing a downturn in its traditional managed service business due to a significant decrease in buys from large advertising agency holding companies who were beginning to build their own internal advertising trading desks to buy digital ads themselves instead of using companies like Collective to buy it for them. As a result, the IPO was pulled.
Consequently, Collective pivoted to SaaS; it is now finding that transition to be costly and ineffective; its net loss in 2017 was $15.7mm; and, so, it needs a lifeline. Collective is lucky that the secured lender and agent on its $26mm credit facility ($17.285mm funded), National Electric Benefit Fund (“NEBF”) and RCP Advisors 2 LLC, respectively, are patient. They have been largely forgiving as Collective runs a sale process that has largely been a failure.
Now, though, the company has filed for chapter 11 to effectuate a 363 sale that will convey its assets to a prospective buyer “free and clear” of prior liens and encumbrances. Zeta Global Holdings Corp. emerged as a stalking horse purchaser and the proposed purchase price is an all-(Zeta)-stock transaction worth approximately $15mm. NEBF will fund the case via a $4mm DIP.
Jurisdiction: S.D. of New York (Judge Lane)
Capital Structure: $26mm debt (National Electric Benefit Fund)
Legal: Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (Andrew Goldman, Nancy Manzer, Benjamin Loveland)
Investment Banker: Oaklins DeSilva & Phillips LLC
Claims Agent: Epiq Corporate Restructuring LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
Other Parties in Interest:
Lender: National Electric Benefit Fund
Legal: Troutman Sanders LLP (Brett Goodman, W. Peter Beardsley)
Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
Legal: Cullen and Dykman LLP (Michelle McMahon, Nicole Stefanelli)