Tier1CRM is a fast-growing, privately held, Toronto-based provider of market-leading SaaS-based CRM and customer engagement solutions to global financial institutions. Built on Salesforce’s “Force.com” platform, Tier1CRM provides powerful cloud-based tools used by industry professionals to prospect, manage client relationships, improve customer service, and streamline workflows.
Marlin & Associates (“M&A”) has had an ongoing dialogue with Tier1CRM’s management team and largest shareholder for many years. As the company grew, it attracted significant inbound interest from both trade and financial players. As management and the company’s Board sensed an approaching inflection point in its growth, they asked M&A to help the firm evaluate and develop strategic and financing alternatives as the company’s exclusive strategic and financial advisor.
M&A used its deep domain expertise in advising fast-growing SaaS-based firms as well as Marlin’s experience in Fintech and with the Salesforce ecosystem to develop materials that clearly communicated the company’s key attributes – including the strength of the company’s product offerings, its strong competitive positioning, and its impressive client base. Additionally, working with management, the M&A team helped the company validate its growth plan with a particular focus on new products in the pipeline and new market opportunities. M&A worked with the company to develop, refine and reach out to a focused, curated list of potential investors that had demonstrated knowledge of the space and a track record of working with fast growing technology companies.
After thorough preparation, M&A then helped the company manage a disciplined, competitive process that brought several high-quality suitors to the table. During the process, several strategic buyers expressed serious interest in acquiring the company as a whole, while several financial sponsors indicated a desire to partner with the company to help management take the firm to the next level.
Ultimately management and the company’s Board chose to work with a financial sponsor group led by Wavecrest Growth Partners, an operationally-focused growth-equity investment firm based in Boston; together with Salesforce Ventures, the venture capital arm of Salesforce.com; and Mass Mutual Ventures. Each partner brings relevant operational and industry expertise that management believes can help the company reach the next stage in its development faster and with greater certainty.
Marlin & Associates was the exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Tier1CRM on this important transaction. M&A initiated the transaction, and worked closely with Tier1CRM’s management team to craft materials, identify potential partners, manage conversations with those potential partners, to structure the transaction, manage the extensive due diligence process, and to negotiate alternative offers. M&A also managed a wide range of ancillary tasks including working with the company to restructure its financial function following the sale of a sister company, managing investor communications and expectations, and assisting Management in the preparation of financial analyses. M&A helped the Company successfully navigate the competing desires of the new investors as well as those of the previously existing stakeholders, all while helping to negotiate and execute detailed transaction documents with many sophisticated structural considerations.
“The team at Marlin & Associates was critical to our completion of this important strategic transaction, providing invaluable guidance throughout every step of the process. Their expertise in financial technology, SaaS, and the Salesforce ecosystem helped us to prepare effectively and best position Tier1CRM to potential investors. Their knowledge of the market helped us to identify the ideal investors as we move into the next phase of growth at Tier1. We could not have closed this transaction without their steady hand throughout”, said Mark Notten, CEO of Tier1CRM.
“Working opposite the Marlin team was a true pleasure. They ran a highly professional process, approached negotiations with a sense of fairness and transparency, and ensured a smooth process throughout due diligence and closing”, said Vaibhav Nalwaya, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Wavecrest Growth Partners.