This morning, YCharts, a financial data and charting service, announced that it has been purchased by LLR Partners, a private equity firm.
The companies are dubbing the transaction a “growth recapitalization,” indicating that the smaller firm won’t be stripped of its talent in hopes of driving near-term positive EBITDA. The deal was an all-cash transaction, TechCrunch confirmed.
Digging into YCharts itself, the company told TechCrunch via email that it expects to “surpass” $15 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR) this year, and that it has been growing top line at a compound annual growth rate of 30 to 40% for “the past several years.”
Those figures imply that YCharts did not sell for cheap. At the market’s current multiples, YCharts was likely worth between 10 and 20x times its ARR, making the deal (presuming, say, $13.5 million ARR at the time of the sale) worth between $135 million and $270 million, unless LLR managed to secure a discount, or the firm’s economics were worse than we’d imagine from our current remove.
The companies declined to share details of the transaction, including price.
As a somewhat long-term YCharts user — the startup set up custom colors in my account so that I could share charts in TechCrunch green, which was fun — the deal is notable in that I’ve come to appreciate what the service is capable of; it’s a great tool to create charts that encompass a wealth of financial data to make a clear point, like the historical trends in Tesla’s price/sales ratio compared to other automotive players, for example.
Financial tooling that is accessible, and shareable, is rare in our Bloomberg world. So here’s to hoping that the transactions promised investment into YCharts bears out.
Turning to the why, I asked YCharts why it didn’t merely raise external capital instead of selling itself. YCharts’ CEO Sean Brown wrote that he’s “found that capital is easy to get,” but that “LLR Partners provides [YCharts] with much more than just capital.” The investing group, Brown continued, shares his company’s vision, has “strong domain experience,” along with “a dedicated team focused on fintech, and a ton of relevant strategic and operational expertise.”
The CEO also stressed LLR’s prior investments into other fintech companies, and said that “as part of the buyout of our existing shareholders, LLR will be funding capital to YCharts’ balance sheet to support continued investment in product and sales [and] marketing.”
YCharts raised capital as an independent company across a number of rounds, including a 2010 Series A led by Hyde Park Angels and I2A Fund, and a Series B and C led by Morningstar. The company had around $15 million in known capital raised, according to Crunchbase data.