Brad Feld: One of my companies – Finali – announced today that they were acquired by Convergys. It continues to be a busy M&A time for us as public companies are definitely buying private companies again. Since the beginning of the summer, we’ve had a number of public companies acquire our portfolio companies, including Service Magic (by IAC/InterActiveCorp), Cyanea (by IBM), Dantz (by EMC), and now Finali (by Convergys.)
Bob Burgin and his brother Dan started Finali in 1999 with the initial vision of creating a next generation customer care business. They grew it nicely through the bursting of the Internet bubble. However, in the last 18 months, the outsourced call center business (Finali’s original business) has come under extreme pricing pressure due to outsourcing trends to places like India and the Philippines. While we considered developing an offshore labor model (all of Finali’s employees are based in the US) our customers told us that they were much more interested in our call center analytics capabilities than our call center labor. As a result, Finali repositioned its business as a high-end call center analytics provider earlier this year.
We managed the initial transition with little additional capital and we were ultimately faced with a decision to either double down and invest in growing the new model or being acquired by an existing major call center outsourcers that wanted to add our analytics capabilitiy. We found several interested potential partners and ultimately chose to hook up with Convergys.
Congrats to Bob Burgin and his team at Finali.