Great Hill Partners and Spectrum Equity to Relaunch Varicent as Independent Sales Performance Management Firm

  • The relaunched company will be led by original Varicent founder, Marc Altshuller
  • Varicent pioneered incentive compensation and sales performance software
  • The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019

 Great Hill Partners and Spectrum Equity have signed a definitive agreement to acquire assets of IBM’s sales performance management business and operate it as an independent company. Following close of the transaction, the new company, Varicent Software (“Varicent” or “the Company”), will relaunch and be led by original Varicent founder, Marc Altshuller. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2005, Varicent pioneered incentive compensation and sales performance software. IBM invested to develop the technology that has been recognized as a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Sales Performance Management for six consecutive years.

The Company, to be headquartered in Toronto, intends to provide SaaS-enabled operational and analytical tools through IBM Cloud that automate the creation, calculation, analysis and transparent distribution of sales incentive management compensation plans used by hundreds of mid-market and enterprise companies.

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The Company expects that its integrated platform will help solve critical pain points for sales, finance and HR constituents by centralizing previously complex, time-consuming and manual compensation processes to gain analytical insights and align sales behaviors to strategic goals. Varicent’s unique software is designed for the end-user and is configurable to any industry or variable compensation model.

“I’m incredibly excited to work alongside so many great people who have been at Varicent since the early days along with the great talent IBM has added to the business,” said Altshuller, who, following close of the transaction, will become CEO of Varicent. “Collectively, their in-depth knowledge of the business and strong, ongoing customer relationships will help us capitalize on the opportunity for growth in the large, fragmented sales performance marketplace. Combining deep expertise with sector-specific experience and support from our new investment partners, Varicent will be well-positioned as the premier solution provider in the market.”

Altshuller previously led Varicent to become Canada’s fastest growing company in 2010, according to PROFIT 100 Magazine, and a Deloitte Fast 500 fastest growing software company in North America the same year. 

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“Organizations with large sales operations are increasingly looking for a more streamlined and efficient performance and compensation management process that provides key benchmark learnings through easily-digestible data. Varicent’s innovative solution for legacy manual and complex sales processes combines a user-friendly, integrated platform with best-in-class processing speed and performance,” said Derek Schoettle, Operating Partner at Great Hill, who will join Varicent’s board.

“We’re confident that combining Marc’s proven leadership skills with Varicent’s experienced professionals   will build a strong leadership position in this large and addressable marketplace,” added Drew Loucks, Partner at Great Hill Partners.

“Varicent has a cultural history of innovation and service as evidenced by strong customer and employee satisfaction metrics,” said Chris Mitchell, Managing Director at Spectrum Equity. “We are thrilled that Marc is returning to the Company, and we look forward to providing the guidance and strategic resources to drive focused financial support for Varicent’s research and development, operations and go-to-market strategies for long-term sustainable growth.”

The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019. Sidley Austin LLP served as legal advisor to Great Hill Partners.

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