Catalyst Investors Sells its Stake in Ascentis
Leading Provider of Human Capital Management SaaS Solutions Names Brian Provost as CEO
SAN MATEO, CA and MENLO PARK, CA – Ascentis Corporation, a market-leading provider of cloud-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) human capital management (HCM) solutions and integrated payroll services, today announced a majority recapitalization by global growth equity investor Summit Partners. Brian Provost, an Executive-in-Residence with Summit Partners and a software industry leader with more than 20 years of executive experience, will join Ascentis as CEO. The funding will be used to fuel product innovation and drive new growth initiatives.
Ascentis offers a comprehensive, end-to-end suite of human resources, benefits, payroll, timekeeping and talent management products to more than 1,000 customers throughout the U.S. and Canada. The company’s SaaS-based solutions increase productivity by automating HR and payroll processes, reducing costs, providing meaningful insights into organizational trends, and empowering employees in all aspects of the HR and benefits process.
“HR professionals – particularly in the mid-market – face an increasingly complex set of requirements as they grow and manage their workforce. Ascentis offers the technological depth and the broad functionality necessary for our customers to scale from dozens to thousands of employees,” said Mr. Provost. “Ascentis serves a large and growing market with a robust solution. I’m delighted to partner with Summit and lead Ascentis in its next phase of growth.”
With more than two decades of executive leadership experience in rapidly growing SaaS technology companies, Mr. Provost joins Ascentis from Summit Partners’ Executive-in-Residence (EIR) program. Previously Mr. Provost served as President and CEO of Convey Compliance, a tax compliance SaaS company acquired by Sovos Compliance. Prior to Convey, Mr. Provost served as Chief Operating Officer of Gelco Expense Management, a SaaS-based provider of travel expense management solutions acquired by Concur Technologies. In addition, he served in leadership roles at several prominent companies including Wizmo, Inc., Norstan Communications (acquired by BlackBox), and ColorSpan (acquired by Hewlett Packard).
“Over his impressive career, Brian has earned a strong reputation for his distinct understanding of growth stage software businesses,” said Peter Rottier, a Managing Director with Summit Partners, who has joined the Ascentis Board of Directors. “With Brian’s background driving growth at SaaS-based companies focused on HR, compliance, tax and expense management, Ascentis is a perfect fit for his talents. We are thrilled to work with Brian and we are delighted to welcome Ascentis to Summit’s software portfolio.”
“We believe Ascentis is one of the few software providers that delivers a truly integrated HCM solution to mid-market enterprises,” added Len Ferrington, a Managing Director with Summit Partners who has also joined the Ascentis Board of Directors. “As these organizations seek to modernize and optimize their approach to workforce and knowledge management, we believe Ascentis is well positioned to accelerate its already impressive growth trajectory.”
In addition to Mr. Rottier and Mr. Ferrington, Summit Partners Vice President J.P. Sanday has joined the Ascentis Board of Directors, serving alongside current board members Walter Turek, a former Paychex senior executive with significant HCM market expertise, and Bradley Palmer, Palm Ventures’ Chairman and Founder.
In 2007, Palm Ventures acquired a majority interest in Ascentis and structured and funded the company’s acquisition of EBS On-line, a San Mateo, California-based payroll processing company. In 2012, growth equity firm Catalyst Investors invested and became the largest shareholder in the company. Following Summit’s recapitalization, Catalyst will exit its investment and Palm Ventures will continue to hold a minority position in the company.
Ascentis Corporation offers easy-to-use, SaaS-based recruiting, HRIS, talent management, online payroll, and time and attendance solutions that support greater business efficiency and accuracy. Ascentis automates critical HR and payroll processes such as full-scale benefits management, compliance, online open enrollment, workforce management, real-time payroll processing, tax filing, applicant tracking, employee and manager self-service and reporting. Ascentis’ talent management solutions include learning management, performance management, succession planning, 360° assessment and compensation management. One point of data entry means employee information is accurate, up-to-date and reportable. Electronic submission of information to insurance carriers eliminates errors and supports a paperless open enrollment process. For more information, visit www.ascentis.com.
About Summit Partners
Founded in 1984, Summit Partners is a global alternative investment firm that is currently investing more than $7.2 billion into growth equity, fixed income and public equity opportunities. Summit invests across growth sectors of the global economy and has invested in more than 440 companies in technology, healthcare, life sciences and other growth industries. These companies have completed more than 140 public equity offerings, and more than 165 have been acquired through strategic mergers and sales. Notable software and SaaS companies financed by Summit include Avast, Clearwater Analytics, Darktrace, Gainsight, HelpSystems, Hyperion Solutions, Infor, McAfee, Perforce, RiskIQ, Telerik, TSheets, WebEx and Visier. Summit maintains offices in North America and Europe, and invests in companies around the world. For more information, visit www.summitpartners.com or follow on Twitter at @SummitPartners.
About Palm Ventures
Palm Ventures is a Greenwich, CT based private investment firm focused on investing long-term patient family capital in partnership with management teams across the full investment spectrum including start-ups, growth capital, restructurings and buyouts. Over a 25 year period, Palm Ventures has invested in more than 60 businesses in numerous industry segments, with a particular focus on businesses which have a positive social impact. For more information, visit www.palmventures.com.
About Catalyst Investors
Catalyst Investors is a growth private equity firm founded in 2000. Catalyst employs a rigorous top-down research focus that seeks to identify investment opportunities in companies and industries that will exhibit strong revenue and margin growth. The firm works in true partnership with talented management teams to build long-term value and is committed to investor transparency. Past and present Catalyst portfolio companies include Ascentis, Catalyst Repository Systems, Clinicient, Conductor, Datavail, Denali Spectrum, InSite Wireless Group, Latisys, MessageLabs, MediaMath, MINDBODY, PresenceLearning and WeddingWire. For more information, visit https://catalyst.com/.