MYOB’s acquisition spree has continued with the accounting software platform converting its existing stake in Sydney-based workplace financial services platform Flare into a full takeover.
The acquisition cost was not disclosed, but will deliver an exist for a range of VC investors who ploughed more than $50 million into Flare over the past five years.
Microsoft became a stakeholder in Flare during a $22 million Series C in November 2020, that also saw former PM Malcolm Turnbull chip in.
That round also saw MYOB form a strategic partnership with Flare, embedding its onboarding and superannuation services within small business bookkeeping platform. Around a quarter of new employees in Australia engage with Flare.
MYOB said the deal will fast track Flare’s ambition to be Australia’s most comprehensive and innovative workplace financial services and benefits solution.
Founded in 2015 by Colin Mierowsky, Daniel Cohen, Jan Pacas, Saul Kaplan, and James Windon as an all-in-one human resources platform for business, Flare previously raised $7 million in 2018 and $21 million in a Series B in 2018.
Its other key backers include New York VC Point72 Ventures, Westpac’s Reinventure and Bridge Lane.
MYOB became a private company once again in 2019 when US private equity giant KKR delisted the business in a $1.6 billion takeover deal, installing Greg Ellis as CEO to reshape the platform.
The company has acquired several businesses since, including document management startup Nimbus earlier this year and cloud-based software provider GreatSoft in 2020.
Flare will continue to operate as a standalone business and service its other clients and partners, with the initial focus on further enhancement of the platform’s existing integrations with MYOB. That includes Flare’s pay and benefits app, which will unlock discounts and wellness, a digital wallet for payroll and novated car leasing.
Greg Ellis said the acquisition represents a significant evolution of MYOB’s payroll capabilities.
“Our acquisition of Flare creates pathways for MYOB to connect with businesses in new and deeper ways,” he said.
“By offering our customers solutions that drive value within their processes, MYOB can deliver on our vision of being a vital partner in the full lifecycle of Australia’s SMEs. We are incredibly excited by this opportunity.”
Flare co-CEO James Windon said the acquisition will leverage MYOB’s substantial customer footprint.
“The battle ground for talent has never been tougher. Eight in 10 businesses are experiencing skills shortages and there are fewer unemployed people than there are jobs,” he said.
“Creating an exceptional employment experience has only typically been in reach for bigger businesses with big resources; Flare is passionate about changing that.
“MYOB’s investment in Flare will provide more businesses access to comprehensive employee benefits offerings and digitised onboarding experiences.”