SentiLink eyes more identity verification acquisitions, CEO says.
SentiLink, an identity verification technology firm, expects to make acquisitions to expand its product suite and launch into new verticals, co-founder and CEO Naftali Harris said on the heels of the company’s first acquisition last month.
San Francisco-based SentiLink announced on 22 February the acquisition of St. Petersburg, Florida-based Upstream Logix, a data intelligence firm for alternative finance, for an undisclosed sum in cash and stock. SentiLink did not use an advisor, and Orrick provided legal services.
The company, which is approaching profitability, expects to mostly finance future acquisitions from its balance sheet, Harris said. It could turn to the private markets to raise a Series C to fund a larger acquisition, and it isn’t opposed to considering debt, he added.
Since it was founded in 2017 by Harris and COO Max Blumenfeld, SentiLink has raised USD 85m from investors including Craft Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, NYCA Partners and Caffeinated Capital. It most recently raised USD 70m in a Series B announced in August 2021. No investor owns a majority stake, Harris said.
SentiLink primarily operates in financial services. It has more than 100 customers in the US, including some of the largest banks, credit unions, fintechs and non-bank financial institutions.
Attractive acquisition targets could have traction in adjacent verticals such as utilities, marketplaces, the public sector or healthcare, Harris said. It will only consider US-based targets, as it has no near-term plans to expand internationally, he added.
SentiLink would consider smaller acquihires or executing a deal for a company of similar size, the CEO said. He declined to comment on financials, saying only that revenue grew 3x last year, and it expects similar growth this year.
The company, which has about 50 employees, has seen inbound approaches from strategics and private equity but is not for sale, Harris said. It has also been approached by special-purpose acquisition companies, although it is premature to think about going public, he added.
There may be a time when doing an initial public offering or a direct listing makes sense, but going public is not the goal, said Harris.
Its biggest competitor is LexisNexis Risk Solutions, he added.
by Rachel Stone in Charlottesville, Virginia
Mergermarket, an Acuris company
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