After a relatively sleepy last few quarters, several transactions in the vertical B2B software world have been announced.  In no particular, they are:

  1. Avetta was sold to EQT, a private equity firm, for a rumored $3 billion, including debt.
  2. Buyer’s Edge Platform announced a $425 million investment from General Atlantic, Blackstone, and Morgan Stanley.
  3. Model N agreed to be taken private by Vista Equity Partners for $1.25 Billion.
  4. Ibotta filed to go public at a projected value of $2.55 billion.
  5. UL Solutions, which filed to go public last fall, is coming to market at a proposed value of $5.8 billion. (It has some software, but it is not a software company; I sneaked it in.)


Avetta is a leading company in the contractor risk management market. Like its competitor, ISNetworld, Avetta is a two-sided platform connecting hiring clients with contractors who perform on-site services. Avetta was rumored to be sold for about 24 times its projected 2024 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization of $125 million.

Buyer’s Edge Platform

Buyer’s Edge Platform is  “an industry-leading network of food service GPO + technology companies—all working towards a shared goal of saving food service operators time and money.”  Think of it as a GPO, rebate management, and back-office software provider for primarily multi-unit foodservice operators. It connects operators, food manufacturers, and food distributors. Because Buyer’s Edge is private, I can’t glean the company’s valuation from the press release.

Model N

Model N sells revenue management (e.g., CPQ, deal management, pricing, channel management) to the MedTech, Pharma, and High-Tech industries.  Vista Equity is taking Model N private at a premium of 23% to the price before the company announced it was looking at strategic options.  That’s on the low end of premiums we’ve seen recently.

The company is completing its transition from license to SaaS revenue but still has 27% of revenue from professional services (27%), which is more than the market likes to see.  It’s been growing revenue at 15% annually, with adjusted EBITDA over 17% of revenue. Vista’s valuation represents 4.7x guided revenue for 2024 and 25x guided adjusted EBITDA.


Diagram of Ibotta Performance NetworkIbotta was new to me until I saw its S-1 last week. It’s a B2B2C company helping CPG companies spend their trade promotion dollars better. The company started as a D2C application that gave consumers cash back on purchases by taking pictures of their receipts. Over time, Ibotta has become much more aligned with retailers, integrating their POS systems and white-labeling their solutions for them. In particular, the company is the exclusive provider of digital item-level rebates at Walmart, which received warrants in return for the deal.

Most of the company’s recent growth comes from retail sites (e.g., Walmart) rather than the original D2C properties, which are relatively flat.  These “third-party” redemptions generate 30% less revenue than D2C ones.  In addition, more than 20% of revenue comes from advertising, presumably tied to the slower-growing D2C properties.  This revenue appears to be flattening as well.  It will be fascinating to see how the company evolves as its mix changes.  With the blossoming of the Walmart relationship, Ibotta grew revenue by 52% in 2023 and generated 26% of adjusted EBITDA.  Hence it is a Rule of 70%+ company.  Ibotta’s projected IPO valuation is about 8x revenue and 31x adjusted EBITDA.

UL Solutions

I wrote about UL Solutions here when it first filed its S-1.  It has now filed an updated S-1/A here.  There is not a lot of new news.  In the fall, I speculated, based on comparables, that UL’s valuation might be about $5 billion.  The  IPO seeks a valuation of about $5.6 billion or a little more than 2x revenue and about 10x adjusted EBITDA.

It is set up to be a much more exciting year than 2023.

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