One of Canada's most promising tech companies, Real Matters Inc., on Friday said it had acquired a U.S. company for nearly $100-million (U.S.) in tandem with a large capital raise. Its concurrent $100-million (Canadian) financing values the real estate technology company at more than $650-million and positions it for an initial public offering this year.
The Globe and Mail reported in late February the deal was in the works as the Markham, Ont.-based company issued close to $75-million in equity to an all-Canadian slate of institutional investors.
On Friday, Real Matters revealed its Solidifi subsidiary had paid $96-million (U.S.) for title search specialist Linear Title & Closing Ltd. The company will issue equity to pay for part of the deal, increasing the size of its recent equity raise to the $100-million (Canadian) mark.
Real Matters has raised more than $200-million since its inception 12 years ago, mostly avoiding the traditional venture capital financing model by issuing only common shares and, rare for a tech firm of its size, finding a willing shareholder base exclusively in Canada.
The company provides a cloud-based platform called Redihive that allows U.S. financial institutions to gather mortgage appraisal information quickly and inexpensively using a network of independent appraisers and insurance inspectors. It has also been growing fast, posting revenue growth of 73 per cent last year.
"We are excited to continue to execute on our growth strategy and look forward to coming to public markets in due course as we fund our expansion," CEO Jason Smith said in a release.
With the Linear deal, the company will derive about 95 per cent of revenues in the United States. It does business with more than 60 of the country's top lenders.
BMO Nesbitt Burns and Infor Financial Group Inc. acted as joint bookrunners on the financing, and Infor advised the company on the acquisition.