Edison’s 12th exit in the last 12 months; sets a record for exit proceeds for the 5th consecutive year
PRINCETON, NJ. (August 10, 2021)—Edison Partners, the leading growth equity firm, announced today that it will exit portfolio company Bento for Business, which has been acquired by U.S. Bank (NYSE: USB). Upon closing, the transaction will deliver a strong cash return and 60% IRR.
Chicago-based Bento for Business helps small and mid-sized businesses regain control of monthly expenses and improve cash flow with its card-based digital spend management platform. Since the company’s inception, small businesses have spent close to $800 million using the Bento for Business platform. Bento has enjoyed consistent, capital-efficient growth since Edison Partners’ investment and operating performance was the strongest to date over the last 12 months.
“Six years ago, Bento founder Farhan Ahmed had the vision for a next-generation fintech company that would create unique value for the heart of the American economy—small businesses,” said Guido Schulz, CEO, Bento for Business. “Through an incredibly intuitive product addressing the core cash flow and operational problems faced by small businesses, and with Edison Partner’s capital and guidance, we’ve become that company. Becoming a part of U.S. Bank is validation of not only our market differentiation, but also the opportunity ahead.”
Edison General Partners Kelly Ford and Michael Kopelman partnered with Bento Founder Farhan Ahmed in 2018 to lead the company's growth round. Since then, Bento has grown its customer base by more than 3x and customer spend by more than 8x.
"Bento achieved something that not many, if any, in the SMB fintech space have, and that is capital-efficient growth. The company stood steadfast on a differentiated value proposition around expense controls for small businesses, and resisted adding commoditized ‘me too’ features offered by competitors,” said Kelly Ford, General Partner at Edison Partners and member Bento’s board of directors. “Guido built on this foundation, leveling up sales and marketing and moving upmarket with solutions for mid-sized businesses. We’re proud of and grateful to Guido, Farhan and team for being great partners in delivering this outcome.”
Bento for Business marks Edison Partners’ fourth acquisition by a blue-chip financial services company in just over a year, others include Clearpool to BMO Financial Group (NYSE,TSX: BMO), Scivantage to Refinitiv, and Solovis to Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ). This transaction is Edison’s twelfth exit in the last 12 months, notably: Jornaya to Verisk, PandoLogic to Veritone, Terminus to Great Hill Partners, Trialscope to Informa, and Triplelift to Vista Equity Partners.
Recognized by LendIt Fintech as Fintech Equity Investor of the Year, Edison Partners has financed and guided more than 50 private fintech market leaders. The firm’s current active portfolio includes: Bipsync, ComplySci, Fund That Flip, GAN Integrity, Giant Oak, gohenry, Houwzer, MoneyLion, Nuula, Yieldstreet, and Zelis.
About Bento for Business
Bento's mission is to provide businesses with a powerful financial operating platform so they can further their vision, empower their employees and create value for their customers. Bento's financial operating platform allows businesses to issue payment credentials to people and systems without introducing risk. Bento virtual and corporate cards and industry-leading management tools give companies unprecedented control and visibility over company expenses, eliminating fraud and administrative overhead. Virtual Cards, open APIs, and White Label partnerships extend these control and management benefits to automate payments well beyond employee expenses. For additional information, visit Bento for Business, Twitter and LinkedIn.
About Edison Partners
For 35 years, Edison Partners has been helping CEOs and their executive teams grow and scale successful companies. The firm's investment team brings extensive investing and operating experience to each investment. Through a unique combination of growth capital and the Edison Edge platform, consisting of operating centers of excellence, the Edison Director Network, and executive education programs, Edison employs a truly integrated approach to accelerating growth and creating value for businesses. A team of experts in enterprise solutions, financial technology, and healthcare IT sectors, Edison targets high-growth companies located outside Silicon Valley with $10 to $30 million in revenue; investments also include buyouts, recapitalizations, spinouts and secondary stock purchases. Edison's active portfolio has created aggregated market value exceeding $10 billion. Edison Partners is based in Princeton, NJ and manages more than $1.4 billion in assets.