November 16, 2017 — CallRevu, a dealership call management software firm founded by Chip King and David Boice in 2010, will announce later today that it has entered into an investment relationship with Serent Capital.
As part of the investment in CallRevu, Serent is acquiring the interest held by marketing agency Team Velocity, which is owned by Sean Wolfington, Budd Blackburn and Boice.
Serent’s investment, along with its experience with high-growth technology and services companies, will help CallRevu continue to scale while further developing its artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to help dealers create a better customer experience.
According to its website, “Serent Capital invests in profitable, growing service companies. We typically invest in founder-led companies and often represent the first institutional capital in the company. We are highly selective, choosing to invest in only a handful of businesses each year. Our selectivity ensures that all our companies receive the attention and expertise that they need.”
King, CallRevu’s CEO and managing partner, is maintaining his ownership stake and is staying on with the company. Under his leadership, CallRevu became one of the industry’s top phone management and tracking firms, growing to 3,300 dealership customers along with partnerships with twenty automakers.
Presidio Technology Partners represented CallRevu in the investment process.
The deal is Serent Capital’s second play in the automotive space, following its investment in the Tricolor Auto Group, a Texas-based dealership and financing company. The Hispanic-focused dealer group is one of 24 firms Serent has invested in since 2008 (CallRevu is the 25th) and is one of eight successful exits led by the San Francisco-based private equity firm.
Serent’s entry into the auto retail technology space is the latest investment in what has been a flurry of activity from private equity firms since July. For the year, there been 19 acquisitions, 17 investments and three public offerings.
For more analysis, read TBR 3rd Quarter 2017 Auto Retail Vendor M&A Report.