Citrix is acquiring Wrike from Vista for $2.25B

Citrix announced today that it plans to acquire Wrike, a SaaS project management platform, from Vista Equity Partners for $2.25 billion. Vista bought the company just two years ago.

Citrix, which is best known for its digital workspaces, sees this as a good match, especially at a time where employees have been forced to work from home because of the pandemic. By combining the two companies, it produces a powerful combination, one that didn’t escape Citrix CEO and president David Henshall

“Together, Citrix and Wrike will deliver the solutions needed to power a cloud-delivered digital workspace experience that enables teams to securely access the resources and tools they need to collaborate and get work done in the most efficient and effective way possible across any channel, device or location,” Henshall said in a statement.

Andrew Filev, founder and CEO at Wrike, who has managed the company through these multiple changes and remains at the helm, believes his company has landed in a good spot with the Citrix purchase.

“First, as part of the Citrix family we will be able to scale our product and accelerate our roadmap to deliver capabilities that will help our customers get more from their Wrike investment. We have always listened to our customers and have built our product based on their feedback — now we will be able to do more of that, faster.,” Filev wrote in a company blog post announcing the deal, stating a typical argument from CEOs of acquired companies.

The startup reports $140 million ARR, growing at 30% annually, so that comes out to approximately 16x its present-day revenue, which is the price companies are generally paying for acquisitions these days. However, as Wrike expects to reach $180 million to $190 million in ARR this year, the company’s sale price could look like a bargain in a few years’ time if the projections come to pass.

The price was not revealed in the 2018 sale, but it surely feels like a big win for Vista. Consider that Wrike has previously raised just $26 million.

Lessons from Top Hat’s acquisition spree

Top Hat, a startup that digitizes textbooks and turns them into an interactive experience for college students, announced on Wednesday that it has acquired yet another business: Fountainhead Press. The acquisition marks Top Hat’s third scoop of a publishing company in the past 12 months.

Consolidation is going to be huge in the next few years for edtech, as bigger players raise enough financing (and gain profits) to be able to afford other businesses.

Top Hat’s whole business proposition is a subtweet to Zoom University: It wants to make learning an active, online experience and completely digital. That focus has let them reach 3.5 million students and thousands of universities. With a new acquisition, Top Hat is bringing more content into its fold, and with it, more customers who need a better solution to a dusty textbook.

I caught up with Top Hat CEO and founder Mike Silagadze to understand what has triggered this string of content acquisitions. While the M&A isn’t tech-focused, we can learn about how a well-funded edtech startup is navigating the early innings of 2021.

We’ll talk about the shift from offline to online, edtech’s consolidation environment and why the “sell to Pearson or bust” mindset might officially be out the door for the sector.

Offline to online

Desktop Metal buys fellow 3D printing company EnvisionTEC for $300M

Desktop Metal this morning announced its intention to purchase fellow 3D printing company EnvisionTEC. Founded in Germany in 2002, EnvisionTEC specializes in photopolymer additive manufacturing, putting its technology in more direct competition with the likes of 3D printing darling Carbon than Desktop Metal’s own existing portfolio.

The deal follows Desktop Metal’s push to go public last August as part of a growing trend of SPAC mergers. Prior to this, the company had raised no shortage of its own funds, with a rapid ascent into unicorn status on the wake of $430 million in investments. It’s spending $300 million to acquire EnvisionTEC through a combination of cash and stock.

There’s a lot of potential for Desktop Metal to grow here. EnvisionTEC has the underlying technology with the ability to print in more than 190 materials, and Desktop Metal has the resources to help scale that tech beyond what the German company has been able to build thus far.

It’s clear that dental is a pretty huge piece of this puzzle. It’s among the clearest and most immediate use cases for this sort of mass volume 3D printing — and, indeed, the company already sports around 1,000 customers in dental, including companies like Smile Direct Club. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the company effectively tripled its Envision One dental shipments over the previous year.

“It’s used for everything from restorations to same-day, full arch implants,” Desktop Metal CEO Ric Fulop tells TechCrunch. “Usually when you get a denture, you’ve got to wait three weeks for denture implants. This is the first time you’ve got a solution that can do it in the same day. And it’s affordable.”

Per a press release issued in the wake of the news, other existing customers include Ford and Hasbro. Fulop says the company will continue to operate as its own division after the acquisition, which is expected to close this quarter.

“We’ll be able to leverage their channel,” the executive says. “We look forward to expanding on that capability and using our channel to give them more tools to have a full solution that spans from metal to composites to biomaterials and now photopolymer printing.”