Freelancer Limited, the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace, today announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Escrow.com from a private investor for US$7.5 million in cash, and completed a AUD$10 million placement of ordinary shares to institutional investors.
Headquartered in California, Escrow.com provides online escrow services that facilitate and accelerate ecommerce by assuring secure settlement.
It was founded in 1999 by Fidelity National Financial, a Fortune 500 company and the US’s largest provider of commercial and residential mortgage and diversified services.
Escrow.com is the leading provider of secure online payments and online transaction management for consumers and businesses on the Internet, with FY14 gross payment volume of US$265 million, net revenue of US$5 million, US$1.2 million in EBITDA and over US$2.2 billion in transactions to date.
Escrow.com reduces the risk of fraud by acting as a trusted third party that collects, holds and disburses funds according to buyer and seller instructions. Escrow services provided by the company are licensed and regulated.
Escrow.com partners include eBay, GoDaddy, AutoTrader.com, Flippa.com and it is also a strategic partner of the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS) in support of President Obama’s National Export Initiative designed to significantly grow US export volume.
Freelancer.com Chief Executive Matt Barrie said, “We are pleased to acquire Escrow.com, the world’s largest online escrow company. This highly complementary acquisition will enhance the ability of our 15 million users to transact securely, and there are large opportunities for growth and synergies with core offerings. Finally, it is a strong cornerstone for entering the payments space”.
Escrow.com President & Managing Director Brandon Abbey said, “We are excited to be joining the Freelancer.com group. Freelancer’s expertise in marketplaces, combined with our expertise in secure online payments are an excellent strategic fit.”.
The Escrow.com group staff will be continuing with the California-based business.
A capital raising of AUD$10 million of ordinary shares to institutional investors was oversubscribed and has been completed to fund the acquisition, and for general corporate purposes. 10 million ordinary shares were issued at $1.00, a premium to the last close of $0.995. UBS AG, Australia Branch, was sole bookrunner for the deal. The acquisition of Escrow.com is subject to regulatory approval.
Settlement of the placement is currently scheduled to take place on Thursday, 30 April 2015, with allotment and quotation of shares expected to occur on the ASX on Friday, 1 May 2015. Escrow.com was advised in the transaction by Capstone Partners LLC.
Did they just sold a company with $5 million yearly net income for $7.5 million? What am I missing here? (capital raising is irrelevant to the sale price)
Net revenue is not net profit. That is my understanding from these numbers.
It probably was sold cheap even with that.
I thought the domain name alone was worth atleast million dollar. Business goodwill was way above 5 million in my opinion.
Sure, if it was net profit then the sale wouldn’t make any sense at all. Still, as you noticed as well, it looks very low for a business with such recognition and credibility.
Using Escrow has always started and ended with confidence. I use them without thought and consider it a first class “automated” process. Glad to hear everyone is happy with a new prosperous future ahead!
The Intrinsic Marketing Strategy Value of ESCROW.com is more like 30 million$
People are being Totally Misinformed, for years now. The really Smart Money decieves .COM Platform Stakeholders so they can HOSE them in the Secondary Markets.
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Yes, I totally agree they undersold. I am a frequent escrow.com user and their service always works great. But, selling a company like that is a very illiquid market, so they must have had their reasons for selling. In 2008 I sold Bored.com for what some might have considered a low price (see my reasons at http://www.impulsecorp.com/the-psychology-of-a-multi-million-dollar-sale ), but what it came down to was that I just basically wanted to cash out. The difference now is that with interest rates at around 0%, as compared to 5% when I sold, the seller of escrow.com does not have a lot of good options for investing the money they are getting.
My sources tell me that the owner wanted indeed to move on.
It’s time for European professionals to wake up and take this great chance to create a valid alternative in Europe, for Europeans, independent, subject to European law, with low payment fees (since as you know wire transfers have the same cost within Euro area, as it was a domestic wire transfer), with funds received in 1 day, etc. and with the peace of mind that for any problem you can always take legal actions paying “low” fees, etc.
Wake up Europeans… Create a copy of Escrow.com with all the features they have clearly available on their web site with few clicks (for instance the “buy it now button”), but for Europe, add maybe also translations in some most important languages to raise the level of trust perceived by prospect buyers…
This is something that has been lacking for 10 years in Europe….
Horrible, now I can not longer trust Escrow.com , Freelancer.com is know to allow domain name escrow fraud on their FreeMarket.com website. After scammer buyers get your domain , the buyers to do a chargeback , and FreeMarket.com chargers the sellers. So the sellers lose both the domain and the money (according to a few posts on namepros)