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TA Associates Announces Strategic Growth Investment in Accion Labs – Financial Post

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BOSTON & PITTSBURGH — TA Associates, a leading global growth private equity firm, today announced that it has completed a strategic growth investment to join Basil Technology Partners (“Basil”) as an investor in Accion Labs (“Accion”), a digital-focused software product engineering company specializing in emerging technologies. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in Pittsburgh, PA in 2011, Accion is a leader in helping technology companies and enterprises leverage the power of emerging technologies. Accion’s expertise ranges across advanced UX, artificial intelligence and machine learning, big-data/analytics, migration to cloud/SaaS and re-engineering of legacy platforms, process automation, mobility, augmented reality and IOT. The company’s clients include software product companies, e-SaaS firms, e-business organizations and enterprises undergoing a digital transformation across a range of industries such as healthcare, financial services, technology and fintech. Accion has more than 2,600 engineers across 14 offices within the U.S., Canada, the UK and Asia-Pacific.

“We are very pleased to welcome TA Associates as an investor in Accion,” said Kinesh Doshi, Founder & CEO of Accion Labs. “In choosing to partner with TA, Accion and the Basil team were particularly attracted by the firm’s global presence, long history of investing in the technology sector and experience in growing portfolio companies through M&A. We believe that TA will prove to be a valuable partner as we seek to further grow Accion organically and through acquisitions, with a particular focus on the U.S. and European markets.”

“TA is delighted to invest in Accion, an innovative leader in the growing digital engineering space,” said Aditya Sharma, Principal at TA Associates Advisory Private Limited. “We are excited by Accion’s rapid growth, strong global leadership team, expertise in emerging technologies, proprietary accelerators and IP, and deeply integrated customer relationships. We look forward to a close collaboration with the Accion management and Basil teams in the company’s next phase of growth.”

Management and strategy consulting firm Zinnov estimated the annual spend on digital engineering across all industries at $160 billion in 2018, with approximately 60% of that expenditure in the U.S., followed by Western Europe and Asia-Pacific. The firm predicted a compound annual growth rate for the sector of 19% to $380 billion through 2023.

“Spending in the digital engineering market is being driven by technology and business model innovations, growth in technology companies, including start-ups, and the emergence of a global digital ecosystem,” said Dhiraj Poddar, Managing Director at TA Associates Advisory Private Limited. “With its innovative and solutions-driven approach, we believe that Accion is well-positioned to continue capitalizing on these trends and further grow its market share in this vibrant industry.”

“As a niche technology provider that we believe is disrupting the IT services space, Accion has been an ideal fit for Basil,” said Rajeev Srivastava, Executive Chairman & Managing Partner, Basil Technology Partners. “It has been truly gratifying to be involved with Accion since inception, helping to drive strategy and growth at this leading-edge business.”

“We welcome the opportunity to work with TA, leveraging their deep U.S. market experience to help scale Accion organically and through M&A,” added Sameer Kanwar, CEO & Partner, Basil Technology Partners.

Mr. Sharma and Mr. Poddar will join the Board of Directors of Accion Labs.

K&L Gates LLP served as U.S. counsel, Lexygen India served as Indian counsel, KPMG served as tax advisor and Avendus Capital served as investment banker to Accion Labs and Basil Technology Partners. Goodwin Procter LLP served as legal counsel and Ernst & Young served as tax advisor to TA Associates. TA Associates Advisory Private Limited also advised on the transaction.

About Accion Labs

Accion Labs, founded in 2011, is a Pittsburgh-headquartered global technology firm specializing in working with technology firms and IT organizations in the emerging technologies such as Rich Internet Applications, Service-Oriented Architecture, SaaS, Cloud, Open-Source, BI/DW, Mobility, Automation, DevOps and Big Data. Spread over 12 global offices, Accion has an engineering headcount of more than 2,250 employees. Accion clients include software product firms, e-SaaS firms, e-commerce organizations and e-business organizations. Accion engages with its clients in a range of collaborative, white-box engagement models that include extended teams, turn-key project and professional staffing. Accion specializes in building new products and re-engineering legacy products to leverage emerging technologies and best practices. Led by an entrepreneurial management team that believes in execution, outcome and continuous learning, Accion Labs has been recognized as one of Pittsburgh’s fastest growing companies by the Pittsburgh Business Times and one of America’s fastest growing companies by Inc. magazine. For more information, please visit www.accionlabs.com.

About Basil Technology Partners Pte. Ltd.

Basil Technology Partners Pte. Ltd. is a licensed fund manager in Singapore and is the advisor to Basil Technology Fund. Basil is a specialist technology investor that identifies and invests in niche technologies that are disrupting the IT services space. Basil has a hands-on approach to investing that leans heavily on identifying niche technology services companies, acquiring significant stakes and being involved as an active operating partner in each of the portfolio companies to drive strategy, growth – both organic and inorganic – and exits. Basil has developed a reputation within the technology community in SE Asia, India and the U.S. for funding, growing and successfully exiting technology and tech-related businesses. Since 2008, the Basil team members have invested in and actively operated around 14 technology investments, with six successful exits, mostly within 3 – 5 years of investment. In August, 2018 Basil completed a successful third-party fund-raising round from marquee international Limited Partners (LPs) to recapitalize and consolidate their position as an investor in several leading-edge niche technology companies. For more information, please visit www.basilpartners.com.

About TA Associates

TA Associates is a leading global growth private equity firm. Focused on targeted sectors within five industries – technology, healthcare, financial services, consumer and business services – TA invests in profitable, growing companies with opportunities for sustained growth, and has invested in more than 500 companies around the world. Investing as either a majority or minority investor, TA employs a long-term approach, utilizing its strategic resources to help management teams build lasting value in high quality growth companies. TA has raised $33.5 billion in capital since its founding in 1968 and is committing to new investments at the pace of over $2 billion per year. The firm’s more than 85 investment professionals are based in Boston, Menlo Park, London, Mumbai and Hong Kong. More information about TA Associates can be found at www.ta.com.

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Contacts

For TA Associates
Marcia O’Carroll
TA Associates
+1 617-574-6796
mocarroll@ta.com

Philip Nunes
BackBay Communications
+1 617-391-0792
phil.nunes@backbaycommunications.com

Stephen Fishleigh
BackBay Communications
+44 203-475-7552
stephen.fishleigh@backbaycommunications.com

For Accion Labs
Amy Halter
+1 724 260 0347
amy.halter@accionlabs.com

For Basil Technology Partners
Richa Dsouza
Basil Technology Partners Pte. Ltd.
+65 6243 6801
richa@basilpartners.com

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Big Oil's interest in renewable energy investments expected to waver: report – Yahoo Canada Finance

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Big Oil's interest in renewable energy investments expected to waver: reportBig Oil's interest in renewable energy investments expected to waver: report

CALGARY — Budget cutting in response to the twin challenges of COVID-19 demand destruction and low oil prices mean the world’s oil and gas industry will likely spend less on renewable energy going forward.

But a report from consultancy Wood Mackenzie says that won’t likely slow the overall investment in renewables — fossil fuel players really weren’t putting much money into it anyway.

“In a US$60 per barrel oil price environment, most companies were generating strong cash flow and could afford to think about carbon mitigation strategies,” said Valentina Kretzschmar, vice-president, corporate analysis, at Wood Mackenzie.

“But now … all discretionary spend will be under review — that includes additional budget allocated for carbon mitigation. And companies that haven’t yet engaged in carbon reduction strategies are likely to put the issue on the back burner.”

Earlier this week, Calgary-based oilsands giant Suncor Energy Inc. announced it would cut its 2020 capital budget by 26 per cent or $1.5 billion in response to lower global oil prices linked to a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Two previously approved projects were put on hold for as much as two years: A $1.4-billion plan to install two cogeneration units at its Oil Sands Base Plant in northern Alberta that would have reduced greenhouse gas emissions, as well as a $300-million wind power plant in southern Alberta.

But the company insists it still intends to meet its environmental targets.

“We’re committed to our 2030 goal to reduce the GHG intensity of our operations by 30 per cent,” said Suncor spokeswoman Erin Rees. “Commissioning of the cogen was originally slated for 2023.”

Fellow oilsands producer Cenovus Energy Inc. has cut its capital spending plan for 2020 by 32 per cent and, although the details haven’t all been worked out, spokeswoman Sonja Franklin said it remains committed to its target of net zero GHG emissions by 2050 and a 30 per cent reduction in carbon intensity per barrel by 2030.

Choosing fossil fuel investments over renewables is like Kodak investing in film after inventing the digital camera in the 1970s, said Greenpeace Canada campaigner Keith Stewart.

“The current oil price crash is a preview of what will play out in the coming years, as electric vehicles coupled with cheap solar and wind power do to oil demand what digital cameras did to the market for film,” he said.

“If oil companies can’t evolve to deal with investors increasingly concerned about climate risk, then we should make sure they don’t take their workers and communities down with them.”

On Wednesday, Spanish energy giant Repsol, which produces some of its oil and gas in Canada, said it would cut its 2020 capital budget by more than one billion euros (about C$1.55 billion), but would still maintain its target to reduce its carbon intensity for 2020 by three per cent compared to 2016.

It vowed to significantly increase its renewable power generation capacity and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions across all its businesses.

“With these measures, amidst the current extraordinary conditions, Repsol ensures the robustness of its balance sheet in the short term while it continues to pursue its goal to achieve net zero carbon emissions in 2050,” it said in a statement.

In its report, Wood Mackenzie notes that the five European oil and gas majors have committed to spend just over US$5 billion per year between them on zero carbon technologies in the near term, about nine per cent of their pre-crisis upstream development budget out to 2022.

But it notes the total renewable energy portfolio by the group, including those most focused on diversifying into renewables such as Repsol and Portugal’s Galp, is about 7.4 gigawatts of operational renewable capacity (a gigawatt is enough to power roughly 700,000 homes).

By comparison, Iberdrola, one of the world’s largest renewable power asset owners, has almost five times that capacity (32 GW, including hydro) and added almost three GW during 2019, it said.

Installations of both wind and solar continued to increase through the last oil price downturn, Wood Mackenzie’s analysis shows, because most investment comes from outside the oil and gas sector.

It adds that oil prices that average around US$35 per barrel reduce the returns from new oil and gas projects to a level where renewable investments can compete on an economically level playing field.

“Capital allocation is no longer a one-way street for Big Oil. Renewables projects suddenly look as attractive as upstream projects at US$35 per barrel.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 29, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:SU, TSX:CVE)

Dan Healing, The Canadian Press

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An Investment Opportunity for a Better Pharmaceutical Industry – Entrepreneur

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NowRx is improving the way we get our prescriptions.

March
29, 2020

2 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.


It’s no secret to anyone that the American pharmaceutical industry is firmly entrenched in its ways. And that’s not necessarily a good thing for customers. Retail pharmacy is a $330 billion industry, driven by high medication costs and stringent means of delivery through brick-and-mortar stores.

NowRx, however, is disrupting the market. Founded in 2016, NowRx is spearheading innovations in technology, convenience and service, carving out a significant chunk of the pharmaceutical market. They say they’ve seen a 280 percent jump in revenue since 2017 and a 1,000 percent account growth rate since 2016, demonstrating clear resonance in a market that is desperate for change.

NowRx’s modern business model focuses on low-cost, highly automated micro fulfillment centers that facilitate same-day delivery to patients in cities across the U.S. Their fast, over-the-phone pharmacist consultations allow customers to get prescriptions quickly, cutting out the middleman pharmacies and reducing overhead to a fraction of what a regular pharmacy costs. In short, NowRx is pioneering a better, more convenient way for people to get the prescriptions they need.

As NowRx continues to grow, it’s looking for new investors to help it continue shaking up the field. Right now, you can invest at any level you’d like, giving you the opportunity to be on the ground floor of an exciting new innovation in the pharmaceutical industry.

You can find NowRx on the SeedInvest platform, which offers ground floor investment opportunities at highly vetted startups on the verge of exploding into the mainstream. Read more about NowRx here.

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Read Investing in the time of COVID-19 – MoneySense

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Photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com

COVID-19 has changed life as we know it. It’s still hard to fathom exactly what’s going on, both with the markets, which fell by about 6% in Canada and 8% in the U.S., and in life. My kids are now home all of the time, FaceTime cocktails are now a thing (and more fun than I had expected), and date night consists of a quick trip to the grocery store. Romance in Aisle 1? 

I’ve also had a lot of talks with friends about the economy and the markets. They tell me their portfolio is down a ton, I say mine is too, though I don’t know by how much because I’m not checking. I know they’re down by 30%, but I don’t need to obsess over the specifics. I’m not selling because, what’s the point? My portfolio has already fallen and you only lose that money if you liquidate. I still have at least a couple decades to go before I need those savings, and my hope is that the markets, like they always have, rise at some point before then. 

Still, all of this is confusing and it’s hard for anyone, including a personal finance journalist, to know why the market is reacting the way it is and what they should do. So I asked four smart people for their thoughts on the current state of the markets. Here’s what they had to say. 

Norman Raschkown

President and portfolio manager at TenSquared Investments

People want to come up with comparable periods to help them put this into context. A lot of people are talking about 2008 because of the severity of that market shock, but it’s different. In 2008 the real problem was excessive leverage, so the solution was backstopping banks and re-capitalizing them. 

This time the issue isn’t financial. Cutting rates isn’t going to do anything. It’s not like if there’s a cut everyone is going to get back to work. The governments do have the right idea of getting cash in the hands of the public to help them get through this period. But the reality is that we don’t know how long this will last and what the fallout will ultimately be.  

The biggest risk is how long this lasts and how deep the impact is in the U.S.—but the U.S. is behind in terms of taking it seriously. So, the best case is that it lasts through the summer. My best guess right now is that you’re looking at having a recession—two quarters of negative growth—but there will be enough pent up demand and you will see positive growth by the third quarter of the year and the recession will be over.  

There are opportunities for people who have some cash and we have started to dip our toe in and make selective purchases of high-grade stocks. Canadian banks have gotten really cheap and they’re offering yields of 7%. It’s good to remember that in 2008 and 2009, none of the Canadian banks cut their dividends. We also added to [our holdings of] Canadian Tire, which is down 50% from where it was months ago. It’s an example of a high-quality business, and when things recover, they will be well positioned. In this environment, you don’t need to speculate. 

Gaelen Morphet

Chief investment officer at Cinnamon Investments

We’re seeing incredible values out there, and it’s exciting from an investment point of view. The big question is timing and where we see the bottom. If you were to look out 10 years, I would say there’s a lot of opportunities to make money right now—and that’s the biggest message I can deliver right now, given my 35 years of experience. Over the medium term, though, how long does this go and how depressed does the stock market get? 

The stock market does discount that in advance, and so that’s why we’ve seen such a swift reaction and this pullback. I’ve been involved in 1987, 2000, 2008 and 2011, and this one is the swiftest—and the impact to the economy, or at least the perceived impact to the economy has happened much faster. If this is short, then there’s an unbelievable opportunity here, because as soon as the market sees some signs of improvement, it will respond accordingly. If we get any good news, I expect the rally to be swift and large—but it may not last, that’s the problem. You have to be careful in times of so much volatility. 

There are a lot of good financial stocks that have been absolutely crushed, and they’re trading around book value with really decent yields. There are also companies that are always expensive that investors never feel comfortable owning, but if they focus on the basic investing tenets of low price-to-earnings ratio and a great balance sheet, then you can find things you normally couldn’t buy. I’m looking at CGI (a Canadian tech company that’s down 30% since Feb. 21) and Brookfield Asset Management (down 38%), which has had a huge run. I’m watching those two closely. 

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