The Transaction

The Principals of Founders Investment Banking advised the shareholders of SmarterServices in its majority recapitalization with Main Line Equity Partners.


The Company

SmarterServices offers a suite of eLearning applications that empower nearly 600 educational institutions—K-12 schools, colleges, and universities—to organize and analyze relevant data about students, teachers, employees, and curriculum. The Company’s data-driven solutions include online student readiness assessments, exam proctoring management, and faculty recruiting. As a result, clients can more intelligently form strategic plans, maximize efficiency, and foster formative learning. Since 2002, over 3 million students have benefited from SmarterServices.


The Objective

For over a decade, SmarterServices had consistently grown revenues, maintained impressive customer satisfaction and retention metrics, and distributed significant dividends to the owners/management. However, the management team reached an inflection point and realized that the Company had outgrown their level of operational expertise and deserved additional resources to enable the business to better serve its customers. The founder and president of SmarterServices, Dr. Mac Adkins, engaged Founders Investment Banking to identify a value-added partner who could offer the shareholders partial liquidity as well as provide the Company with growth capital and the operational know-how necessary to expedite the execution of its product roadmap.


The Solution

Founders Investment Banking worked with the owners of SmarterServices to understand the Company’s unique IP, where the business fit into the broader EdTech landscape, and the shareholders’ goals for a transaction. Founders subsequently put together a marketing package that communicated the Company’s story and desire for a financial or strategic partner to facilitate the Company’s next phase of growth.

The process identified Main Line Equity Partners, a Philadelphia-based private equity firm that invests in lower middle market software and technology-enabled companies, whose industry focus and expertise aligned well with SmarterServices’ goals. The transaction with Main Line accomplished several objectives for SmarterServices including:

  • Partial liquidity for SmarterServices’ shareholders
  • A value-added partner with strategic and operational expertise
  • The growth capital needed to expand its technology team and product offering

In order to provide securities-related services discussed herein, certain principals of Founders are licensed with M&A Securities Group, Inc. or Founders M&A Advisory, LLC, both members FINRA & SiPC. M&A Securities Group and Founders are unaffiliated entities. Founders M&A Advisory is a wholly owned subsidiary of Founders.

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