MYOB’s takeover wave has continued with the accounting software platform converting its existing stake in the Sydney-based company workplace financial services platform Flare in full acquisition.

The acquisition costs have not been disclosed but will provide a livelihood for a range of VC investors who have plowed more than $50 million into Flare over the past five years.

Microsoft became a stakeholder in Flare during a $22 million Series C in November 2020, which also saw former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull chipped.

That round MYOB also saw a strategic partnership with Flare, embedding onboarding and retirement services into the small business accounting platform. About a quarter of new employees in Australia have contact with Flare.

MYOB said the deal will accelerate Flare’s ambition to be Australia’s most comprehensive and innovative solution for financial services and benefits for the workplace.

Flare was founded in 2015 by Colin Mierowsky, Daniel Cohen, Jan Pacas, Saul Kaplan and James Windon as an all-in-one workforce platform for businesses. Flare previously raised $7 million in 2018 and $21 million in a Series B in 2018.

Other major sponsors include New York VC Point72 Ventures, Westpac’s Reinventure and Bridge Lane.

MYOB became a private company again in 2019 when US private equity giant KKR scrapped the company in a $1.6 billion acquisition deal. Greg Ellis as CEO to reshape the platform.

The company has since acquired several companies, including document management start-up Nimbus earlier this year and cloud-based software provider GreatSoft in 2020.

Glow will continue to operate as a standalone company and serve its other customers and partners, with the initial focus on further enhancing the platform’s existing integrations with MYOB. That includes Flare’s payroll and benefits app, which unlocks discounts and wellness, a digital wallet for payroll, and revamped car leasing.

Greg Ellis said the acquisition represents a significant evolution from MYOB‘s payroll options.

“Our acquisition of Flare creates pathways for MYOB to engage with businesses in new and deeper ways,” he said.

“By offering our customers solutions that create value within their processes, MYOB can fulfill our vision of being a vital partner across the full lifecycle of Australian SMEs. We are incredibly excited about this opportunity.”

Flare co-CEO James Windon said the acquisition will have leverage MYOB‘s significant customer footprint.

“The battle for talent has never been more difficult. Eight out of ten companies suffer from a skills shortage and there are fewer unemployed than jobs,” he says.

“Creating an exceptional work experience is normally only achievable by larger companies with large resources; Flare is passionate about changing that.

“MYOBThe investment in Flare will give more companies access to expanded employee benefits offerings and digitized onboarding experiences.”

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