Private Equity Firm Takes Majority Stake in Bullhorn

September 14, 2020 – Executive recruiting leaders have increasingly embraced digital transformation, reexamining how their businesses, as well client companies, should operate to drive deeper candidate relationships, improve margins, and compete effectively as the talent acquisition landscape fundamentally changes. But it has been a slow process to switch models and platforms. Part of the reason: lack of expansion capital.

To that end, Stone Point Capital, a private equity firm based in Greenwich, Conn., has taken a majority stake in Bullhorn, a provider of software to recruiting firms, to power the next phase of the company’s growth. The hope is the investment will speed up the staffing and recruiting industry’s embrace of digital transformation. Terms of the transaction were not announced. Stone Point Capital will have a representative on the company’s board. Insight Partners and Genstar will remain investors in the Bullhorn business.

“We are very excited to be working with the team at Stone Point as we enter the next phase of Bullhorn’s growth,” said Art Papas, founder and CEO of Bullhorn. “We have a tremendous opportunity to help the global staffing industry execute on their digital transformation strategies, and Stone Point’s experience and industry expertise will be invaluable as we grow the company to the next level. We’re also happy that Insight and Genstar will remain investors, as they have been integral to helping us more than double our revenue over the last three years.”

Chuck Davis, CEO at Stone Point Capital, said: “We are excited about the long-term opportunity to work with Bullhorn. We are in the early stages of the industry’s adoption of digital transformation initiatives, and we couldn’t be more excited about partnering with an experienced team that knows the industry, their customers, and how to build a business with a deep focus on customer experience.”

“We’re thrilled to announce this investment by Stone Point in Bullhorn,” said Deven Parekh, managing director at Insight Partners. “While we weren’t actively seeking new investment, Stone Point’s deep experience in the finance and staffing industries and their strong conviction in Bullhorn makes them an incredibly valuable partner for the journey ahead. Bullhorn has and continues to outperform our projections as they help staffing firms digitally transform all aspects of their operations.”

“Despite the current macro-environment, we continue to find that great companies attract interest from leading investors,” said Eli Weiss, managing director at Genstar Capital. “It’s been great to work with Art and the team, and we’re looking forward to continuing to be a partner through this next phase of growth.”

Bullhorn expects the investment by Stone Point to close early in the fourth quarter of this year. Lazard and District Capital Partners served as financial advisors to Bullhorn in connection with this transaction.

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According to Greenwich-based Hunt Scanlon Media, the recruiting sector has reached an inflection point, with growing investment opportunities as well as increased merger and acquisition activity. “We’re seeing a big uptick in consolidation moves, mostly driven by pressure from COVID-19,” said CEO Scott A. Scanlon. “Assignment inventory is way down and we’re seeing an industry grappling with a 30 percent dip in business. Unlike past recessions, the pandemic timeline has been impossible to nail down, and that alone is making for some interesting deals we’ll see announced later this year and well into 2021. It is an extraordinary time for recruiters to tap the value of their businesses.”

Related: Bullhorn Further Invests in Consulting Division, Appoints Leader

Stone Point’s sector expertise in recruiting and financial services will help to guide Bullhorn’s continued momentum with its pay and bill solutions, which allow recruiting firms to align their sales and recruiting teams with finance and operations on a single platform that unifies operational and finance information. Stone Point is already an investor in one of Bullhorn’s fastest-growing partners, Prism HR, which provides an integrated payroll and benefits solution.

Insight Partners is a global venture capital and private equity firm investing in high-growth technology and software ScaleUp companies that are driving transformative change in their industries. Founded in 1995, Insight Partners has invested in more than 400 companies worldwide and has raised through a series of funds more than $30 billion in capital commitments.

Recent Growth

Bullhorn is a global leader in CRM and operations software for the recruitment industry. More than 10,000 recruiting companies rely on Bullhorn’s cloud-based platform to drive sales, build relationships and power their recruitment processes from end to end. Headquartered in Boston, with offices around the world, Bullhorn is founder-led and employs more than 1,000 people globally.

Executive Recruiters Roll Up Their Sleeves as COVID-19 Crisis Unfolds
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on every business sector, executive recruiting included. Kenneth Vancini of Innova International brings us the latest thinking after convening recent conference calls with 23 leaders from search firms across the country. Also, we have the initial results from the latest Hunt Scanlon Media ‘Pulse Survey’ of leading U.S. recruiters and fresh insight from Thrive. It’s a full docket!

Earlier this year, Bullhorn acquired Herefish, a provider of automation solutions for staffing firms. Herefish, a longtime Bullhorn Marketplace partner, is one of the leading providers of staffing business process automation, and its solutions are expected to help Bullhorn customers improve recruiter productivity, maintain higher data quality and accuracy, and improve communication between recruiters, colleagues, candidates and customers. “Automation is critical to the digital transformation of the staffing industry,” said Jason Heilman, CEO of Herefish, “and we’re excited to join the Bullhorn team and bring productivity and messaging efficiencies to the top staffing firms in the world. Bullhorn and Herefish have very customer-centric cultures and we cannot wait to help our customer base to prepare for the future and prepare to win.”

Related: Secured Signing Integrates with Bullhorn to Provide Digital Signature Capability

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor  – Hunt Scanlon Media

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