Drake Software takes on outside investor ‘to accelerate growth’

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Drake Software photo by Vickie Carpenter

Brittney Lofthouse – Contributing Writer

One of Franklin’s largest businesses is making significant business moves this week as the international private equity firm, Cinven, announced that it has agreed to make a significant investment into Drake Software.

Employees were notified via email last week and were assured that nothing within the company is expected to change. 

Established in 1977 by Phil Drake, Drake Software is a leading provider of professional tax preparation software. It provides the tools and resources that tax professionals need to build their businesses and attract new clients. Drake employs more than 600 people across five offices in North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. More than 64,000 tax professionals nationwide use Drake, and each year the company processes more than 33 million federal and state-accepted returns. 

“This is a truly outstanding opportunity for Cinven to invest behind a team that has not only built a product that is loved by its customers, but also has a well-established position in a stable market with a wide range of exciting growth prospects,” Chris Good, partner at Cinven said. “We believe Cinven is well positioned to support the company through its next stage of growth, especially given its track record of investing successfully in technology-focused companies such as Visma and Jaggaer.”

While the locally owned company is taking on an outside investor, Phil Drake said that operations will continue to be business as usual for the company’s employees. 

“We are partnering with Cinven in order to accelerate our growth, while still remaining anchored in Western North Carolina,” said Drake. “This partnership is going to be good for our company, for our employees, and for our customers.”

Cinven’s investment in Drake builds on its successful track record in Technology, Media and Telecom, following its investment in Visma, a leading business solutions provider in May 2019; Ufinet Group, a provider of fibre infrastructure and transmission services to telecom operators in July 2018; and HEG, a provider of hosting and domain services in April 2017. 

Jamie Stiles will continue in his role as president and Chief Executive Officer of Drake Software.

“We are delighted to have the chance to work with Jamie and the Drake management team. We plan to invest behind the company’s growth plans to expand Drake’s presence in the market, renew its technology platform, and enhance its product offerings for the benefit of Drake’s employees and customers,” said Daniel Garin, principal at Cinven.

The transaction is subject to customary anti-trust approvals.

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