Telarix to merge with Starhome Mach after private equity deal

02 October 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Analytics company Telarix is to merge with roaming and settlement company Starhome Mach, the companies announced today.

They will unite after Vista Equity Partners, which already owns Telarix, bought 100% of Starhome Mach from another private equity company. None of the parties would put a value on the transaction.

“We don’t disclose the financial details,” said Marco Limena, CEO of Telarix, who will remain CEO of the merged operation when the deal is complete.

“Vista has taken full ownership of Starhome,” Limena told Capacity just before the deal was announced. “This puts us at the centre of digital transformation. We uniquely start being able to address the wholesale side of the business.”

Vista bought 22-year-old Telarix in 2016, but did not disclose the price. Telarix “is a leading provider of interconnect and settlement software solutions to telecom communication service providers (CSPs) worldwide … enabling and optimising the connecting, routing and transfer of voice, video, and data from one CSP’s network to another.”

The combined company will have more than 400 customers in 130 countries, he said. TIM’s Sparkle has worked with both Telarix and Starhome Mach, according to Capacity’s own records.

No decision has been made on the future brand, said Limena. “We plan to operate as a single company from 1 January 2019. We will decide on one of the two [existing] brands or a new one. We are looking at the value of the brands.”

Starhome Mach itself is a creation of a relatively recent merger. In 2013, Syniverse Technologies wanted to buy the whole of the then independent Mach for €550 million, but the European Commission was concerned about the market dominance of the resulting company in data clearing services and near trade roaming data exchange (NRTRDE) services in the European Economic Area (EEA). The Commission said: “Syniverse and Mach are the two largest providers of these services in the EEA and globally.”

As a result, Syniverse was forced to divest some Mach assets, which Starhome bought later in 2013. Starhome was founded in Israel in 1999 but is now headquartered in Switzerland. Israeli private equity group Fortissimo Capital bought it in 2004 for $80 million and still lists it as an investment, under the Starhome Mach name. In October 2013 the unified Starhome Mach said it had 400 employees worldwide.

According to Limena, Telarix and Starhome Mach will now have “more than 500” employees between them.

Itai Margalit, who is CEO of Starhome Mach, will be president of roaming and clearing services. He said: “Telecommunication carriers and providers are challenged with managing the complexities of achieving seamless, ubiquitous connectivity for their customers. We are seeing demand for a single supplier who can provide fully integrated end-to-end solutions. By Starhome Mach merging with Telarix, we can bring this innovation to the market and exceed customer requirements.”

Margalit added: “Our success in launching SaaS [software as a service] versions of our leading roaming and clearing platforms introduced a variety of other innovative solutions in real-time anti-fraud, network functions virtualisation and internet of things (IoT). We are excited to bring together the complementary solutions, teams and knowledge of the two companies.”

Steve Pusey, the former group CTO of Vodafone, is now a board adviser to Telarix. He said: “With the developments of 5G, cloud and IoT there is more demand than ever before for seamless connectivity. Telarix and Starhome Mach have been very successful in their respective markets. The joining together of their relative expertise creates a unique opportunity to address the market demand for full spectrum solutions.”