A year after buying startup company MyCheck for NIS 4.6 million in a creditors' arrangement, Eyal Ofer is selling the company to Shiji Group of China. Financial details have not been disclosed, but according to sources close to the company, the current sale reflects a much higher valuation for it. Ofer held 85% of MyCheck, with the remaining 15% divided between two of the founders and the employees.
Shiji Group is the developer of a network of cloud-based platforms, and provides software and services to the food service, retail and entertainment industries. The company is a frequent acquirer of technology startups, which remain as independent brands within the group. It integrates their products on the platform it offers its customers. MyCheck, which was founded in 2010, is mainly known for the advertisement it brought out six years ago with model Bar Refaeli, who also invested in the company, and Roy Kafri, who created the ad together with Vania Heymann.
The company's founders are Shlomit Kugler, Erez Spatz, Tal Nathanel, and Asaf Talmor Wertheimer. Kugler is CEO of the company and Spatz is CTO. Nathanel and Talmor Wertheimer have no active role in it and held no shares at the time of the sale. $22 million have been invested in MyCheck since it was founded. It employs 34 people, 22 in Israel and the rest in the UK and the US. All the employees will remain with the company, which will continue to operate as an independent unit.
Ofer bought MyCheck through his venture capital firm O.G. Tech, under a creditors' agreement signed in March 2018, a month after the company obtained a stay of proceedings from the court, following the refusal of its shareholders to accept investment proposals when it ran into cash flow difficulties.
MyCheck started out by developing a mobile payment app. In the past few years, it has pivoted to become a business platform for hotels, enabling them to digitize all their services, such as payments, service ordering, and check-in.
"MyCheck is going to remain an independent company, but it will also benefit from the synergy with Shiji Group, which has various solutions providing a digital platform for hotels, and it will also benefit from the fact that Shiji is a huge group," Kugler told "Globes" today.
"For four years, we have been a growth company that doubles its revenue every year," she added. "Despite the difficulties we went through at the shareholder level and the disagreements that led us to a proceeding that was not very pleasant the company still continued to grow and recruit more customers. This brings us to the company being acquired today for a very nice sum, and O.G., the employees and the founders have all made a great deal of money, and this is a profitable deal for all of us."
“The acquisition of a company like MyCheck, with its mission to offer integrated technology solutions for the hospitality sector, will deliver real value for Shiji as we drive the industry forward to be more technologically connected,” said Kevin King, Chief Operating Officer of Shiji. “Both Shiji clients and MyCheck customers will now benefit from the synergies and greater depth of resources that come from combining the Shiji network with MyCheck’s leading payment solutions.”
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 27, 2019
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