H&R Block acquires NAB-backed Wave Financial in $583m deal

Canadian startup picked up by H&R Block

US accounting firm H&R Block will acquire fintech Wave Financial in an A$583 million all-cash deal, the company announced yesterday.

The acquisition marks the first exit for Australian bank NAB’s VC arm, which in 2017 led Wave’s $32 million Series D funding round.

The Canadian-headquartered Wave, which launched in 2010, produces accounting, invoicing and receipts management software for small businesses. More than 400,000 businesses in 200 countries use the company’s services.

“Wave provides us the opportunity to accelerate our small business strategy and is a great strategic fit, as both companies can leverage each other's capabilities to bring tax and financial solutions to small business owners, serving more clients in more ways,” said H&R Block CEO and president Jeff Jones.

Wave will operate as an independent H&R Block subsidiary led by the fintech’s current CEO, Kirk Simpson.

The $100 million NAB Ventures fund was launched in January 2016.

“This successful outcome is the result of over a decade of exceptional work and tenacity from the entire Wave team,” said NAB Ventures managing director Melissa Widner. “NAB Ventures is delighted to have such a successful exit so early in our fund.”

The fund has also made investments in Basiq, Data Republic, Medipass, Veem, Brick X, Activepipe and Slyp.

Last month, NAB along with Israel’s Bank Leumi and Canada’s CIBC announced the launch of an online portal to boost collaboration with fintechs.

The Global Alliance Fintech Link site solicits pitches from fintechs to address challenges faced by the three banks. The trio of banks in September 2016 announced they had founded an “innovation alliance”.

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