Growth equity firm PSG acquires Paris-based Universign to provide broader digital transaction management services in Europe

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Massachusetts, US-based Providence Strategic Growth (PSG), a growth equity firm that partners with lower middle-market software and technology-enabled services companies, has acquired a majority stake in Paris-based Universign, a provider of SaaS-based electronic signature solutions.

The acquisition comes after the recent combination of PSG-backed Signaturit and Ivnosys in April, 2021. The combined platform will provide a complete suite of trust services and digital transaction management software to corporates and SMEs in Europe. Currently, the combined business serves about 236,000 clients across the region.

Founded in 2014, PSG helps software and tech-enabled services providers navigate transformational growth, capitalise on strategic opportunities, and build strong teams. It has already backed more than 80 companies and facilitated over 325 add-on acquisitions.

SaaS platform for electronic signature

Founded in 2001 by Julien Stern, Universign has evolved into an e-signature, e-seal and timestamping software solutions provider, serving more than 9,000 clients across various sectors including insurance, banking, industry and energy, services as well as the public sector. 

The company claims to be one of the pioneers in the sector and a qualified trust service provider under the eIDAS regulation. It aims to ensure electronic transactions are legally recognised and comply with European regulations. Every year, over 24 million signatures are processed on the Universign platform.

With this latest development, Universign operations will continue to be led by founder and CEO Julien Stern who will become a shareholder and join the senior management team and remain Head of France of the combined group.

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Stern says, “In our view, we’ve built our business on two key principles: simplicity and compliance. This investment is a testament to our vision, our team and our commitment to providing clients with a solution they can trust. We look forward to working with our new colleagues at Signaturit and Ivnosys, as we believe our combined product suite and expanded European footprint will allow us to accelerate our growth and better serve our clients throughout the region.”

Aim of this acquisition

With this deal, Universign will join Signaturit and Ivnosys to offer a wide catalogues of digital transaction management and trust services in Europe.

Sergio Ruiz and Jaime Castello, co-CEOs of Signaturit and Ivnosys, say, “We’re thrilled to welcome Universign to the Signaturit and Ivnosys group and believe we can create with them a digital signature leader in Europe. Julien and his talented team have built a leading software solution that shares our aim to deliver the safest and most secure solutions in the industry. Together, we aim not only to scale our full platform, but to continue to innovate and expand our breadth of products.”

The company has appointed Bertrand Sciard as the new Chairman of the Board of the combined group.

Sciard says, “The last 18 months have demonstrated an accelerated need for fully compliant, digital solutions in accordance with the European eIDAS regulation. We believe the addition of the Universign platform to Signaturit and Ivnosys will enable us to continue providing the same digitisation solutions to existing customers, and build on that to expand the product suite and quality of services to create a whole greater than the sum of its parts.”

About Signaturit and Ivnosys

Signaturit was founded in 2013 by Javier Martínez Fernandez, Juan Zamora, and Salvador Severich. It is a qualified trust service provider that offers cloud-based solutions in the field of electronic signatures, certified registered delivery (eDelivery), and electronic identification (eID) to digitise transactions between companies and individuals securely and with legal compliance.

The company serves over 5,000 customers in more than 40 countries and has completed over 38 million signatures on its platform.

Valencia-based Ivnosys was founded in 2013 and develops customisable solutions and services that enable the digitalisation of processes in corporates and SMEs. The company’s product suite includes a platform for the centralised management of digital identities (certificates), electronic signatures, and notifications. Currently, the company serves approximately 225,000 clients, both on-cloud and on-premise.

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Vishal Singh

Vishal Singh is a News Reporter and Social Media Marketing Lead at Silicon Canals. He covers developments in the European startup ecosystem and oversees the publication's social media presence. Before joining Silicon Canals, Vishal gained experience at the Indian digital media outlet Inc42, contributing to its growth with insightful content. Despite being a college dropout, his passion for writing has driven his career in journalism.

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