citybiz+ ABS Capital Floated Continuation Vehicle and Scored 3 New Deals in 2023

ABS Capital made three new investments and delivered returns to investors from three successful bets in 2023, the Baltimore firm said in its review of 2023.

The three new portfolio investments were in Scene Health, of Baltimore, Md.; Atlanta, Ga.-based ValidiFI; and New York’s Transfr. The realizations came via GuidePoint Security, which was acquired by Boston- and San Francisco-based private equity firm Audax; PowerReviews, which was acquired by Chicago-based 1WorldSync; and Viventium Software.

Continuation Fund

Last year ABS Capital also completed a GP-led secondary transaction centered around two portfolio companies — LabConnect, of Johnson City, Tenn., and New York-based Viventium. The transaction ensured the continued growth opportunity for both companies, while offering liquidity to existing limited partners, the firm said. Led by Kline Hill Partners and Five Arrows, the transaction was capitalized by a consortium of new and existing ABS investors, who subscribed to a new partnership.

“The ABS Capital team is thrilled to partner with Kline Hill Partners and Five Arrows in supporting the continued growth of LabConnect and Viventium,” said ABS Managing Partner, Mike Avon. “We are extremely proud of both companies’ success so far, and of the attractive returns we have generated for our LPs. We believe there is significant future value in these assets.”

ABS Capital was founded in 1990 by Don Hebb, former CEO of Alex.Brown, and Tim Weglicki with $20 million in committed capital from Alex. Brown. It prides itself on a blue-collar work ethic and active business building. So far, ABS Capital has raised over $2 billion from eight funds, and made over 100 portfolio investments, mostly in software and tech-enabled B2B businesses.

citybiz+ Sponsors

Following is a snapshot of each of ABS Capital’s new investments in 2023:

  1. Baltimore-based Scene Health has built a tech-enabled solution to improve medication adherence via personalized engagement videos, clinical coaching, and validated interventions. ABS Capital led the firm’s $17.7 million Series B in April. “Scene’s solution directly aligns with the quadruple aim in healthcare – enhancing the patient experience, improving a population’s clinical and quality outcomes, improving care providers’ work lives, and reducing costs,” said ABS Capital partner Cal Wheaton, who joined Scene’s board.
  2. ValidiFI, an Atlanta, Ga.-based consumer reporting agency, runs a database of bank and payment data. ABS Capital partly funded its acquisition by portfolio company Ribbit. The combined company will operate under the ValidiFI brand, providing account behavior data and analytics to improve consumer lending. In a relaunch, ValidiFI said it has streamlined a suite of credit risk and validation solutions that will help curb risk and fraud, and provide identity verification services.
  3. Transfr, a New York edtech startup, creates classroom-to-careers pathways by training the next generation of workers. ABS Capital led a $40 million Series C round in September, with JPMorgan Chase Impact Finance and Advisory as a participant. Transfr uses virtual reality to provide hands-on, immersive, simulated training that teaches critical skills for in-demand jobs. “We believe that Transfr and its experienced management team are uniquely positioned to capitalize on the tailwind from the challenges in the labor market by providing innovative training solutions that can efficiently bring qualified candidates to market,” said ABS Capital partner Phil Clough, who joined Transfr’s board. The firm’s other partner, Jennifer Krusius, will serve as a board observer.
citybiz+ Cohorts

In 2023, ABS Capital also added two operating advisors — former Warner Bros. and CBS executive Darcy Antonellis and Kiersten Todt, who was previously the chief of staff at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

Antonellis won an Emmy award for Olympics technical production and technology innovation for Warner Bros. She serves as an advisor to ABS Capital’s portfolio companies, with special focus on technology, media and telecom. At CISA, Todt managed a nearly $3 billion budget. The Princeton University graduate still serves as an advisor to CISA’s director.