In a public release today, Lone Wolf, a portfolio company of Vista Equity Partners, announced the acquisition of ZipLogix, a company formerly owned by the California Association of REALTORS® (CAR) through its subsidiary Real Estate Business Solution® (REBS) and the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR). With this transaction, WAV Group believes that Lone Wolf now occupies about 90% of the forms management software market in the United States and Canadian real estate industry. Florida’s Form Simplicity and homegrown forms management solutions hold the remaining balance of the market.
As mentioned above, Lone Wolf is a subsidiary of Vista Equity Partners, one of the largest software conglomerates in the world managing a portfolio of about $46 Billion. To put this into perspective – Oracle has a revenue of $38 Billion and equity of $49 Billion.
When Vista focuses on something, they go for it. In 2015, Lone Wolf sold to Vista, and soon after Patrick Arkeveld became CEO. Arkeveld and Lone Wolf founder Lorne Wallace continued Lone Wolf’s growth through acquisition strategy. In October 2017, Lone Wolf acquired Instanet Solutions. At the time, TransactionDesk held a significant market share serving over 500,000 users. Shortly after the Instanet acquisition, Lone Wolf appointed Steve Murray to their advisory board. Murray is the CEO of REAL TRENDS, an expert in M&A transactions between brokerage firms. Earlier this year Lone Wolf brought in CEO Jack Blaha, whose focus is operational excellence, from the Vista stable of executives. At the same time, Arkeveld became Chairman of Lone Wolf. This transition allowed Arkeveld to focus on the ZipLogix deal and significant transactions. A month after Blaha took the helm, The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) announced Lone Wolf’s TransactionDesk suite (Instanet product) as a member benefit for all Canadian REALTORS® (except for Quebec). You may recall a similar move by NAR® back in 2015 when they selected ZipLogix as a nationwide forms vendor (around $8.5 million a year).
These companies in combination now serve approximately 1.4 Million real estate agents, which I believe gives Lone Wolf the significance of having the most users of any software as a service solution provider in the world for real estate.
For now, everything will stay the same and the businesses will operate as separate product lines. They do not have any plans to alter partnerships or integrations at this time, other than to integrate Ziplogix products into Lone Wolf products such as brokerWOLF® – the firms back office accounting solution.
Therefore, my presumption is that NAR will continue to pay the balance of the $38 Million contract to offer ZipForm® as a NAR member benefit. Correction – the NAR agreement expired in 2018 and the new agreement is $7.5 million per year.
Given the breadth of adoption of ZipForms and TransactionDesk reaching 1.4 million agents, Lone Wolf will have an enormous percentage of residential real estate transactions pulsing through their servers. This will deliver an awesome capability to deliver end-to-end technology solutions to any Association, MLS, Franchise, or broker. The possibilities for integrations with Mortgage, Title, and other transaction are endless.
To me, it is a little silly that they did not disclose the price of the transaction. Both NAR® and CAR® will need to report it to their members and publicly since they are non-profit organizations.
I imagine that many State Associations of REALTORS®, local Associations, and even Multiple Listing Operators are digging out their forms license agreements to evaluate the provisions in the contract related to transferring to successors. I cannot imagine that anyone would have any issue with Lone Wolf owning ZipLogix instead of CAR and NAR. Lone Wolf has always been an excellent partner.
You can read the original Press Release here