Authoria sells to PE firm

Last week, Bedford Funding, a tech-focused private equity fund, bought 100% of Authoria Inc. for $63.1 million.

Waltham, Mass.-based Authoria, which develops recruitment management and performance management software, has raised about $140 million in venture capital and debt funding from Adams Street Partners, Menlo Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, HLM Venture Partners, Union Square Ventures, Van Wagoner Capital Management, CIBC Capital Partner, Horizon Technology Finance and Velocity Financial Group, according to Thomson Reuters (publisher of PE Week).

Authoria, f.k.a. Foundation Technologies, raised its first round of institutional funding in 1998, and it most recently closed a $22.5 million infusion in October 2007.

As one source put it, “These investors were exhausted.”

The main takeaway from Bedford’s acquisition is that a private equity firm provided an exit for a venture-backed company. It hasn’t been too common lately as VC-backed companies have mostly relied on alternative public offerings or corporate acquisitions to achieve liquidity. Also, many VCs have simply dug in their heels to support startups for longer hold periods.

When asked why the company chose not to sell to a strategic buyer, Authoria spokesman Michael Blaber said, “We’ve stayed independent because there is a huge growth opportunity that we’re determined to seize before we ultimately have a defining event in the future. It could be an IPO or a sale to a strategic. For the foreseeable future. we’ve got Bedford.”

Bedford, based in White Plains, N.Y., focuses on the software and IT services sectors. Charles Jones, former CEO of GEAC Computer Corp., founded Bedford in 2006, raising $400 million for its first fund. —Erin Griffith