M&A Activity: New Orleans-based crypto payment company sells to San Francisco firm

October 30, 2023

G.F. Gay Le Breton And Liam Norton//October 18, 2023


New Orleans-based Gilded Inc., a crypto payments and reporting platform, sold to San Francisco-based BitAlpha, Inc. in September for an undisclosed price. Gilded Chief Technology Officer Ken Gaulter will join BitAlpha as a staff engineer.

Gilded was founded in 2018 by a group of developers and accountants with the purpose of integrating cryptocurrency solutions into corporate financial reporting and accounting. Its proprietary software allows businesses to run on blockchain by streamlining the process of tracking and reporting all crypto activity, including crypto payments, invoicing, tax tracking and bookkeeping.

BitAlpha, doing business as Bitwave, is a leading provider of enterprise finance solutions for digital assets.  Also founded in 2018, Bitwave similarly offers crypto accounting and compliance services. The current prolonged bear market in the cryptocurrency industry has been sparking consolidation among crypto firms.  Bitwave is also riding the rising tide of cryptocurrencies regulation.  This deal came just eight days prior to the US Financial Accounting Standards Board approval of guidelines on how companies report crypto fair values on balance sheets.

Gilded CEO Gil Hildebrand said, “In the wake of increasing regulatory oversight, it’s absolutely critical for crypto organizations to maintain robust financial operations. By joining forces with Bitwave, we’re excited to partner and deliver the industry-leading solution for crypto CFOs.”

According to its Cruchbase profile, Gilded has over 130 enterprise customers across crypto startups, nonfungible token marketplaces, decentralized autonomous organizations, miners and accounting firms. Gilded was backed by Bonfire Ventures, Basecamp Fund, Vera, Redbeard Ventures, Revelry Venture Partners, Silicon Badia, Techstars and AICPA.

Bitwave closed a $15 million Series A funding round in December 2022 in order to expand its crypto solutions platform, led by Hack VC and Blockchain Capital.  Earlier in 2023, Bitwave acquired Multisig Media. Also recently, Bitwave announced a partnership with Big Four accounting firm Deloitte to offer enterprise tools, such as connecting blockchain data to enterprise resource planning systems.

Two other Louisiana tech companies were also acquired in September.

Houma-based Ripple, an integrated maritime software company, was acquired by global software holding company Bleecker Street Group (“BSG”) for an undisclosed price.

Ripple offers mission-critical solutions to address challenges in the maritime industry, particularly for the tugboat, towboat, barge and ferry system segments. Ripple’s software is used across the United States and in some of the largest ferry systems in the world.  The company was founded in 2006.

The buyer focuses on the supply chain industry, specifically software that helps buyers, shippers, carriers and logistics service providers move products.  With its permanent capital base, BSG states that its strategy is to invest in outstanding management teams for the long-term.  BSG CEO Chad Mitchell said, “The addition of Ripple’s exceptional team, advanced software products and blue-chip customer base will significantly strengthen our position in the global maritime sector and position us for further growth and success.”

Ripple founder Dean Shoultz said, “With their permanent partnership, we have the potential to revolutionize the maritime software industry, offering cutting-edge solutions that empower maritime operators to thrive in the digital era.”

Additionally, JBL Solutions, LLC (“JBL”), a Baton Rouge-based software publisher, was acquired by Montreal-based tech collector Valsoft Corporation. Founded in 2015, Valsoft acquires and develops vertical market software companies.

JBL develops and publishes SaaS software solutions.  It has been in business for over 40 years. JBL’s products are most applied in the Management Information Systems space, but they host a number of industry-specific products extending to niches such as the welding supply industry. According to JBL, its CylTech 2, AcuTrax, and MIS Accu-Tech products host more than 3,000 users in 33 states, Canada and the Bahamas.  It did business with over 225+ active accounts and maintained a 60% rate of repeat business leading up to the acquisition.

The acquisition of JBL marked Valsoft’s 26th acquisition this year, and one of three closed in September. Valsoft Corporation believes that it differentiates itself from traditional private equity and venture capital firms in its lack of pre-defined investment horizon, preferring to focus on creating “value through long-term partnerships with existing management and customers.”

G.F. Gay Le Breton is managing director for Chaffe & Associates Inc., responsible for the merger and acquisition activities of the firm. Liam Norton is a mergers  & acquisitions analyst with the firm. Investment banking services are provided by Chaffe Securities Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. For more information, visit https://chaffe-associates.com.