Consolidation: Private equity-backed tech house AbacusNext acquires HotDocs

In another major US private equity-backed acquisition, AbacusNext, a San Diego headquartered technology-as-a-service provider for the professional services industry, has acquired UK document automation pioneer HotDocs, with CEO and founder Russell Shepherd to exit the company.
AbacusNext, which is majority owned by Rhode Island-headquartered private equity house Providence Equity Partners, has a combined user base of 1.5m worldwide and promises a compliance-ready suite of technology solutions designed to cloud-enable desktop, mobile and SaaS applications in a single sign-on, secured and fully managed environment.
This year AbacusNext has acquired CRM Results Software; practice management system OfficeTools; and hosting platform Cloudnine Realtime as it attempts to capture market share across the highly fragmented professional services market.
Core to the acquisition of HotDocs was HotDocs Market, an online ecommerce marketplace that allows clients to purchase and use HotDocs templates “whenever and wherever they want”, which will be leveraged across AbacusNext’s portfolio. “Incorporating HotDocs Market into the AbacusNext ecosystem will deliver yet another game-changing automation platform for clients,” AbacusNext will say in a statement today (13 November).
The acquisition means that HotDocs law firm clients will have access to a suite of tech solutions – which can be expected to be attractive to its smaller law firm market. AbacusLaw is its cloud-based case management and document management system for lawyers and Amicus Attorney its practice management system.
Shepherd (pictured) said: “HotDocs and AbacusNext work across many of the same markets and are a natural fit. I was looking for an acquirer with the same grand scale of ambition as the HotDocs team, and Abacus has the ambition to take the combined businesses on to even greater heights.”
The acquisition follows the recent move by Los Angeles-headquartered private equity house K1 to acquire and combine XRef, Microsystems, Litera and the Sackett Group, investing $100m as it seeks to create to create an end-to-end document lifecycle solution for lawyers and corporate counsel.
That acquisition, which has been welcomed by clients such as Baker McKenzie, was driven by K1’s objective to achieve consolidation and innovation in the sector and was finalised on 11 August. The company will be called Litera Microsystems, with former Microsystems CEO and president Avaneesh Marwaha at the helm as CEO.