Cloud subscription services company Zuora Inc. has announced it has entered a deal to acquire subscription paywall software startup Zephr Inc. for $44 million in cash.

Founded in 2017, Zephr offers a technology platform for media companies to grow their subscription revenue. The company says its identity, access management and customer experience platform allow for the swift deployment of personalized trial, selling and upselling journeys at high speed and large scale.

Zephr’s platform offers an intuitive interface and plug-and-play integrations to develop powerful subscription relationships and deliver personalized experiences for every customer. The platform is pitched as empowering companies to monetize their subscription relationships through better understanding of customer behavior, the ability to experiment with different digital offerings and the ability to optimize digital experiences.

The company’s platform powers nearly 8 billion monthly requests per month and processes tens of billions of dollars of transaction volume quarterly. Notable Zephr customers include Bloomberg L.P., DAZN Group Ltd., Guardian News & Media Ltd. and the Penske Media Corp.

Zuora said the addition of Zephr’s subscription paywall platform will give companies the agility they need to launch and experiment quickly with new digital services. Combined, the two companies will deliver a service that avoids users being bogged down by status and outdated systems that slow down the ability to respond to changing subscriber expectations.

“The winners in the media industry are those continuously innovating around new services, bundles and offers. And where the media industry goes, other industries will follow,” Tien Tzuo (pictured), chief executive officer of Zuora, said in a statement. “This is what combining Zuora and Zephr is about.”

Commenting on the deal, Zephr CEO James Henderson said that “it was a clear decision to join Zuora to accelerate where our platform is headed and empower all of our customers to nurture and monetize their subscriber relationships.”

Coming into its acquisition, Zephr had raised $11.1 million in venture capital funding, according to Crunchbase. Investors include Knight Capital, Silicon Valley Bank, Nauta Capital and BDMI.

The deal, which includes an earnout consideration of $6 million on top of the headline price of $44 million, is expected to close in September, subject to customary approvals and closing conditions.

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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