March 26, 2018

Probe Group in partnership with funds advised by Five V Capital enters agreement to acquire Salmat Ltd’s (ASX: SLM) Contact Business

Australian business process outsourcing (BPO) provider Probe Group today announced, that in partnership with funds advised by Five V Capital, it has entered into an agreement to acquire Salmat’s Contact Business. The transaction will create a market-leading, privately owned Australasian BPO provider with an unparalleled service capability.
The combined business, operating as Probe Group, will employ over 3,500 staff, servicing blue-chip corporate and government clients across Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines.

At completion of the acquisition, Probe Group will continue under the leadership of Executive Chairman Rodney Kagan, who will oversee the same senior executive management led by CEO, Andrew Hume and COO, Jarrod Kagan. Combined, this team has over 100 years of industry experience.

Under the terms of the agreement, completion is scheduled to occur on 30 April 2018 subject to satisfaction of customary conditions precedent.

Probe was founded by Mr. Kagan in 1979, and over its 39-year history has grown into a leading full-service BPO provider, servicing many of Australia’s leading companies.

Mr. Kagan said Probe Group will benefit from additional capital and resources to continue to invest in delivering industry-leading services and solutions to its customers.

Mr. Kagan said, “I am very, very excited to announce that Probe has acquired Salmat’s Contact Business, which is one of the leading operators of contact centres in Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines. We have combined our market leading capability and management with an established Australasian contact centre platform. This positions us to continue to benefit from ongoing outsourcing trends and to continue to deliver the highest level of service to our clients. Five V Capital’s network, strategic involvement and capital will allow us to lead industry growth and consolidation for a long time to come.”

With deep embedded expertise and standing in the outsourced credit and collections market, Probe embarked on a strategy to build and complement its existing business, which Mr. Kagan described was “a unique opportunity to leverage our operating model and expand our offering.”

Mr Hume said “Salmat’s Contact Business is led by a highly capable and experienced team, whom we look forward to welcoming into our family. Organic growth is strong across the company and that will remain a focus, however, we will continue to look for opportunities to benefit from industry consolidation.”

“Over the last three years, Probe Group has realised significant goals, underpinned by its Next Generation BPO strategy, which has included major investments in new buildings, both in Australia and in the Philippines, technology, data and analytics and people. This has enabled Probe Group to create more than 1,000 new jobs during this period, an achievement of which we are immensely proud,” Mr. Hume added.

“We will continue investing, growing, evolving our capabilities and methodologies and expanding our service offering – making us bigger, better and delivering new opportunities for our people, our clients and partners. Helping us to realise our vision of becoming the most sought after and respected provider wherever we maintain a presence.”

Probe was advised by Intrinsic Partners, Arnold Bloch Leibler and Schoenfeld Consulting; Five V was advised by EY and Gilbert + Tobin
About Probe Group
Probe Group is an Australian-owned business process outsourcing service provider. Probe manages interactions with its client’s customers to generate sales, manage orders, and perform customer service, retention and collections activities as well as associated back-office process management. Probe provides these services to clients across business sectors including Government, Transport and Logistics, Utilities, Telecommunications, Banking and Financial Services, among others. Services are provided from operating sites in Melbourne, Sydney, New Zealand and the Philippines. Further details regarding Probe Group are available on its website:

About Five V Capital
Five V Capital is an Australian fund manager based in Sydney which invests in businesses with organic, consolidation or international growth opportunities. Five V supports these businesses to build sustainable leading positions in their markets. Five V is an investor in companies like Ascender, a Sydney-based BPO payroll provider which employs over 800 staff across Australia and Asia Pacific; as well as Unified Healthcare Group, RateSetter Australia, Education Perfect, Madman Entertainment and Canva. Further details regarding Five V are available on its website:


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M: +61 407 966 083 |

February 2, 2018

Canva raises $40M round to earn Unicorn title

Canva raises US$40M round, valuing the company at US$1B

Now available in all operating systems across 190 countries, Canva shows no signs of slowing down as they launch in their 100th language

More than 13 designs created on Canva every second

Online design and publishing platform Canva is the latest startup unicorn from Australia, with a new valuation of US$1 billion after having raised a US$40 million round.

Melanie Perkins, CEO and Co-founder at Canva said that while the company is profitable with investments from previous rounds remaining untouched, they decided to take on additional capital to pursue exciting global opportunities and rapidly advance its core product offering. In this round Sequoia China has joined forces with long-time Canva investors, Blackbird Ventures and Felicis Ventures, in backing the design company with a new round of investment.

Melanie adds, “We’ve only just started to scratch the surface of achieving our goal of empowering everyone to design anything, and publish anywhere.

“Design is no longer a niche requirement – every single profession today needs design to help communicate their message. In years gone by someone in sales could draft a letter but now has to create an engaging presentation to win customers. Non-profits have to create designs to spread their message to fundraise. Even the startup staple of business plans have been replaced by graphic pitch decks.

“The world is rapidly becoming more visual, yet traditional design tools in the market are too complicated to use, or so costly that they become inaccessible. Canva is designed to enable individual and teams to collaborate seamlessly, and our growing footprint is evidence of the widespread need that we are addressing. This additional funding will bring us one step closer to giving everyone the ability to thrive in an increasingly visual environment.”

This announcement follows several new product launches this year from the 250 person-startup headquartered in Sydney, including the platform’s availability in 100 languages, a Canva for Android app, as well as rolling out Canva Print in the US, Europe and Australia, with Mexico recently made available. Canva also supports over 17,000 non-profits around the world with free access to its premium product.

Rick Baker, Partner at Blackbird Ventures, who led the investment round, added, “Canva is making huge strides in democratizing design for everyone. Its product growth and adoption across many demographics is truly exceptional. In just four years, Melanie Perkins and her team have taken the startup from humble beginnings in Australia, to what has now blossomed into one the fastest growing software businesses of all time. It’s a very exciting space to be in as we start redefining the workplace, and what it means to communicate in the 21st century.”

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September 29, 2017

RateSetter Australia completes significant capital raising

This month we completed a $10.5 million capital raising, led by private equity investor Five V Capital, with additional support from our existing shareholders and other professional investors.

Adrian Mackenzie, founder and partner of Five V Capital, will join the RateSetter board, which recently expanded to include former ING Direct CEO Vaughn Richtor.

This capital raising provides a strong endorsement of the progress we have made to date in building a mainstream alternative to the bank model of investing and borrowing in Australia.

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April 19, 2017

MARKET UPDATE: Sale of Garage Entertainment

SurfStitch Group Limited (SurfStitch Group or the Company) announces the completion of the disposal of one of the Group’s media businesses, Garage Entertainment, to the Madman Media Group. The business comprises Garage Entertainment Aust. Pty Ltd and TMG Media Pty Ltd. In June 2016, SurfStitch Group announced its decision to undertake a strategic review of its assets, including the Group’s media assets. Today’s announcement reflects the outcome and recommendations of that review.

Read more - Surfstitch-madman1-2.pdf

February 15, 2017

Ascender expands Japan footprint with Workcloud acquisition

15 February 2017: Ascender announced today it has acquired Workcloud, a leading Payroll and Time & Attendance (T&A) services provider in Japan.

This transaction will strengthen Ascender’s position as the market leader in HR & payroll software and services across Asia-Pacific by specifically accelerating its growth in Japan. Ascender is now servicing over 3,000 clients and over 1.7m employees in ANZ and the Asia-Pacific region.


January 31, 2017

Regional momentum sees Ascender add Time & Attendance capabilities to its portfolio in line with 2020 growth strategy

15 February 2017: Ascender announced today it has acquired Workcloud, a leading Payroll and Time & Attendance (T&A) services provider in Japan.

This transaction will strengthen Ascender’s position as the market leader in HR & payroll software and services across Asia-Pacific by specifically accelerating its growth in Japan. Ascender is now servicing over 3,000 clients and over 1.7m employees in ANZ and the Asia-Pacific region. Read more at

October 6, 2015

Exciting news here at Canva!

Truth be told, there’s few days that I don’t pinch myself. We launched Canva to the world just over two years ago and now have five million users around the globe and an incredible supportive, vocal community.

Today marks the start of the next chapter and we couldn’t be more excited to announce our $15M Series A investment led by Felicis Ventures alongside existing investors Blackbird Ventures and Matrix Partners. Our new funding will help us to expand and build what we believe is the future of design and creation.

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