Point of Sale

Is IBM Setting Up To Buy Revel Systems?

According to “those familiar with the talks,” IBM is in early talks to purchase Revel Systems as part of its ongoing efforts to expand its reach in the retail marketplace. Specifically of interest, according to those knowledgable insiders, is the latest iteration of  Revel’s iPad-based POS system due out later this year.

With a Revel acquisition, IBM could theoretically refill a hole in its product line that has existed since the firm sold its point-of-sale business to Toshiba for $800 million in 2012. Revel, on the other hand, could possibly find itself with a soft exit from a market where funding rounds are getting fewer and further between.

While technology acquisitions have had a good year – their second-highest ever according to Bloomberg reports – mega-deals like the Microsoft/LinkedIn buy-up have taken up the majority of the headline and column space. Smaller deals – worth $500 million or less – have also been active, however, netting 69 percent of the total during Q2 2016.

Revel was co-founded six years ago by Lisa Falzone and Chris Ciabarra – and has since raised $128 million on a valuation of $500 million. In late 2012 it said it was profitable – but it doesn’t disclose what its specific numbers look like. Among the firm’s more notable retail clients are Cinnabon, Tully’s and Goodwill Industries. The software handls POS functions like cash register and payment processing – it also branches out into scheduling, payroll, inventory and accounting. It can also be integrated with Intuit and Expensify.

Niether firm has any direct public comments to offer on any talks.

Venture investors expect the acquisition trend to continue, or possibly accelerate.

“We see more deals in consideration or negotiation than we have in probably four years,” Marc Andreessen of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz said in June.


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