PEST PULSE, A startup building tech for the pest control industry, has been acquired by ServiceMaster, a US giant in pest control and cleaning services.
The Dublin startup, founded in 2017, develops hardware like smart devices and analytics software for businesses that monitors conditions on the premises for any pests.
While the startup was in the midst of fundraising, it had been in discussions with the US company regarding a potential partnership, according to chief executive Brian Monaghan, but talks soon swayed towards an acquisition.
“The reason that we thought that a partnership wouldn’t work is we’d end up building Pest Pulse to be a great company for ServiceMaster,” he said.
“We were effectively going to become a technology provider for ServiceMaster. We would end up building faster horses rather than a new car.”
From ServiceMaster’s perspective, the deal would also prevent Pest Pulse using the company’s expertise only to be acquired by a competitor somewhere down the line, Monaghan said.
The acquisition, which closed in May, will provide Pest Pulse with the funding and infrastructure needed for growth, he added.
No specific financial figures for the acquisition have been disclosed. The startup had previously raised a small amount of early-stage capital.
“The outside investors were paid up and paid out, they were all quite happy, a quick return. The insiders, which own nearly all of the shares, which are me and the other founders, are entirely on an earn-out so there’s no upfront payment.”
ServiceMaster, which reported annual revenues of $1.9 billion in 2018, has been pushing further into Europe with a number of acquisitions of late, including Swedish pest control company Nomor for $200 million.
Monaghan said these relationships could provide Pest Pulse with possible gateways into other European markets.
“For us to go to Sweden independently would just take a long time. Now as part of the ServiceMaster family, we could potentially launch our offering in (other countries) sooner.”