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Metova Recapitalizes With New Focus, Leadership

3 min read

Metova announced Thursday a recapitalization plan that will separate its commercial business from its “federal” business under a new leadership team and name, Metova Inc. 

Metova Inc., has offices in Fayetteville, Conway and Franklin, Tennessee. The other business, Metova Federal, will continue to serve clients in the public sector and keep John Adams as its CEO. 

Lightview Capital, a Summit, New Jersey-based private equity firm; and Metova Inc. CEO Josh Smith and Chief Marketing Officer Jonathan Sasse led the recapitalization. Smith is co-founder of PrivacyStar, which makes call- and text-blocking applications for smartphones; and Sasse was CEO of Iriver and senior vice president of marketing at Slacker before joining Metova Inc.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Sasse told Arkansas Business the deal was essentially an acquisition by Lightview, but that some Metova Federal stakeholders remain involved in Metova Inc. He also said Metova Inc.’s focus will change.

The firm has expertise in mobile, connected car, connected home and “Internet of Things” products and services. Clients have hired Metova to fix specific problems they were having related to those technologies. 

The new Metova Inc. will be more proactive and seek multi-year contracts with companies that need a strategic technology partner. Sasse said the firm wants to provide broader products and services.

“The big thing is that there is a lot of opportunity for what we specialize in, and that’s really helping companies that have a vision for the future, but they don’t necessarily have the resources to get there,” he said. “It’s a pretty common experience where a company has not yet made a digital transformation. They have a great vision and they know where they want to go but they don’t necessarily have the resources to get there.”

The Metova Inc. development team will be based in Conway; the Fayetteville office will become the firm’s creative and design hub. 

Sasse said the firm employs about 100 people and will be hiring dozens for its Arkansas offices throughout the year. It will need creative technology and design talent in Fayetteville and software developers and engineers in Conway, he said.

Metova Inc. will also expand its reach to surrounding states. It is targeting small, medium and large companies to be its clients. 

Along with Smith and Sasse, the company’s new leadership team is:

  • Chief Revenue Officer Ed Horton, the former chief marketing officer at Acxiom Corp. of Conway;
  • Chief Technology Officer Andrew Cowart, previously vice president of technology at Metova;
  • Chief Operation Officer GB Cazes, a former vice president at the Cyber Innovation Center and executive director at the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center;
  • Julie Gillaspy, former human resources director and corporate recruiter at Acxiom. She’ll serve as executive vice president of people and organizational development.

In a news release, Lightview said its strategy is to invest in tech-enabled and outsourced services businesses with unique expertise and recurring revenue that can benefit from Lightview’s “collaborative investment approach.” 

“The shift to mobile applications drives the need for the specialized expertise Metova provides to customers,” Rich Erickson, managing director of Lightview, said in a news release. “We are extremely pleased to be able to partner with the Metova team to continue building upon their tremendous success in being a market leader in digital transformation services.”

Lightview’s investment partners for the transaction were Harbert Management Corp. and Eagle Private Capital.

Lightview’s operating advisor, Tim Murray, will provide guidance to Metova Inc., Lightview and serve on Metova’s board.

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