A London-based subscription tech platform for publishing and media companies has been acquired by New York-listed peer Zuora in a $50 million (£42m) deal.

Zephr’s platform powers nearly eight billion requests a month, with capabilities including identity management, intelligent trials, dynamic paywalls, entitlements management, and a decision engine that helps deliver experiences that are personalised for every subscriber.

It shares many customers with California-headquartered Zuora, which runs billing, collect and revenue systems transacting tens of billions of dollars each quarter for the likes of Bloomberg, DAZN and Guardian News & Media.

The deal is for $44m in cash, payable at close – expected to be in early September – plus an earnout consideration of up to $6m depending on achieving targets.

The companies say the resulting solution will empower companies across industries to nurture and monetise their subscriber relationships by better understanding their behaviours, experimenting with the right digital offerings and optimising their digital experiences.

“The winners in the media industry are those continuously innovating around new services, bundles and offers,” said Tien Tzuo, CEO and founder at Zuora. “And where the media industry goes, other industries will follow.

“This is what combining Zuora and Zephr is about. We’re thrilled to welcome our fellow ZEOs into the family.”

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Founded in 2018 by James Henderson and Chris Scott, Zephr launched as a subscription experience platform focused on accelerating revenue growth, with customers including News Corp, McClatchy and Bauer. 

Zuora expects the acquisition to contribute approximately $5m to its annual recurring revenues, while all Zephr employees will join Zuora.

James Henderson, CEO at Zephr, added: “Our focus has been on giving our customers the agility they need to deliver the experiences that modern customers expect – it starts from the first digital interaction, to conversion, to renewal.

“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.”

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