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Software maker Chef hires Guggenheim to help raise funds

[NEW YORK] The software development startup Chef said it had hired the investment firm Guggenheim Partners to help it raise funds for dealmaking.

Startups around the world have been trying to shore up private cash to keep themselves afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, while public markets have remained essentially shut for new technology initial public offerings so far.

While there's been a collapse in global mergers and acquisitions, a handful of smaller technology deals are still being announced. Last week, private equity-backed Apttus Corp., agreed to acquire rival work processes software maker Conga for US$715 million.

"We have established a relationship with Guggenheim as an adviser with the primary purpose to bring in additional capital to fund acquisitions and enable us to fuel growth," Chef's Chief Marketing Officer Brian Goldfarb said in a statement.

An external spokesperson for Chef said it hasn't raised cash since 2015. The company has raised about US$105 million to date, according to Pitchbook.

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Generating Cash

Mr Goldfarb added that the company is generating cash and profit based on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

"We closed our best Q1 ever and we are cautiously optimistic about Q2, which is tracking well so far," he said.

"We are proud that we have not had to cut any jobs from our company and have no plans to reduce our workforce," Mr Goldfarb said.

Chef earlier this year explored a potential sale and was seeking to be valued at more than US$360 million, according to people familiar with the matter. That was its last publicly known valuation, from 2015 when it raised US$40 million, according to Pitchbook.

Chef's Mr Goldfarb said that the company is "not actively seeking a sale of the company, though we do receive a great deal of inbound interest."

Guggenheim declined to comment.

Facebook, IBM

Seattle-based Chef, founded in 2008, helps corporations deploy and use software more effectively. Customers including Alaska Air Group Inc, Facebook Inc and International Business Machines Corp use Chef to patch and secure their corporate software, according to the company's website.

Chef is backed by DFJ Growth, Citi Ventures and the venture arm of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co, as well as Battery Ventures, Ignition Partners and Scale Venture Partners.

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