Lightyear Capital, a private equity investment firm has agreed “to make a significant investment” in financial services provider Higher One. Lightyear would not divulge the dollar amount of the investments.
According to Lightyear, its investment in Higher One is part of a leveraged recapitalization in which the company will repurchase Higher One shares from existing investors. Lightyear will thus become Higher One’s largest shareholder “with a significant minority stake,” the company announced.
Higher One provides electronic financial disbursement and payment solutions for universities and their students that save the time and expense associated with handling financial aid refunds, on-campus and community purchases, payment collections, and more. The company also offers a suite of online banking and debit card services to university students.
“Higher One provides Lightyear with a strategic investment opportunity in a high-growth area of the payments processing industry,” said Donald Marron, Lightyear’s chairman and CEO. “Higher One represents a classic Lightyear investment: we have identified a strong, talented management team running a unique technology-focused business that is supported by long-term growth trends, including the continuing shift toward electronic payments and the use of debit cards.”
The investment will gain Lightyear a seat on Higher One’s board.
“Lightyear is an ideal investment partner for Higher One,” said Higher One CEO Dean Hatton. “We knew we needed to provide some of our early shareholders an exit strategy, and we wanted to secure a strong capital partner to support the enormous growth of our business. Lightyear’s strategic management capabilities and knowledge of both the higher education industry and the financial technology sector will be invaluable in building Higher One into an even more impactful player in serving universities and their students.”