Transformative combination creates a new leader to accelerate the mainstream adoption of digital accessibility
ARLINGTON, VA and TORONTO – August 18, 2022 – Level Access—the trusted provider of enterprise digital accessibility solutions and eSSENTIAL Accessibility—the pioneer of Accessibility-as-a-Service—jointly announced today the completion of their merger. The two companies will combine to create a premier platform for end-to-end digital accessibility management, transforming the industry and accelerating the adoption of digital accessibility.
“We’re thrilled to join forces with eSSENTIAL Accessibility and define the future of digital accessibility as it becomes a mainstream priority for more organizations,” said Tim Springer, Founder and CEO of Level Access, named CEO of the combined company. “With this merger, we will accelerate our pace of innovation, delivering a powerful new solution that will help organizations achieve and maintain digital accessibility, and will scale with them over time.”
“In our digitally driven world, online engagement is more important than ever, making equal access to digital experiences a fundamental human right,” said Mark Steele, Co-Founder and CEO of eSSENTIAL Accessibility. Steele has been named President of the combined company. “For this reason, more organizations are committing to, and investing in digital accessibility. And whether they’ve never prioritized it, or have struggled with sustainable results, our combined company will provide the premier solution to support a long-term accessibility program.”
People with disabilities make up the world’s largest minority group, representing more than one billion people globally. Digital accessibility supports an organization’s commitment to inclusion, as well as its compliance with anti-discrimination laws. Globally, an increasing number of laws and regulations have been enacted or applied to the enforcement of digital accessibility. In the United States the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is often applied to websites, mobile apps, and other digital experiences. An ever-increasing number of lawsuits and ADA legal demand letters are being sent to organizations that do not comply.
For these reasons, enterprises are now incorporating digital accessibility as part of their Governance, Reporting and Compliance (GRC) initiatives and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) commitments. The newly combined company will be perfectly positioned to support this shift in prioritization.
“Changing market trends have driven digital accessibility to the mainstream. Our investment in the combined Level Access and eSSENTIAL Accessibility is based on this sector’s strong growth prospects and the opportunity we believe this talented team has to meet customer demand through an enterprise-grade solution,” said Ben Pederson, Director on the technology growth team at KKR, the lead investor in the merged organization.
eSSENTIAL Accessibility’s and Level Access’s largest outside investors KKR and JMI Equity, respectively, will continue to support the growth of the combined company. KKR’s investment is through its technology growth fund.
To read more about the strategic merger, visit https://www.levelaccess.com/essential-accessibility-and-level-access-finalize-merger and https://www.essentialaccessibility.com/blog/essential-accessibility-and-level-access-finalize-merger.
About Level Access
Level Access has an unparalleled history in helping customers achieve and maintain compliance with the full scope of accessible technology regulations and standards including the ADA, WCAG, CVAA, AODA, EU directives on digital accessibility, and Section 508. Delivered through a comprehensive suite of software, consulting services, and training solutions, the company’s solutions ensure customer’s web, desktop, mobile, and electronic document systems are accessible to everyone. Level Access is endorsed by the American Banking Association, is a multi-year repeat winner on the Inc. 5000 list of fast-growing companies and is the only available FedRAMP authorized accessibility management platform. CEO Tim Springer was named a White House “Champion of Change” in 2014. Learn more at www.levelaccess.com.
About eSSENTIAL Accessibility
eSSENTIAL Accessibility is the smarter way to digital accessibility and legal compliance. As the leading Accessibility-as-a-Service platform, it enables brands to empower people by helping them deliver inclusive web, mobile, and product experiences that comply with global regulations and ensure that people of all abilities have equal access. Learn more at www.essentialaccessibility.com.
KKR is a leading global investment firm that offers alternative asset management as well as capital markets and insurance solutions. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and supporting growth in its portfolio companies and communities. KKR sponsors investment funds that invest in private equity, credit and real assets and has strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR’s insurance subsidiaries offer retirement, life and reinsurance products under the management of Global Atlantic Financial Group. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds and insurance subsidiaries. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.
About JMI Equity
JMI Equity is a growth equity firm focused on investing in leading software companies. Founded in 1992, JMI has invested in over 170 businesses in its target markets, successfully completed over 110 exits, and raised more than $6 billion of committed capital. JMI partners with exceptional management teams to help build their companies into industry leaders. For more information, visit www.jmi.com.
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