Morgan Stanley Leads $150 Million Bet on Data-Hungry Consumers

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Morgan Stanley led a $150 million investment in Lifetime Value Co., a technology platform that operates brands including Ownerly, Bumper and BeenVerified, as reliance on data for decision-making skyrockets.

Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital, the bank’s growth-focused investing arm, led the deal, and was joined by funds managed by Morgan Stanley Credit Partners, Morgan Stanley Tactical Value, and Los Angeles-based private equity firm ROCA Partners.

“Partnering with Morgan Stanley and ROCA will not only help strengthen the capabilities of our existing brands but will also help us to bring greater access to more users, partners, and leverage our technology into exciting new opportunities, LTV Chief Executive Officer Josh Levy said in a statement.

Founded in 2007 by Levy and Ross Cohen, the company’s online brands reach over 30 million monthly visitors. Ownerly, for instance, provides home-value estimates and proffers the ability to obtain sale or mortgage refinancing options as well as savings on insurance and energy.

Bumper provides vehicle accident, recall and theft records, among other data, while BeenVerified focuses on background checks, and provides reverse directories for phone numbers, addresses or vehicles. Another brand, PeopleSmart, is a tool for sales professionals, while NeighborWho provides reports that can include neighborhood demographics and information on nearby sex offenders.

“As business and people interactions continue to move online, information on who you are interacting with is becoming critical -- whether seeking new sales leads or online dating or just conducting self-research,” said Robert Bassman, a Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital managing director. He said the funding would support expansion into new categories, among other things.

Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital makes equity and debt wagers on high-growth, late-stage private companies. It has invested in firms including software makers Quentic, Ecwid and OpsRamp and messaging platform EZ Texting.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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