Payment processor Shift4 to acquire Revel Systems for $250M

Shift4 said the deal would create cross-sell opportunities for its payments and POS businesses. It brings together two of the industry's biggest suppliers.
Credit card payment processing
Shift4 sees a chance to grow its restaurant payments business. | Photo: Shutterstock

One of the biggest payment processors in the restaurant industry is acquiring one of the biggest POS providers.

Shift4 revealed Thursday that it has a deal to buy Revel Systems for $250 million in cash, with plans to sell its payments product to Revel’s customers. 

The deal is expected to close in the current quarter.

Shift4 offers payments and other technology to a range of industries, including restaurants. Its restaurant POS system, SkyTab, is used by operators of many large chains, including Burger King, Applebee’s and Denny’s.

Revel offers a cloud-based POS system for chains as well as back office and marketing tools. More than 18,000 restaurant locations use Revel globally, including Dave’s Hot Chicken, The Halal Guys and Kung Fu Tea.

Revel does offer a payments product, but it has not historically been known as a payment processor. Shift4 sees an opportunity to fill that void.

“[Revel] was an organization that intentionally overlooked payments for a very long time,” Shift4 founder and CEO Jared Isaacman told analysts Thursday, according to a transcript on financial services site AlphaSense. “So instantly, you have the ability to pursue existing customers switching over to payments.”

Isaacman also indicated that Shift4 would roll Revel into SkyTab to create a single product featuring the best parts of both.

“You don't need two restaurant products,” he said. “You're going to take the best capabilities out of Revel for QSR and enterprise and bring them over into SkyTab.”

It was the latest acquisition in a flurry of tech M&A this year as restaurants look to optimize their tech stacks with fewer vendors.

And it is at least the third acquisition for Shift4 in a little over a year. It bought Focus POS last April for $45 million with similar plans to cross-sell its payment software and shift Focus customers to SkyTab. Then in October, it acquired Appetize, the sports and entertainment division of POS supplier SpotOn.

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