Silverpeak advises CloudTrade on sale to Advanced

This is Silverpeak’s third software transaction in the last two weeks, reinforcing our expertise and experience advising software companies in Europe on both funding and M&A.

CloudTrade was founded in 2010 to offer a fresh approach to electronic document processing. Their unique, patented technology, enables companies to evolve past their reliance on paper or labour-intensive manual processing and transact digitally with their trading partners, irrespective of size or technical maturity. CloudTrade’s core product suite focuses on e-invoicing, including Universal Capture to automate all volumes and document types, Invoice Fraud Protection, as well as Intelligent Ordering Processing.

Silverpeak worked with the CloudTrade board to navigate multiple inbound approaches from global strategic buyers and generate competitive tension. This delivered multiple offers valuing the business at a strategic price, thus negating the need for a broader process. After engaging in a thorough preparation phase, the Silverpeak team worked to a tight timetable to quickly qualify the inbound approaches, negotiate the transaction and manage the process through to completion.

David Cocks, CloudTrade CEO, said, “Silverpeak spent the time to understand the goals of the shareholders and created an excellent Company overview with detailed numerical analysis. This gave us a firm foundation, and contingency should our first choice of purchaser fail. The team at Silverpeak took control of the whole process and without their diligence, tenacity and attention to detail I have doubts whether it would have actually happened. It was really encouraging and exciting to have an experienced team working on our side, fully aligned with our objectives.”

Paddy MccGwire, Silverpeak Managing Partner leading the transaction said, ”This is a great outcome for David and his team at CloudTrade, demonstrating significant leverage to the investment round he received just over 3 years ago. Many transactions have a hurdle that appears during the process that needs to be overcome. This was no different. Silverpeak’s imaginative solution, working with the buyer, ensured we kept on track. Advanced is a very suitable strategic home for the business where the technology and platform can be fully exploited.”

Origami

Origami is a technology company on a mission to build a green energy world, powered by smart technology. As ambitious climate targets drive a transition to renewables, energy systems are becoming more distributed, complex, and volatile. We cannot turn the wind and sun on or off to meet supply and demand in the same way that we have done previously with power stations. Smart digital solutions are required to better manage our power grid as more and more renewable assets are added. Powerful real-time solutions are critical to coordinate networks of renewables, flexible demand and energy storage, to build a green energy system that is efficient, profitable, and sustainable for the long term.

Origami’s trading and automation software provides power traders with real-time data and machine-learning decision support tools to reduce risk, improve visibility and capture valuable opportunities within new and rapidly evolving energy markets. This new investment enables Origami to enhance its products, serve a growing customer base and scale up for international markets. The success of this funding round also highlights the increasing investor appetite to back leading tech companies pursuing the reduction of global carbon emissions.

Silverpeak was engaged due to its expertise in SaaS / Software and fund raising to advise Origami on its Series C financing, positioning the company as a future global software leader in the energy sector. As part of the process, Silverpeak approached an international range of financial investors (VC & mega infrastructure funds looking to fund enabling technologies) as well as strategic counterparties with a strong interest in renewable energy and ESG focused software investments.

Silverpeak assisted the Origami team in developing a clear and compelling equity story, prepared an in-depth international expansion fuelled business plan, actively supported management during their interaction with investors, and negotiated management friendly terms, resulting in a successful investment round with a Tier 1 ESG focused Financial Institution.

Peter Bance, Origami CEO, said, “Origami’s recent fund raise will help us become the leading independent technology platform for the energy sector, and accelerate the global transition to net zero. Silverpeak really understands technology companies, and they helped us ‘translate’ our equity story into a language that investors would easily understand.”

Paddy MccGwire, Silverpeak Managing Partner leading the transaction said, “Origami’s evolving SaaS platform is a game changer for the energy sector globally as it addresses the opportunities and liabilities of increasing volatility caused by renewable energy on the grid. We are very pleased to have advised the Origami team and sourced this Series C investment led by Barclay’s Sustainable Impact Capital with follow on from existing investors.”

V-Nova

V-Nova is a London-based, IP and software company founded by Guido Meardi, Pierdavide Marcolongo and others. The company’s technology improves data compression as the core enabler of a vast portfolio of innovative applications based on the game-changing use of AI and parallel processing for video and image compression and analytics.

The capital raised will be used to further develop and accelerate the commercial rollout of V-Nova’s video compression software:

  • MPEG-5 LCEVC, the first and only enhancement standard that improves any video codec, can address the totality of the video distribution market. It boosts the quality of experience of existing video services and enables new user experiences while improving video delivery to the end-user in a cost and energy-efficient way.
  • SMPTE VC-6 is a professional production codec that offers higher quality at faster speeds than existing alternatives. Furthermore, VC-6 accelerates AI media indexing multi-fold, enabling the next generation of intelligent media.

Silverpeak was appointed due to its expertise in Deeptech, relationships with global growth investors and reputation as a trusted advisor to the best tech companies. The deal team worked with management to determine the ideal funding strategy. Silverpeak then ran the optimal process exploring multiple funding options, which culminated in the $33m financing by prominent tech entrepreneurs, investment firms and returning shareholders.

Guido Meardi said: “Silverpeak has been at our side with huge dedication and provided very valuable support throughout the deal. They have brought unparalleled skills in presenting V-Nova’s unique story and created a lot of interest from investors. Their professionalism, drive and execution capabilities gained them the trust of our Board and management team. It has been a pleasure working with them.”

Pietro Strada, a Managing Partner at Silverpeak added “We are proud to have advised V-Nova and to have worked with Guido, Pierdavide, Antonio (Filippi) and the other team members. V-Nova is a true global leader and has huge potential. We are confident that this financing round will accelerate its growth and propel it to even greater successes.”

Silverpeak advises fibre broadband network operator Zzoomm on £100m investment by Oaktree

Zzoomm was founded by industry veteran Matthew Hare, who launched rural broadband player Gigaclear a decade ago, and this year hired former Virgin Media and TalkTalk executive Richard Sinclair as its chief operating officer. The company has built a full-fibre network in Henley-on-Thames over the past 12 months and plans to expand to similar locations to build a telecoms company focused on market towns that need higher internet speeds. The Oaktree investment will fund a rollout to pass 1m homes with freshly laid fibre optic cables within five years.

Silverpeak was appointed due to its expertise in growth fundraising and connections with global investors. A range of infrastructure investors with strong interest in telecoms and tech infrastructure were approached. The deal team advised the company on the funding strategy and managed the process from start to finish.

Matthew Hare said: “Silverpeak has been at my side with huge dedication and provided very valuable support throughout the whole deal. They have created a lot of interest from investors, helped us to choose the right financial partner and skillfully negotiated the deal. The Board really trusted their advice”.

Pietro Strada, a Managing Partner at Silverpeak added: “It has been a pleasure to work with Matthew and the Zzoomm team and helping them bring in the right partner for the next phase of their journey.”

For more information please contact Pietro Strada: ps@silverpeakib.com

Trafi

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Trafi, the Vilnius and London based multi-modal urban transport platform, on its financing round led by Sumitomo Corporation and Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance. The two Japanese corporates were joined by existing investors Octopus and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Virtual Clarity

Virtual Clarity is Silverpeak’s 7th transaction in the last 6 months.

Founded in 2008, Virtual Clarity is based largely in the U.K. and U.S. The company is comprised of a blend of enterprise IT insiders and hands-on experts with deep knowledge of modern tools, techniques and key industries – including Financial Services, Health Care, Manufacturing, and Telecommunications.

The acquisition of Virtual Clarity aims to further position DXC as a leading provider of IT Modernization services for applications and infrastructure. This builds on DXC’s acquisition earlier this year of Luxoft as clients increasingly are seeking industry-specific application development and innovation as part of their IT modernization approach.

Silverpeak worked with the Virtual Clarity board as adviser on their journey to a strategic realisation. We approached global strategic buyers and PE growth investors. Having secured multiple Tier 1 offers, we managed the process to a tight completion timetable.

Paddy MccGwire, Managing Partner at Silverpeak leading the deal added “We are delighted to have advised Steve on this fourth transaction. Steve and his team at Virtual Clarity have built a great business and will be able to accelerate its impact to leave a footprint in the sand, reporting directly to the DXC CEO.”

Steve Peskin, CEO and founder of Virtual Clarity said, “This is my fourth transaction with Paddy and his team, starting 20 years ago. He has always outperformed but this time Paddy, Matteo and their team absolutely nailed it. From first offer to completion in 50 days, and from LOI in only 19 business days, was always going to be a monumental task but they pulled it off masterfully with calming humour, great expertise and advice and nerves of steel. Bravo! ”

Thoughtonomy

The acquisition will see Blue Prism’s connected-RPA platform distributed and supported as a turnkey SaaS offering, helping accelerate the deployment of digital workers across market verticals and into mid-tier enterprises worldwide. Silverpeak acted as exclusive Lead Adviser to Thoughtonomy.

Thoughtonomy’s secure, award-winning enterprise grade SaaS solution, leveraging Microsoft Azure, enables an on-demand Virtual Workforce and full Intelligent Automation platform. This acquisition joins the power of Blue Prism’s connected-RPA platform with Thoughtonomy’s software, allowing customers to quickly and more easily drive improved productivity and customer experiences, without needing to set up a dedicated infrastructure to support their program.

It gives enterprises a way to access and leverage embedded and fully integrated AI technologies such as computer vision, Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning to address a complete range of use cases from back office to front office. Additional features, including ready-to-use channel interfaces such as chatbots and web-forms coupled with Thoughtonomy’s integrated AI-enabled digital workforce manager, IADA®, helps companies scale their automation strategy at speed.

“The acquisition of Thoughtonomy will support a broader strategy to strengthen our portfolio with cloud offerings that deliver value and enhance customer experience,” says Alastair Bathgate, Co-founder and CEO, Blue Prism. “Thoughtonomy brings valuable knowledge and experience in the development and implementation of cloud-based intelligent digital workers, with a successful track record of delivering its solutions to mid-tier enterprises in a number of industry verticals complementary to the areas of the market Blue Prism has served.”

Thoughtonomy’s intellectual property and embedded Marketplace will also extend Blue Prism’s Digital Exchange DX capabilities – an intelligent automation marketplace comprising customers, technology and channel partners – while enhancing the company’s overall push to deliver RPA services with leading cloud services providers such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google and IBM.

“We’ve been working with Blue Prism since our foundation in 2013, and we’ve built out our unique SaaS and intelligent automation capabilities to leverage their best in class RPA software,” says Terry Walby, CEO & Founder of Thoughtonomy. “Together as leaders, we plan to broaden and simplify access to the most advanced digital workforce capabilities on the planet.”

This combination of capabilities will provide enterprises with even greater flexibility for their automation projects offering them the ability to choose between SaaS or dedicated infrastructure. Together both companies will continue to build out the strongest partner network in the industry aimed at driving up customer adoption in key market verticals including financial services, telecoms, insurance, retail, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, professional services, energy, utilities, public sector and outsourcing providers. This also includes commitments to support partner enablement, sales, pre-sales and implementation on a global scale.

Thoughtonomy has delivered year on year growth of over more than 250 per cent over the past three years and has customers spread across four continents. In 2018, the company was ranked fourth in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 and 11th in the Deloitte 2018 UK Technology Fast 50, cementing its position as one of the fastest growing UK-headquartered technology companies and one of the brightest stars in global AI.

Silverpeak worked with Thoughtonomy as lead adviser examining both private equity investment and strategic acquirers globally culminating in the agreed acquisition of Thoughtonomy by Blue Prism.

Paddy MccGwire, the Managing Partner at Silverpeak leading the process added, “Terry and the team at Thoughtonomy have developed a great business in the six years since founding, developing the market leading intelligent automation SaaS RPA platform. Blue Prism will provide a great strategic and cultural fit to continue to exploit the market opportunity.”

For more information please contact Paddy MccGwire: pm@silverpeakib.com

Other advisers to Thoughtonomy were: Taylor Wessing, lawyers; Smith & Williamson, tax.

Oxbotica

We also advised Oxbotica on their successful £14m funding in their first institutional investment round in 2018. The additional investment coincides with the appointment of Ozgur Tohumcu as CEO joining from Tantalum and previously Ericsson, who will lead the business on its next chapter of development.

Oxbotica, whose mantra is “any vehicle, any environment, any time” customers include: driverless shuttle trials at Gatwick airport; driverless cargo pods at Heathrow airport; partnering with Addison Lee to bring self-driving taxis to London; and other sectors in every hemisphere.

Paddy MccGwire, Managing Partner at Silverpeak said “ This is our sixth transaction announced in eight weeks. It is great to see this iconic British HQ deep technology global business demonstrating the confidence of its investors so quickly. And I’d like to congratulate Co-Founder CTO Paul Newman, who also is the Director of the Oxford Robotics Institute, on being awarded the prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal.

Dictate IT

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Dictate IT, a leading provider of digital dictation, outsourced transcription, and speech recognition services to 27 healthcare providers in the UK and Ireland, on its sale to Clanwilliam Group, the global healthcare technology provider.

The acquisition brings Dictate IT under the umbrella of the rapidly expanding health investor, Clanwilliam Group, as part of the mergers and acquisitions strategy that it launched in 2014. As a result, Dictate IT will be able to expand its reach, make further investments in its solution and realise all the benefits of partnering with other companies in the Group to strengthen its market position.

Silverpeak played a significant role in the sale, working with Dictate IT as financial advisor running an M&A process: from the preparation phase, identifying and contacting a global array of knowledgeable counterparties, negotiating the deal terms with multiple parties, and managing through to completion.

Commenting on the deal, Paddy MccGwire, Managing Partner at Silverpeak, said: “This is another successful health-tech company sale to a strategic acquirer having followed a twin track private equity and strategic process. I have been impressed watching Dictate IT’s Managing Director, Mark Miller develop the business over the last 14 years. This has included developing its proprietary medical speech recognition engine built on a state of the art DNN (Deep Neural Net) acoustic model and using cutting edge RNN (Recurrent Neural Net) language rescoring – the solution outperforms all other solutions currently available and has achieved the market leading position. The sale to Clanwilliam Group provides the opportunity for Dictate IT to accelerate its growth trajectory in an entrepreneurial culture. The simultaneous sale of its Indian associate company added complexity to this multi-jurisdiction transaction. “

Mark Miller, Managing Director at Dictate IT, said: “I would recommend Silverpeak without hesitation. A sale of a company is, for most, the culmination of many years of work and the outcome of the sale will likely define much of the hope and aspiration for the years ahead. It is important to get it right and to choose people who are totally committed to the best outcome. The Silverpeak team work extremely hard, are capable and knowledgeable and involve themselves in every aspect of the transaction. They maintain a steady focus on the outcome and a good humour which is important when dealing with things over which so much importance is attached.”