Virtual Clarity

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Virtual Clarity, the leading cloud transformation consultancy, on its sale to DXC Technology Company (NYSE: DXC). This follows DXC’s strategic investment in Virtual Clarity in 2017 on which Silverpeak was also lead adviser.

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.

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.”

Sentryo

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, has been instrumental in securing €10M in Series A Financing for the cutting-edge Industrial Internet cybersecurity firm, Sentryo. The funding, which completed in November this year, reflects the growing significance of Sentryo’s distributed technology architecture against the backdrop of increased industrial cybersecurity attacks.

Advice on the valuation of the company and the size of the round was provided by Silverpeak to the Sentryo Board.  Silverpeak’s team of finance experts also delivered strategic guidance prior to approaching the market for investors in Europe and the United States. In order for Sentryo to move forward with its expansion activities in the US from Q2 2018, Silverpeak recommended a two-phase approach for the funding. The first phase with Sopra Steria and BNP Paribas Développement completed in April, and the second tranche with Omnes and Alliance Entreprendre which has just been finalised.

Thierry Rouquet, CEO at Sentryo, said: “It was a pleasure to work with the Silverpeak team across their London and Paris offices. Silverpeak worked tirelessly to close the round and came up with an innovative two step closing which allowed Sentryo to meet its goal by bringing together both financial and strategic investors. We look forward to driving the business forward, including its expansion in the US which the financing in place now allows.”

Sentryo specialises in solutions that protect operational technology from the threat of cyber-attack. The company’s ICS CyberVision platform gives control engineers comprehensive visibility on their systems, detects anomalies and accelerates response to cybersecurity incidents to minimise the impact. The funding will be used to accelerate not only expansion in the US, but across Europe too.

Jean-Michel Deligny, a Senior Advisor at Silverpeak, said: “Industrial cybersecurity is a strategic topic but still an emerging market. Sentryo shows technical excellence as well as a focused indirect selling strategy and is expanding to the US, based on key partnerships with the likes of Cisco and Siemens. This makes Sentryo one the most capital innovative and efficient companies in the business and this is why Silverpeak took on the assignment. As always, Silverpeak showed the sort of tenacity which is needed for a successful financing.”

Alex de Gandt, Director at Silverpeak said: “We explored various financing options, and contacted investors globally, both strategic and financial. In the end, the round brings the best of French investors, to support an ambitious plan to expand in Sentryo’s core European markets, as well as grow in the US. We look forward to continue working with Sentryo as the company accelerates internationally.”

Blackbay

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Blackbay Ltd, a leading provider of mobility enabled software for the transport and logistics Industry, on its sale to Francisco Partners owned BluJay Solutions, a leading provider of supply chain software and services previously known as Kewill.

Blackbay, headquartered in the UK with offices in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, will fully integrate with the global BluJay Solutions team. Its solutions deliver real-time track-and-trace, dispatching, on-the-road processes routing and scheduling capabilities to enable operators, drivers and other mobile workers to optimize the delivery process, streamline operations, improve compliance, increase revenue and enhance the overall customer experience.

Silverpeak worked with the company and Albion Ventures, the institutional shareholder, as lead adviser to map the marketplace, identify and contact potential buyers and negotiate a transaction through to final completion.

Nigel Doust, CEO of Blackbay said, “The Silverpeak team were able to assist and guide us seamlessly throughout the transaction process. Silverpeak’s in-depth knowledge of the technology market and their ability to deal with the complexity of the transaction proved invaluable to yield a strong result for Blackbay and its shareholders.”

Emil Gigov, Partner at Albion Ventures, said “Silverpeak led the process in a professional and proactive way. Paddy MccGwire’s ability to navigate complex situations and manage difficult negotiations helped achieve a positive result for the company and for the investors. Silverpeak were totally committed to the successful conclusion of the transaction. I look forward to working with them again.”

Paddy MccGwire, the Managing Partner at Silverpeak leading the process added “Blackbay had transformed itself into a SaaS business with a leading global product. BluJay Solutions was the player where there was the greatest strategic and cultural fit. Together they can fully address the worldwide opportunity as logistic providers adopt current best practice.”

Virtual Clarity

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Virtual Clarity, a leading provider of IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) transformation strategy and leadership, on its investment by Computer Science Corporation (NYSE:CSC), a global leader in next-generation IT services and innovative cloud solutions.

Under the terms of the agreement, CSC will make an undisclosed investment in Virtual Clarity to accelerate the company’s leading transformation consulting services targeting the Financial Services, Insurance, Telecom, and Manufacturing industries. Virtual Clarity will become a Strategic Affiliate of CSC and will collaborate on joint go-to-market pursuits with CSC.

Virtual Clarity has significant knowledge and experience in helping global clients solve large, complex business problems and building lasting value for customers and partners. Its ClearTransformation service enables companies to accelerate business innovation, overcoming the inertia of legacy IT by transforming the traditional IT operating model to nimble IT-as-a-Service. Last year, Virtual Clarity has exceeded 35% annual growth with over half the revenues coming from clients in North America.

Silverpeak acted as the sole advisor to Virtual Clarity, leading the process with parties across three continents, advising the company through all phases of the deal, and negotiating the transaction to achieve a successful outcome for all parties.

Steve Peskin, CEO of Virtual Clarity commented “The strategic options for companies like ours, including trade sale, are getting more innovative in a world where collaboration (replacing ownership) and preserving culture are recognised as key components of value creation. Without expert advice on the complexities of new, innovative ways of unlocking the value in their business management will start to struggle to understand the options, choose the right one and execute the right transaction in the right way which will include explaining it to shareholders. That’s why we used Silverpeak. It worked.”

Virtual Clarity’s Chairman Charles Grant said “We have collaborated very successfully with Paddy MccGwire on a number of occasions. The genial manner, combined with a practical and meticulous approach has been a winning formula for us. It’s great working with the Silverpeak team.”

Paddy MccGwire, the Managing Partner at Silverpeak leading the process, said “We are delighted to have worked with the team again, who have created a fairly unique asset. This hybrid strategic investment and partnership by CSC will provide access to resources and customers with aligned objectives that can catapult the growth rate of the business further.”