Livingbridge today announces the £52m sale of Symphony Ventures, the global Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation business, to Sykes Enterprises, Incorporated (“SYKES”), an international business process outsourcing firm listed on NASDAQ. The exit represents a 2.4x multiple on Livingbridge’s 2017 investment in the business.
Symphony was founded in 2014 and works with clients looking to automate operational processes that are manual, repetitive, complex and time consuming through RPA and Intelligent Automation solutions, deploying third party software as well as its own internal IP.
RPA can yield improvements in speed, accuracy, quality and compliance while delivering significant cost savings, allowing employees to focus on more dynamic and engaging work and improving the customer experience.
Livingbridge originally invested £3.5m from its Baronsmead Venture Capital Trusts in a series A investment in Symphony Ventures in August 2017. Since the Group’s investment, Symphony has expanded internationally into India, Latin America and the US, opened a Robotic Operating Centre in Poland, and almost doubled total headcount.
Led by Chief Executive Officer David Poole, Chief Strategy Officer Ian Barkin, Chief Client Officer Pascal Baker and Chief Operations Officer David Brain, Symphony’s founders have been at the forefront of work innovation for two decades as former Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) industry executives and have a combined 70+ years of market experience.
The RPA industry has demonstrated rapid growth in recent years and, according to HfS Research, the global market is expected to reach £920 million ($1.2 billion) by 2021. Symphony was ranked the #1 RPA Pure Play Specialist by HfS Research in 2016 and recognized by Gartner as a Cool Vendor in 2015.
Henry Alty at Livingbridge said:
“Symphony Ventures are a pioneer in the rapidly growing RPA and Intelligent Automation space, a multi-billion-pound sector we have monitored since its inception, and that the UK is a genuine world leader in. We’re thrilled to have been part of Symphony’s fantastic growth journey, and look forward to seeing David, Ian, Pascal and David and their team continue to champion, evolve and innovate as world leaders in this sector.”
Symphony Ventures Chief Executive Officer David Poole added:
“Henry and Livingbridge have been the ideal partner for our business over an intense period of rapid growth and development. Having trusted in our vision and backed our strategy, they have helped us to move our business forward to the point where we are now able to partner with a firm of SYKES’ size, scale and global standing. I’ve enjoyed having Livingbridge onboard for this stage of our journey and thank them for everything they have done for our business.”