Mid-market private equity firm Livingbridge has invested £23 million in Exclaimer, the largest global provider of email signature software. The investment is the last primary investment from Livingbridge 5, the firm’s £360m fund raised in 2012.
Exclaimer, headquartered in Farnborough, Hampshire, was founded in 2000 by business partners Andrew Millington, Gary Levell and Chris Crawshay and today provides software to over 25,000 customers in more than 100 countries including blue-chip firms such as the BBC, Audi, Sony and McDonalds.
The Group is an accredited Microsoft Gold partner and its products support the full array of Microsoft‘s email solutions including MS Office 365, Microsoft’s rapidly growing cloud deployed business platform. Exclaimer’s software gives users complete flexibility and control over email signatures and disclaimers, ensuring regulatory compliance whilst enabling consistent brand promotion and innovative marketing campaigns.
There are currently over one billion active business email mailboxes worldwide. Cloud mailboxes currently make up c.40% of the total but this is forecast to rise to c.70% by 2020. This transition, combined with the increasing necessity for Compliance and Marketing teams to own the email signature, represents an immediate opportunity for Exclaimer.
The investment is the 13th and final investment from the Livingbridge 5 fund which has included investments in Direct Ferries, Frank Recruitment and Metronet, although additional funds remain to finance growth strategies and M&A opportunities for existing investments.
The investment from Livingbridge in Exclaimer will see the business invest in expanding relationships with partners, add scale by broadening its suite of products and invest further in infrastructure and customer services to ensure Exclaimer capitalises on its market leading position.
The deal was led by Matthew Caffrey, Xavier Woodward and Mo Aneese. Exclaimer was advised by Jamie Hope, Emmet Keating and Mike Falzon from Catalyst Corporate Finance.
Commenting on the investment, Andrew Millington, Chief Executive Officer of Exclaimer said: “In the last 16 years we have taken a very simple concept and turned it into a global success. The investment from Livingbridge will enable us to push on even further, adding scale and firepower to our business while still maintaining our entrepreneurial culture of innovation to ensure our customers continue to receive excellent product and services. We are delighted to be working with the Livingbridge team and I know I speak on behalf of the whole team when I say that we are incredibly excited about our future.”
Matthew Caffrey, Partner at Livingbridge said: “Exclaimer is an impressive company with great technological focus which has demonstrated an ability to iterate their software to lead their market. Our experience of working with high growth tech businesses, combined with Exclaimer’s strong management team and award winning reputation, means that the business is extremely well placed to capture the opportunity that the rapid expansion of MS Office 365 brings.”
Catalyst (Corporate Finance Adviser)
PwC (CDD, FDD, Tax)
Addleshaw Goddard (Legal Adviser Livingbridge)
Gowling WLG (Legal Adviser Exclaimer)
Stratton HR (Organisation Development)