Matthew Caffrey explains how Livingbridge looks for businesses which are unique and have the ability to scale quickly, often on the back of a technology core.
“We like niche businesses,” he explains. “We specifically look for assets that we can support to scale their infrastructure and the service delivery.”
An example of a fastest-growing TMT business is our investee Exclaimer, which provides software allowing users to template and manage email signature sign-offs.
“Who’d have thought you could have built a really great business from email signature sign-off software? Not me,” he says. “Our challenge, alongside those businesses, is how we can help businesses scale, and what magic ingredients we can bring alongside them, with all of our software experience. “
Matthew believes that private equity firms’ interest in modern technology and tech-powered businesses is still on the rise.
“There are investors who have historically had never invested a significant amount into technology suddenly becoming much more aggressive in their technology investments,” he explains.
“There will be more opportunity for PE investors to invest in the market, not just in software businesses, but in tech-enabled services as well; businesses where customers perceive that they are being delivered service which is enabled by the technology behind the scenes enabling them to love their customers more.”
Matthew believes that even big businesses which continue to rely on their existing ‘legacy technology’ will be hard-pressed to find the same interest.
In the UK particularly, businesses are not fully seizing the opportunity to adopt “robotic process automation, workflow management, and AI to improve productivity and workflow”.
“Alibaba launched their banking platform and in six months they signed up more customers that HSBC had done in 150 years,” he says.
“That’s going to make you think about the infrastructure that you’ve got and how you go to market. The only way you do that is by changing the technology that delivers it.”
This article was originally published in Business Cloud on 27th July 2018.
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