Following a rash of US private equity legal tech deals at the end of 2017 we kick off 2018 with a UK private equity exclusive, with UK-based lower mid-market investor Tenzing Private Equity shortly to announce its investment in Converge Technology Specialists (Converge TS).
Founded in 2006 by MD Nigel Wright (pictured), Converge TS is a dedicated cloud provider to the legal sector, providing infrastructure as a service, hosting and business continuity as well as other managed IT and infrastructure services.
Tenzing, which closed its debut £200m fund in January 2016, targets high growth UK-based companies with an enterprise value of between £10m and £50m. This is the second investment from that fund and Converge TS has notably achieved exceptional organic growth – over 50% revenue growth year on year in the last three years – through new client wins and an increased demand for services from its existing client base. In July 2017, Converge TS announced it was on track to achieve 45% growth to £5.7m for the year ending December 2017.
The Daresbury-headquartered vendor, which has a £10m revenue target by the end of 2019, expanded into London in December 2016 on the back of a 62% increase in revenue to £4m. It is a key hosting partner for LexisNexis and a Thomson Reuters Elite Alliance Partner – a partnership that was announced in December 2017.
Tenzing, which has declined to provide the sum invested, has backed the incumbent Converge TS senior management team, led by Wright and technical director Andrew Taylor. Rob Jones led the investment in Converge TS on behalf of Tenzing, supported by Milan Kellner and Natalia Mann. Jones and Tenzing’s co-founder, Guy Gillon will be joining the Converge TS board post completion.
The Tenzing team and its ‘entrepreneurs panel’ – see below for who is on it – will support the company with product development whilst supporting a continued investment in sales and developing its acquisition and international strategy.
Gillon said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have completed our investment in Converge TS at an exciting time in the company’s development. Nigel, Andrew and their team are ambitious for future growth both here in the UK and in international markets. We’re very much looking forward to supporting them on this next stage of the Converge TS journey.”
Wright said: “We are passionate about how we have grown Converge TS and are ambitious for the future of our business, and we feel Tenzing mirrors this vision. Our strategy is based on a sustained quality service delivery which underpins our sector specific cloud solutions. Our goal is to become the No. 1 cloud provider to the UK legal sector within the next few years, achieved mainly by organic growth but also by selected strategic acquisitions. Beyond that we will be looking to broaden our portfolio offering and will be exploring international opportunities. The investment from Tenzing and support from Guy, Rob and the team, with input from their Entrepreneurs Panel, is going to accelerate the pace of growth at Converge TS and we’re excited about the future.”
Converge TS was a finalist in the British Legal Awards technology supplier of the year category and over the past year has won firms including Stephensons, Cleaver Fulton Rankin, Thomson Snell & Passmore and Hall Brown as clients.
In 2015 we reported that Converge TS had signed its first £1 million contract, with East of England law firm Bridge McFarland. The five-year contract sees it supply a fully-managed cloud service to Bridge McFarland, which has 21 partners and offices in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, and London.
Tenzing was advised on the investment by BDO (Corporate Finance & Transaction Services), CIL, Osborne Clarke, Intuitus, Continuum and Deloitte Tax. Converge TS was advised by Clearwater CF International, Ward Hadaway and CLB Coopers.
Tenzing’s entrepreneurs panel:
Glenn Elliott, Founder & CEO of Reward Gateway;
Bill Collis, Former CEO and President at Foundry;
Bobby Healy, CTO of CarTrawler;
Louise Rogers, Former CEO of TES;
Titus Sharpe, Founder, President and Former CEO of MVF; and
Adrian Thompson, CEO of Aspen Pumps.