Livingbridge, the mid-market private equity firm, today announces its investment in Symphony Ventures, a global services firm focused on Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation.
The £3.5m series A investment will be used to fuel continued rapid expansion to meet demand for Robotic Process Automation services.
Our funding will further accelerate Symphony’s rapid growth – including a doubling of employee numbers – and continue its global expansion, increasing delivery capacity and widening product development. Symphony also welcomes two new members to its Board of Directors: Henry Alty of Livingbridge, and Bill Thomas, managing partner of Acresis – a founder advisory firm that supports Symphony on its growth and liquidity goals – joins as Chairman of the Board.
Symphony was founded in 2014 and provides consulting, implementation and managed services to enterprise clients looking to automate operational processes that are manual, repetitive, complex and time consuming through RPA and Intelligent Automation solutions. RPA can yield improvements in speed, accuracy, quality and compliance while delivering significant cost savings. Employees can be freed up to focus on more dynamic, engaging work while customers can experience higher satisfaction levels through improved interactions.
Organizations in all industries are increasingly adopting RPA for front, middle and back office functions ranging from human resources, to finance and accounting, to procurement to logistics. The RPA industry has demonstrated rapid growth in recent years and according to HfS Research, the 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***. Symphony’s client portfolio includes firms in more than 21 countries in financial services, telecommunications, health care, logistics and the public sector.
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 team recognized early on that automation had the potential to unleash significant value for enterprises. Led by Chief Executive Officer David Poole, Chief Strategy Officer Ian Barkin, Chief Client Officer Pascal Baker and Chief Operations Officer David Brain, Symphony has grown in just three short years into an unrivaled 120-person strong team of talented professionals worldwide, known for delivering some of the most complex and impactful RPA solutions.
Livingbridge has experience in working with high-growth technology companies, having invested in firms such as email signature software company Exclaimer, B2B connectivity and internet infrastructure provider M24Seven and field force automation software provider Kirona. The investment in Symphony Ventures uses funds from the Baronsmead Venture Trusts.
CEO David Poole said:
“We are delighted to be working with Livingbridge. We had a choice of partners and selected Livingbridge for its strong track record of helping founders achieve rapid growth, while respecting the company and the culture in place.
“Across the globe, we’re seeing exceptional demand for enterprise-grade RPA, and Livingbridge’s vision of the market proved to be one of the most strategic and insightful about how we can meet client needs and, by doing so, further accelerate Symphony’s growth and expansion.”
Henry Alty of Livingbridge said:
“Symphony Ventures has swiftly developed a strong position in the rapidly growing RPA and Intelligent Automation space, a multi-billion-pound sector we have monitored since its inception. Symphony’s impressive founding leadership team has developed a compelling proposition for its clients, and we are excited to be working with them to further accelerate Symphony’s growth.”
Symphony will use the investment to expand hiring within its core markets in the U.S., U.K. and Poland, and to extend its capabilities into new geographies. The company plans to at least double its current team size over the next 12 months. The company will also continue to invest in product development and broaden its service catalog to bring new, high-demand offerings to market. Symphony plans to introduce an innovation lab that will provide infrastructure to allow feasibility assessments of RPA and other new ecosystem technologies.
Additionally, Symphony will use the funding to address the explosive demand for RPA skills in the market by developing training programs for enterprises to scale RPA teams and train RPA developers side-by-side with the company’s experts. The funding will also support a new service category that will offer lower risk RPA-centric outsourcing solutions that create higher value for clients than traditional BPO.
Symphony works with a leading roster of RPA and Intelligent Automation software providers including Blue Prism, UiPath, NICE Systems, Kryon Systems and Celaton. The company continues to expand its digital ecosystem of tools and capabilities – responding to changing market trends – to be able to offer expanded solutions for clients.
“RPA is extremely complex and requires a unique set of process and technical skills,” said Phil Fersht, HfS Research. “Businesses understand the great benefits the technology can offer, but lack the know-how to effectively select and manage solutions so that they deliver the greatest return based on their specific goals and applications. As a result, demand for skilled expertise from RPA specialists like Symphony Ventures is unprecedented.”