Seraphim Capital (“Seraphim”), a leading equity investor in fast growing, entrepreneurial companies, today announced that it has sold its stake in test automation company TestPlant to leading private equity firm The Carlyle Group for an undisclosed sum.
The sale has generated a strong return for Seraphim since it backed a new management team in a corporate spin out in September 2008. Seraphim was the majority shareholder in TestPlant alongside other minority investors and led two funding rounds into the company.
London based Seraphim identified the opportunity to acquire some IP from a listed UK business and through its network found an experienced management team to build the business. TestPlant was formed in 2008 and funded by Seraphim and the buy-in team to acquire the technology and develop operations. Seraphim also introduced business angel and industry expert David Harrison, former EMEA General Manager of Mercury Interactive, now part of HP, which is one of the industry goliaths in the software testing sector.
TestPlant’s ‘eggPlant’ product suite offers a range of easy-to-use software for test automation to help its customers deliver high quality enterprise and mobile applications quickly and consistently. TestPlant’s patented image based approach to functional testing allows its customers to test their applications non-intrusively and from a true user perspective whilst its powerful performance and network emulation products allow developers to easily test applications under a range of volume and network conditions.
TestPlant is headquartered in London with development centres in the USA and UK and sales and support centres in the USA, UK, Germany, China, India and Japan as well as an extensive network of business partners. The company has more than 350 customers in over 40 countries across sectors including financial services, aerospace and defence, TMT, retail and healthcare.
George Mackintosh, CEO of TestPlant said: “We are delighted to welcome Carlyle as our new partner given their global presence and wealth of experience supporting high growth software companies. We thank the team at Seraphim Capital for their hands-on support which has enabled TestPlant to grow so strongly in the past.”
Paul Thomas, partner at Seraphim said “This is the fund’s second successful spinout. TestPlant is a textbook example of the Seraphim model to identify growth technologies then to work closely with entrepreneurial teams to build exceptional businesses. Under Seraphim’s ownership, TestPlant increased revenues over ten-fold, through the focus and talent of an outstanding management team. We wish them continued success with Carlyle.”
Seraphim was advised on the transaction by Redwood Capital Group and Mishcon de Reya.
About TestPlant (www.testplant.com)
TestPlant’s focus is to provide test automation tools to satisfy every testing need under the eggPlant range of tools. These handle all kinds of testing, from functional to performance and load testing, and even network emulation. The tools are relevant in agile, mobile, web, and DevOps deployments, and are currently used in over 40 countries by over 350 enterprise customers across a number of business sectors. These tools can be used to improve and report on the quality and responsiveness of software systems, as well as reduce time to market and lower development costs by introducing process automation.
About Seraphim Capital (www.seraphimcapital.co.uk)
Seraphim Capital is a UK-based venture capital firm that invests in IP-led high growth businesses that have the potential to redefine large existing markets or create entirely new ones. Seraphim is a pioneer of smart capital, having previously launched the UK’s first angel-led Enterprise Capital Fund, backed by business angel investors and corporate venturers from across the UK and the USA.
Seraphim is now launching the world’s first venture fund focused on the space sector – Seraphim Space Fund. This new £83m fund is backed by some of the world’s leading space and aerospace companies including Thales and Airbus. The fund will invest in technologies already addressing, originally derived from, or of potential benefit to the space sector. This includes technologies from the broader space enabling ecosystem such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, robotics and new materials with potential space application.
Mark Boggett, Seraphim Capital, Managing Director
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