London-based RPA startup Symphony Ventures has been bought by NASDAQ-listed outsourcing specialist SYKES for £52 million, as US interest in UK tech startups shows no sign of abating.
Symphony, founded in 2014, automates repetitive manual processes through RPA and Intelligent Automation via third party software as well as its own IP.
SYKES, founded in 1977, is a “digital marketing and customer service global outsourcer”, specialising in the retail, comms, financial services, tech and healthcare sectors.
SYKES’ CEO Chuck Sykes said: “The acquisition of Symphony is another significant step in building our company’s capabilities to succeed as the digital revolution continues to transform our clients’ businesses… and by extension, the customer support industry.”
The company added in a release that the acquisition “definitively positions SYKES as an early mover and a clear leader amongst its peers in its ability to support clients’ RPA and IA initiatives globally across all facets of their business operations.”
The deal will allow SYKES to “tap into an adjacent market estimated to be $8.1 billion growing at a roughly 30% compound annual growth rate”, it added.
Symphony Ventures holds partnerships with RPA software vendors, including Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, NICE, Thoughtonomy, and UiPath.
What’s RPA Again?
RPA, or robotic process automation, is a combination of software and services that allows you to automate complex, repetitive rule-based work.
It usually comprises software, virtual infrastructure, and a methodology for designing, implementing and running the automation.
The sale represents a 2.4X multiple on initial investment by independent asset manager Livingbridge, which put £3.5 million into Symphony Ventures just last year in a Series A.
Since that funding round Symphony has expanded internationally into India, Latin America and the US, opened a Robotic Operating Centre in Poland, and almost doubled total headcount over the past year, Livingbridge told Computer Business Review.
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The RPA industry has demonstrated rapid growth in recent years and, according to HfS Research, the global 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.