SEP, BGF provide growth equity for SkyDox, Workshare merger


UK growth equity firm Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) and SME-focused Business Growth Fund (BGF), have led a £20m investment in SkyDox, a provider of cloud-enabled document collaboration software for the enterprise sector.

The investment enables SkyDox to join forces with Workshare, a document comparison and policy management business, which has a strong position in the legal sector, and will fund growth of the combined business.

The investment will enable the launch of the first policy-based document collaboration platform, under the Workshare brand, which will allow business users to work across mobile, tablet and desktop devices via the cloud, said Anthony Foy, CEO of SkyDox.

“By joining forces with Workshare, we are uniquely positioned to help knowledge-based employees improve productivity, without sacrificing enterprise information security requirements. The investment will enable us to deliver on our plans for developing the most comprehensive, effective and secure collaboration platform on the market that integrates into existing productivity, document management and enterprise content management applications.”

The market for online content storage and collaboration software is projected by IT market analyst Gartner to grow to $8bn by 2014. The market for cloud enabled collaboration tools is being driven by businesses seeking to enable knowledge-based employees to work securely and at their convenience from fixed and mobile devices and to reduce the costs of email traffic, storing and archiving.

Following the investment, Duncan Lewis will join SkyDox as independent non-executive chairman. He previously sat on the boards of Vislink and Equant, and currently is chairman of NextiraOne, Apsmart and Nui and a non-executive director of Spirent Communications.

Andrew Davison, partner at SEP said, “We think this transaction is a fantastic growth opportunity. Workshare will become a significant player in the enterprise online content storage and collaboration software market. The IT market is experiencing rapid transition and with the proliferation of mobile devices, businesses increasingly need solutions that will enable their employees to collaborate securely and efficiently on content generation with colleagues and clients.”

Chris Hodges, investment director at BGF, added, “We look forward to working alongside the management team and Duncan in his role as non-executive chairman. We are also delighted to be co-investing with SEP and by combining our respective investments we have been able to make a significant impact. We will increasingly look to work with private equity firms, angel investors, venture capital trusts and others to expand the growth capital available for small and medium sized UK businesses.”

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