Automotive dealerships software firm acquired by PE-backed group

A Bury-based specialist in software for automotive dealerships has been acquired, for an undisclosed sum.

Private equity investor, Livingbridge, said investee company CitNOW Group has acquired software provider Real Time Communications (RTC).

Founded in 2001, RTC is a specialist in developing and deploying software for automotive dealerships to streamline their sales lead management and aftersales operations.

CitNOW Group provides software products to franchised car dealerships to improve both efficiency and conversion of sales and aftersales.

The transaction marks its first bolt-on since Livingbridge’s investment in July 2022 which, alongside a material reinvestment from European mid-market tech investor Tenzing, is allowing CitNOW Group to significantly accelerate its growth via mergers and acquisitions.

The investment in RTC builds on the group’s prior acquisitions of Web1on1 in the Netherlands, Dealerweb, Tootle and Reef Business Systems in the UK, and Quik in the US.

The acquisition of RTC will enable Wokingham-based CitNOW Group to provide its growing client base with an expanded product portfolio, helping retailers improve profitability and deliver a seamless customer experience.

The collaboration is expected to result in significant advances in the effectiveness of aftersales-focused services, resulting in increased productivity and efficiency savings in the workshop, as well as boosting customer satisfaction and retention.

Simon Peet, at Livingbridge, said the investment into RTC will further enhance CitNOW Group’s range of market leading solutions that the company is able to provide its customers both in the UK and in Europe.

Geoffrey Page-Morris, CEO of CitNOW Group, said: “RTC’s advanced open platform technology and best-in-class service make it the ideal fit. I look forward to working closely with the team to expand our portfolio of innovative capabilities and further meet the demands of customers – continuing to transform the way the automotive world communicates.”

Christian Hamilton, co-founder and joint managing partner of Tenzing, said: “CitNOW has built a fantastic reputation as the global market leader for sales conversion software for car dealerships.

“The acquisition of RTC solidifies its position in the market whilst giving its loyal customer base access to even more cutting edge products and features. We’re happy to have been able to provide dedicated acquisition director expertise to support the team in finalising this new partnership.”