PE investor exits engineering and software testing firm

Mid-market private equity investor, Livingbridge, has agreed the sale of Leeds-based Ten10, an independent engineering and software testing consultancy.

The investment was originally made from Livingbridge’s Enterprise 1 fund. Ten10 has been acquired by Graphite Capital.

Livingbridge established Ten10 in 2015, having identified the potential to create a market leader in the sector by acquiring and merging two existing companies, Centre4Testing and The Test People.

Since then, Ten10 has become one of the fastest-growing software testing companies, with over 250 employees and offices in Leeds, London, and also overseas in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Its portfolio of blue-chip clients spans the financial, legal, retail, and public sectors.

Ten10 operates through three services lines: Ten10 Consulting, which enables organisations to implement new or upgraded software faster, more effectively and more frequently; Ten10 Academy, which develops the next generation of technology talent; and Ten10’s Hybrid Teams’ model, which combines the firm’s Consulting and Academy service lines to leverage its experience and knowledge alongside a talent solution for clients.

Backing a management team, led by CEO Chris Shaw, Livingbridge has helped drive forward Ten10’s growth across its core service lines by investing in new technology and processes to create a scalable platform; building a digital marketing and sales strategy to expand its client base; and supporting its entry into the US market.

Livingbridge has also overseen the growth of Ten10’s graduate Academy, which delivers in-depth training across the latest technologies and identifies and trains the next generation of technologists from a broad talent pool.

Luke Bray at Livingbridge, said: “During the past five years, we have driven the transformation of Ten10 through M&A and an organic growth strategy, turning it into a leading software quality engineering business that is well positioned to continue growing and building market share.

“We wish Chris and the team every success over the coming years.”

Chris Shaw, CEO of Ten10, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Livingbridge to develop Ten10’s extraordinary potential.

“With Livingbridge’s support, we have rapidly grown to become a market leader that is seen by our customers as a trusted partner thanks to the quality of our people, our technology and our reputation for technical and Agile expertise.”

The principal advisors on this exit for Livingbridge included Alantra (Steve Currie, Simon Roberts, Dave Belli and Joe Carpenter) and Pinsent Masons LLP (Amie Norris, Lisa Early).

Global investment bank GCA Altium advised Graphite Capital on the acquisition. The transaction marks GCA’s second digital transformation and quality engineering deal and the fourth for its UK business in a week following the sale of Sparta Global to Inflexion, the sale of Mitrefinch to Advanced and ECI’s investment in Mobysoft.

Oliver Vaughan, managing director at GCA Altium, added: “It was a pleasure working alongside the Graphite team in supporting Ten10 management on its next growth phase.

“The company’s highly regarded academy and consultant proposition is well positioned to capitalise on the vast market opportunity ahead of it.”