Ambitious Microsoft partner Ingentive has announced its first acquisition since industry veteran Stuart Fenton bought the business, and already has a second deal lined up.
The Power Platform specialist – which rebranded from Akari Solutions in October – has doubled headcount to around 65-70 by snapping up fellow Microsoft partner Software Solved in a pre-packaged administration sale.
Talking to IT Channel Oxygen, Fenton revealed a second acquisition target with a modern workplace bent is already in the pipeline.
“If Power Platform is low code, we’d describe Software Solved as ‘pro code’ – so we now have low-code and pro-code digital transformation expertise,” he explained.
“The next acquisition will give us more digital transformation skills around automation and technology in the workplace.”
Fenton acquired Akari in February via his Woolf Partners investment firm. His previous Microsoft partner, Quantiq, was snapped up by Avanade for around £65m in 2021.
“We’re trying to make Ingentive as successful as we were with Quantiq, if not more so,” Fenton stressed.
‘We knew about them for a while. We really like them’
Digital transformation specialist Software Solved employs around 33 staff, turning over around £2.9m in its most recent financial year. It specialises in large projects.
Fenton described the firm – which closed its Exeter office and moved to a 100% remote model during lockdown – as “inherently a very, very good business” suffering from a lack of cash.
“We’ve known about the company for a while. They have good skills and expertise in the insurance industry, as well as consumer and professional services. We really like them,” he said.
The pre-pack, which was supported by business advisory firm FRP, was completed today. Under the deal, Software Solved Founder Thomas Coles, CFO Matt Portt and NED Chris Rhodes will all step down.
Software Solved’s CRO Gareth Mapp will join Ingentive’s board.
“We could have bought it as a solvent business, and did consider doing this. But a pre-pack was the most convenient way for us to buy it because of the timeframe required,” Fenton said.
“In terms of getting the process over the line, it was probably about ten days.”
Ingentive is considering opening an Exeter office off the back of the deal, Fenton stressed.
“During Covid, Software Solved determined they could be 100% remote. It worked for them, but it doesn’t work for Ingentive. We felt that having an office is much better for our culture and collaboration – although we don’t go there to sit down and work,” he said.
“We’re expecting to take more space in London, as the team will just be so much larger. But we haven’t dismissed getting a regional office in Exeter if it’s required.”