Leeds IT consultancy Infinity Works is targeting new markets and overseas expansion after securing a multi-million pound investment from Growth Capital Partners (GCP).
The firm, started just five years ago in a co-working space in the Leeds Digital Hub, now employs close to 300 people and has offices in London, Manchester and Edinburgh.
Paul HenshawWe have done a lot of Leeds and continue to grow in Leeds
Its turnover is now close to exceeding £30m and it works with a client list of blue-chip firms health and care providers, supermarket groups, banks, delivery companies and online gaming giants.
The investment sees GCP take a minority stake in Infinity Works and will be used to support significant additional scale and reach and help increase its share of the multi-billion-pound market for IT services.
The founders and directors, Matt Gaffney, Paul Henshaw, Dan Rathbone and Tom Walton, will retain majority ownership and control of the business.
Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, Mr Henshaw said: “We have grown phenomenally in the last five years and it has been very tactical.
“But it struck us about 18 months ago that our team were looking at us to ask ‘what comes next guys?’.
“It will be a step change for us.
“We have done a lot of Leeds and continue to grow in Leeds. We have offered technical IT services but there are other areas we have never really invested in.
“There are now service lines we can offer to clients and we can attract a new type of talent into the business.
“This will allow us to invest into new things.
“There is more to come. We see this as an investment in the next two or three years of capability.”
Mr Henshaw said that the minority stake model suited the culture of Infinity Works best and that GCP had a track record of growing firms of a similar nature.
“It felt totally logical that we would keep running it,” he said.
“This is not just a financial decision. GCP have helped lots of firms similar to us and know how to scale. They are ahead of the game. They brought something to the table straight away.”
The founders left well-paid jobs in the Leeds technology sector to launch the business in 2014 with two short contracts with NHS Digital.
The focus now is to grow the business by offering more to existing clients, targeting new sectors and looking to new territories.
“Our existing clients will benefit from our offering,” he said. “Ultimately, we would like to be overseas as well. What we do is totally transferable.
“We have a fantastic opportunity to become the UK’s best software delivery consultancy to do business with.
“We have great people and we want them to progress with us in a way that they are recognised and rewarded.
“We think Edinburgh can be as big as our Manchester and London offices. Leeds will always be our head office but Edinburgh is a massive opportunity for us given the amount of financial institutions. We are targeting 350 people over the next three or four years.”
Alex Thomson, investment director at GCP, said: “With its impressive full stack delivery capability, DevOps expertise and its proven cloud track record, Infinity Works is ideally placed to benefit from the growing market demand for a collaborative and outcomes focused approach to digital product development and transformation.”
Mike Bates, non-executive director and a minority shareholder since 2015, will be standing down. Mr Henshaw described him as being “instrumental” to the firm’s growth.
The fundraising for the deal was led by Cavu Corporate Finance which Infinity Works engaged with to find new investment.
It was led by Stephen Moore and Shawn Bone of Cavu Corporate Finance, which has offices in Leeds and Newcastle.
Mr Moore said Infinity Works was “a great success story for the Leeds technology sector” and had “significant growth potential”.
Thomas Hopwood, Ben Collin. Richard Hunt and Pete Wood of law firm Addleshaw Goddard advised Infinity Works.
Will Oxley of PwC provided financial due diligence.
Neil Sengupta of Murray Harcourt provided tax advice to Infinity Works.