Charting technology companies on a course to success.
Charting technology companies on a course to success.
We are a growing partnership of innovative technology companies providing membership and payments software platforms to groups, organisations and small businesses.
Backed by Aquiline Capital Partners, a New York and London-based private equity firm, our experienced team is focused on helping talented entrepreneurs and their businesses thrive:
The experienced ClearCourse team has the financial backing of Aquiline Capital Partners, a New York and London-based private equity firm with AUM of approximately $3.5bn.
Gerry Gualtieri is an accomplished C-level fintech executive, with over 25 years’ experience leading and growing businesses in the sector. Gerry recently served as Senior Managing Director and executive management team member at Eze Software Group. Prior to joining Eze via acquisition, Gerry was the Chief Executive Officer of Tradar, a provider of hedge fund portfolio management software, as well as the Chief Operating Officer of Fidessa LatentZero, a provider of front office technology to asset managers. As well as leading ClearCourse Gerry works personally with the leaders of the portfolio companies to enhance both growth and client experience.
Yasmine joins ClearCourse as Head of Product Delivery responsible for launching the ClearCourse Payments Platform. Yasmine has over 15 years’ experience in Payments across Issuing, Acquiring and Gateways in Product and Software Development. Her most recent experiences have been as an eCommerce Product Consultant at both NatWest Tyl and Mastercard, the latter working on their Faster Payments driven consumer payment product, Pay by Bank App. Yasmine also worked at PayPoint Mobile and Online, building and launching their enterprise Gateway platform from the ground up. Yasmine loves working in a fast paced environment, delivering problem solving products with Agile Scrum methods and is keen to apply her knowledge and experience at ClearCourse.
Maddie is ClearCourse’s Office Assistant. Prior to joining, Maddie worked as an administrative assistant at a large real estate firm. Maddie also has high level experience in hospitality, working on reception at several luxury boutique hotels. Her goal at ClearCourse is to create an organised and effective working environment, helping to ensure that the ClearCourse team can work to the best of their abilities.
Jessica Bryan is a Manager in the ClearCourse M&A team. Prior to joining ClearCourse she worked in M&A at Compass Group, a FTSE 100 Company. Previously, Jess held various roles in KPMG’s London office including Transaction Services, Valuations, Internal M&A and Investment PMO for the CFO. Jess qualified as a Chartered Accountant at KPMG in Australia where she started her career. Her role at ClearCourse is to bring together like minded individuals and business as well as running a smooth transition into the ClearCourse family.
Dipesh has over 15 years of experience working in senior financial roles. Prior to joining ClearCourse, he was Finance controller - Global Services at Brightstar (a Softbank company), Group Finance Director at Virgin Mobile Central Eastern Europe and Group Controller at Lebara Mobile. Dipesh is a member of ACCA & CIMA and holds an MBA from Imperial College Business School. In his role as Group financial controller, Dipesh is responsible for the Group’s reporting and financial control.
Fiona is the lead consultant for the NetSuite ERP roll out for the ClearCourse group. Prior to joining, Fiona worked on various projects improving and implementing systems and processes within finance and operations. Fiona has over 20 years experience working within the software industry and holds a MBA from the Open University. Fiona’s goal at ClearCourse is to streamline processes to achieve operational excellence across the ClearCourse companies.
Eva graduated with a Master’s degree in Private Law and Criminal Science from the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis in 2014, is a Prince 2 registered practitioner and held a MBA Essentials from the LSE. Prior to joining ClearCourse, Eva worked in several tech startups providing her extensive experience within the tech industry (AI, Blockchain, FinTech). She has also worked as Practice & Ops Manager for a niche Law Firm where she was responsible for the firm compliance, managing projects, supporting business development and liaising with clients and consultants. As Operations Manager at ClearCourse, Eva is in charge of the on-boarding process of the Group Companies and centralising systems across ClearCourse’s activities ensuring that operations, compliance and communications are executed effectively.
Brandon works in our M&A team. Prior to joining ClearCourse, he worked at JDX Consulting as a Fintech Consultant, working on projects at NEX and DTCC. During this time, he led the JDX Investment Group and attained his Corda R3 Developer certification. Brandon graduated from the University of Bath, reading International Management & French, holding fluency in French. At ClearCourse, Brandon sources and works closely with best of breed software businesses to help them realise their growth potential.
Rob is a product and strategy leader with over 15 years’ experience in the payments industry. Rob helped build one of the UK’s leading independent payment gateways, acquired by PayPoint Plc, where he spent nearly 10 years leading product teams and directing strategy. Rob joined WePay Inc as their first international hire, launching them into Europe prior to exit to JP Morgan Chase. He has since spent several years as a product and strategy advisor for leading banks, payment companies, fintech startups, mobile wallets and VC funds. He joins ClearCourse to lead its platform strategy to build a consolidated payments business.
Kirsty is responsible for marketing at ClearCourse. Prior to joining, Kirsty worked at a law firm where she assisted with marketing, HR and recruitment and at Eze Software Group where she was the PA to the Senior MD. Kirsty is currently studying an MSc in Marketing and has a BSc in Psychology from Royal Holloway. Her goal at ClearCourse is to create a productive and enjoyable working environment for the ClearCourse team as well as assisting to integrate the ClearCourse portfolio company’s management teams and marketing efforts into the group.
Joe Nash is a member of the ClearCourse M&A team. Prior to joining ClearCourse, Joe was the Head of Operations at Creditplus, a technology driven motor finance broker & lender. He started his career working in Banking & Capital at PwC UK where he worked on a number of clients including Markit Group, IG Group and Numis Securities. Joe, has a BSc degree in Geography from Loughborough University. His goal at ClearCourse is to drive value by unlocking new growth opportunities for businesses.
Ravinder is a qualified ACCA accountant with over 20 years of finance experience across a range of sectors, including Technology, Media and FMCG. He has a broad skill set covering multiple disciplines including financial control, commercial finance, M&A, debt & financing projects, and ERP implementations. His goal at ClearCourse is to deliver the Group Financial reporting.
Joshua Rowe has spent 10 years working as the head of mergers & acquisitions for a variety of organisations in Europe including Callcredit Information Group (now known as TransUnion UK), IHSMarkit, KPMG UK, and Capgemini. His goal at ClearCourse is to seek out and bring together market-leading companies where there is an opportunity to further optimise their operations and drive value.
Nick has over 20 years' experience working in Fintech across a range of roles spanning Software Development, Architecture, IT Delivery, PMO and Product Management. Prior to joining ClearCourse, Nick was Director of Product & Architecture at Payscout Inc., Programme & IT Delivery Manager at Secure Trading (Acquiring.com) and Senior Manager at RSM. He joins ClearCourse to head up the technology strategy for the payment business.
Stephen Wolff was most recently Head of Corporate Strategy of Markit Group (NASDAQ: INFO), a financial information and technology firm. Prior to Markit, he was Head of Strategic Investments at Deutsche Bank, where he managed a portfolio of principal investments focused on financial market infrastructure. Stephen started his career trading G7, emerging market interest rate and FX derivatives at Deutsche Bank, before moving to e-commerce consultancy, Razorfish. He has held advisory positions with CobaltDL, Transficc and OTCX Trading and Board of Director roles with Markit, Tradeweb and R3.
The very latest updates from the ClearCourse Partnership.
London | 06 November 2019 - Silverbear, a member of the ClearCourse Group and a leading provider of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and digital consultancy to membership and non-profit organisations, today announces the acquisition of 13 clients from Technology Services Group (“TSG”). The acquisition follows TSG’s strategic decision to focus its CRM capability and related IP away from the NFP sector and into other areas, impacting its Tribe 365 customers. Silverbear will ensure that the former Tribe 365 customers do not suffer any loss of service as a result of the cessation of TSG’s service. It will honour all contracts for the remainder of their duration, providing a supportive environment in which the companies can continue business as usual. The acquisition has been backed by ClearCourse.
Having undertaken in-depth due diligence, Silverbear is confident that it will meet the needs of TSG’s former clients to the very highest standard. The former Tribe 365 clients are joining an engaged community, connected by a business that has spent the last nine years building a specialised CRM platform and digital consultancy for the membership association and non-profit sector.
Silverbear’s expert team of 60 employees includes 12 specialised support and operational support staff who will service the new customers throughout their contract period. Silverbear has also appointed a full-time dedicated resource to oversee the transitionary period and ensure that new customers’ current systems are fully serviced.
Silverbear’s platform is designed to meet the evolving needs of membership organisations and includes market leading functionality for event organisation and large-scale fundraising management. Silverbear is the only Dynamics 365 partner that is Microsoft certified, meaning that it meets Microsoft’s stringent quality assurance checks on a yearly basis. In addition, being part of the ClearCourse Group, Silverbear can offer the Tribe 365 clients access to a suite of other software solutions including best in breed data validation and Direct Debit processing services.
Carl Grieves, CEO of Silverbear, commented: “The former Tribe 365 customers needed a supportive and steadfast place to continue their operations, and Silverbear is delighted to be able to service them. Our platform is trusted, Microsoft certified and fully compatible with TSG’s technology, giving us confidence that we can provide the support our new customers deserve during the transitionary period and beyond. They will be joining an engaged community of likeminded businesses with dedicated in-house resources to support them, and we very much look forward to immersing them in the Silverbear family.”
Our new customers .. will be joining an engaged community of likeminded businesses with dedicated in-house resources to support them.
Simon Berney-Edwards, Executive Manager of The Expert Witness Institute, one of the companies whose contract has been acquired by Silverbear, said: “The Expert Witness Institute welcomes this acquisition as it provides the organisation with an exceptional opportunity to join the Silverbear community and to receive support from one of the leading providers of CRM software. We are very much looking forward to working with Silverbear over the coming years.”
Silverbear will be hosting dedicated events for the Tribe 365 client base on the 12th and 15th November where they can meet the team, network with peers and understand the support services that will be available to them following the transition.
The financial terms of the deal are undisclosed.
■ More: silverbear.com
London | 29 August 2019 - ClearCourse Partnership LLP (“ClearCourse” or “the Group”), a group of innovative technology companies providing digital services, work-flow solutions, and payments capabilities to the membership, events & bookings, sports & lifestyle and business services sectors, today announces the acquisition of BrightOffice (“the Company”). BrightOffice is a leading SaaS company providing hosted, enterprise Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software solutions to many different business sectors. The Company is ClearCourse’s 14th acquisition since October 2018 and an expansion of its business services offering.
BrightOffice was founded in 2004. Since then, it has developed a highly customisable cloud-based, SaaS CRM platform upon which it can build specialised CRM products bespoke to the requirements of its c. 300 clients. BrightOffice serves a broad range of public and private businesses across a number of sectors including financial services, energy, training and job management, and property. The platform is highly scalable making it suitable for businesses or organisations of any size, from single users to multi-user, multi-site companies. Depending on the client’s needs, the specialised CRM products can include prospecting services, process management, sales accounts, financial management, file management, webmail & integrated calendars, and e-marketing & automatic text messaging services. BrightOffice is a certified Crown Commercial Service supplier, using G-Cloud framework in the cloud hosting, software and support service category.
With ClearCourse’s backing, BrightOffice will receive strategic and operational guidance, as well as financial resources to support further product development and market growth. The Company will gain access to proprietary technologies from across the Group, including payments processing capabilities and best in class data validation. BrightOffice’s dedicated management team will continue to run the Company, led by its Founder, Paul Groome, working closely with ClearCourse to achieve the next stage of growth.
The team at BrightOffice has worked tirelessly to earn our market-leading position as a trusted partner to a wide range of companies across multiple sectors, from financial services to renewable energy.
Gerry Gualtieri, CEO of ClearCourse, said: “BrightOffice is a terrific addition to ClearCourse as we continue to build our presence in the CRM and business services sectors. It’s expansive range of solutions catering to the business management sectors presents great opportunities to realise operational synergies with the other partnership companies, particularly around the provision of payments systems and data validation. We’re excited that BrightOffice has chosen us as a partner to achieve its ambitious growth plans and we look forward to working with Paul and his team to make them a reality.”
Paul Groome, Founder of BrightOffice, commented: “Over the past 15 years, the team at BrightOffice has worked tirelessly to earn our market-leading position as a trusted partner to a wide range of companies across multiple sectors, from financial services to renewable energy. Our bespoke products are renowned for their efficiency and simplicity and our team is dedicated to providing clients with the best possible service. By joining ClearCourse, we see an opportunity to build upon those successes, developing further innovative products, creating more value for our clients and accelerating the growth of our business.”
■ More: brightoffice.co.uk
London | 16 August 2019 - ClearCourse Partnership LLP (“ClearCourse” or “the Partnership”), a group of innovative technology companies providing software, services and digital capabilities to the membership, events & bookings and sports & leisure sectors, today announces the acquisition of e-clinic (“the Company”), a leading patient and clinic management software provider. The deal is ClearCourse’s 13th since its foundation in October 2018 and represents an expansion of Partnership’s product offering into the healthcare industry.
e-clinic was founded in 2002 and continues to operate from its headquarters in Shipley, West Yorkshire, where it employs 7 people. Its intuitive proprietary cloud-based software package, ‘e-clinic 2’ is used by clients around the world, from small private medical practices to multi-site, multi-disciplinary clinics and hospitals, including the Harley Medical Group, Courthouse Clinics, and EF Medispa. e-clinic helps its clients streamline operations through workload automation and workflow management. The Company has consistently led innovation in clinic administration, having been the first to implement many features now ubiquitous in the industry such as text message booking systems, digital clinical document annotation, patient marketing, multi-layered diaries and integrated card payments. e-clinic offers clients training and support services, as well as an in-house development team that is on hand to tailor the platform to meet their individual requirements.
ClearCourse was established to add value in innovative, well performing UK-based technology companies that provide digital services, including payment capabilities, to membership, events and bookings organsations. ClearCourse will work closely with e-clinic’s senior team, providing operational expertise and financial resources to bolster and support the Company’s ambitious growth strategy and continued platform development. e-clinic will also gain access to improved payments infrastructure and other technology products, including data validation services, from within the Partnership.
We’re very proud to have built e-clinic into the highly successful, market-leading business that it is today.
Gerry Gualtieri, CEO of ClearCourse, commented: “e-clinic is a dynamic new addition to ClearCourse Partnership. The Company has developed a strong reputation in the healthcare sector for delivering first-class management solutions to an impressive list of clients around the world. We see great opportunity for commercial synergies between e-clinic and the wider Partnership, particularly around the provision of payments and membership management tools. We’re excited to work closely with the team to realise those synergies and support the Company’s continued growth and development.”
Mark Lainchbury, Managing Director of e-clinic, added: “We’re very proud to have built e-clinic into the highly successful, market-leading business that it is today. By joining the ClearCourse Partnership, we have access to a valuable range of resources and operational expertise that will allow us to continue to grow, develop and realise our ambitious plans for the future. We remain dedicated to creating the best possible product for our clients so that we can continue to improve patient care around the world.”
■ More: e-clinic.co.uk
London | 07 August 2019 - ClearCourse Partnership LLP (“ClearCourse” or “the Partnership”), a group of innovative technology companies providing membership software, services and digital capabilities to the membership, events & bookings, and sports & leisure sectors, today announces the appointment of Rob Fernandes as Chief Product Officer. Rob is a product and strategy specialist with over 15 years’ experience in the payments industry.
In the newly created role at ClearCourse, Rob will be responsible for the Partnership’s overall product strategy. Initially his focus will be on the development of the Partnership’s central product offering, a group-wide proprietary payment platform. The platform will play an integral role in ClearCourse’s mission to proactively support the optimisation of payment flows across its Partnership companies, creating further value for them and their clients, many of which have membership and billing functions at the core of their business.
Rob joins ClearCourse having run his own strategic payments consultancy Pay2Z for a number of years, advising a range of businesses, from Fintech startups to large corporations – including Vocalink, Paysafe and RBS Group, on a variety of aspects of product and market strategy and new payments initiatives. Prior to this, Rob led the European launch of WePay, a US service provider specialising in simplifying payments for software companies. As their UK Managing Director, he was responsible for establishing the company’s local offering, developing its international expansion strategy and helping secure FCA-authorised status as a ‘Payment Institution’ prior to its acquisition by JP Morgan Chase in 2017.
Rob also previously worked for almost 10 years as Director of Product & Development at PayPoint, the FTSE 250 company, where he led the large-scale design and delivery of a new enterprise payments platform. He joined PayPoint following its acquisition of Metacharge, where he was among the early team who built the fast-growing, innovative payments gateway business.
Addressing the rapid emergence of integrated software vendors is the dominant distribution model for payments.
Gerry Gualtieri, CEO of ClearCourse, said of the appointment: “I am delighted to welcome Rob to the ClearCourse team as our Chief Product Officer. Rob’s significant experience in building and implementing products at several leading payments businesses will be invaluable as we continue to build a proprietary payments platform that can be utilised across the Partnership. We look forward to announcing further appointments in the payments space over the next 12 months as we continue to grow this capability.”
Rob Fernandes added: “ClearCourse is a really exciting business with a compelling strategy. I have spent several years advising clients on addressing the rapid emergence of integrated software vendors as the dominant distribution model for payments. I could not be more thrilled to join a talented team that is not only living that opportunity but has already made great progress bringing together innovative technology businesses across the UK.”
London | 01 August 2019 - ClearCourse Partnership LLP (“ClearCourse” or “the Partnership”), a group of innovative technology companies providing software, services and digital capabilities to the membership, events & bookings and sports & leisure sectors, today announces the acquisition of Protech (“the Company”), a leader in the provision of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and the creation of websites specifically for Professional Awarding Bodies and Membership Organisations. Protech is ClearCourse’s 12th acquisition since October 2018, solidifying the Partnership’s position as a key player in the CRM sector.
Protech was founded in 1995 to deliver CRM software and change management services to the not for profit and public sectors from its headquarters in the West Midlands. The Company is a certified Crown Commercial Supplier on the G-Cloud 11 framework in the cloud hosting, software and support service category, meaning that its services have been carefully evaluated by the UK Government, gaining approval to work with any public sector organisation in the country. The Company utilises its best of breed ProConnect technology to deliver a broad suite of CRM and digital services to support its clients in the key areas of membership & subscriptions, qualifications & learning management and event management. Its clients include NCC Education, The Association for Project Management, The Chartered Management Institute, The Institute of Brewing and Distilling, the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors and the College of Policing, for which it led the development of a digital first strategy for professional development in policing.
ClearCourse was founded to help add value in innovative UK-based technology companies with strong management teams and complementary offerings, facilitating operational and commercial synergies and enabling cross-selling of relevant products and services. ClearCourse will provide Protech with the financial resources to continue its growth within the not-for-profit and public sectors as well as opportunities to work closely with the other Partnership companies, including NetXtra who Protech already has an established relationship with, to reach an expanded potential client base.
We look forward to supporting Protech’s ongoing growth strategy and expansion plans.
Gerry Gualtieri, CEO of ClearCourse, commented: “Protech is a fantastic addition to the ClearCourse Partnership as we expand our CRM offering into the not-for-profit sector. The Company has a great reputation for working closely with its peers to deliver industry leading projects to their clients, which is exactly the kind of culture we are nurturing within the Partnership. We look forward to supporting Protech’s ongoing growth strategy and expansion plans.”
Following the acquisition, Founder Mark Trouth will step down as CEO in order to take on an advisory role with the group. Going forward, the business will be led by Jenny Watkins in the new role of Managing Director. Jenny currently serves as Protech’s COO and has been with the company for over 19 years. She will take over from Mark with immediate effect and will be responsible for ongoing strategy and operations for the business.
Mark Trouth, Founder of Protech, said: “For over 20 years, Protech has been a trusted partner to NFP and public sector organisations. In that time, we have established ourselves as an industry leader. I’m really proud to have led the business to where it is today and look forward to working with Jenny and the team at ClearCourse to continue delivering the best service we can to our growing client base.”
■ More: Protech.co.uk
London | 03 July 2019 - ClearCourse Partnership LLP (“ClearCourse” or “the Partnership”), a group of innovative technology companies providing software, services and digital capabilities to the membership, events & bookings and sports & leisure sectors, today announces the acquisition of Trillium (“the Company”), a leading provider of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and digital strategy consultancy. Trillium is the 11th company to join ClearCourse since its foundation in October 2018, bolstering the Partnership’s CRM and digital services offering.
Trillium was founded in 2010 by Gavin Pollock and Alan Perestrello. From its headquarters in London, the Company delivers digital transformation projects for leading chartered membership institutes, associations, regulatory & awarding bodies, trade unions and charities, including the Law Society, the Association of Optometrists, and the Royal College of Physicians. Trillium offers its clients a combination of strategic consultancy, digital services and CRM tools, utilising technology platforms such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM, Sitecore, Umbraco and SharePoint to create highly integrated and bespoke solutions that enhance user experiences and improve customer engagement. The Company recently won Agency of the Year at the 2019 Memcom Membership Excellence Awards.
ClearCourse was founded to add value in UK-based technology companies with strong management teams and complementary offerings. The Partnership facilitates operational and commercial synergies between companies and enables them to cross-sell relevant products and services to each other’s customers. ClearCourse will support Trillium’s next stage of growth by providing strategic and operational guidance, relevant products and services from other companies in the Partnership, including data validation services and Direct Debit processing, and access to a collaborative network of entrepreneurs.
Joining ClearCourse represents an opportunity for us to grow at scale.
Gerry Gualtieri, CEO of ClearCourse, commented: “Trillium is a valuable addition to ClearCourse. As an ever-increasing proportion of workloads take place through digital channels, user experience is more important than ever and that is reflected in Trillium’s approach and continued success. It has a great reputation and potential for expansion. We look forward to working with the team to help them achieve their ambitious growth plans.”
Alan Perestrello, Co-Founder and Director of Trillium, said: “Providing our clients and their members with the best possible user experience has always been at the core of our business. Joining ClearCourse represents an opportunity for us to grow at scale.”
Gavin Pollock, Co-Founder and Director of Trillium, added: “As part of the Partnership, we will be able to invest in more people, develop new and innovative products and solutions and offer our clients a broader range of services to help them address new challenges as they arise. We’re excited to embark on this new chapter of growth with ClearCourse.”
■ More: trillium.net
London | 20 June 2019 - ClearCourse Partnership LLP (“ClearCourse” or “the Partnership”), a group of innovative technology companies providing software, services and digital capabilities to the membership, events & bookings and sports & leisure sectors, today announces its acquisition of intelligentgolf (“the company”), a leading web-based provider of golf club and competition management software. The deal represents an expansion of ClearCourse’s offering into the sport & leisure industry and is the tenth company to join the Partnership since its foundation in October 2018.
intelligentgolf was founded in 2000 with the aim of making playing in golf competitions at club level easier and more rewarding for players. The company offers a variety of cloud and app based services for golfers, clubs and golf organisations that aid the management of golf, including features such as tee time booking, performance analysis, handicapping, website development, membership administration &subscriptions, event management and an electronic point of sale platform. Its intuitive online system is accessible from any device with web access, allowing greater flexibility to golfers and club managers. intelligentgolf has over 500 customers, including open venues, proprietary and private members’ clubs, Golfing Unions and other related bodies. With c.80,000 unique logins each day, intelligentgolf is an integral part of the UK’s golfing landscape.
ClearCourse was founded to add value in UK businesses that provide software and payment processing services to a variety of membership organisations including non-profits, trade associations, trade unions, sporting bodies and charities. It acquires innovative businesses with strong management teams and complementary offerings, facilitating operational and commercial synergies and enabling cross-selling of relevant products and services. intelligentgolf is the first acquisition ClearCourse has made in the sports & leisure sector and is an important milestone for the Partnership, expanding its offering into a new market and enabling its existing companies to offer their solutions to new end users.
By becoming part of the ClearCourse partnership we will gain access to investment and resources that will enable us to accelerate developing and building our services.
Gerry Gualtieri, CEO of ClearCourse, commented: “intelligentgolf is a unique business that has brilliantly tapped into the needs of the golfing community and as such has been widely adopted throughout the UK. We are excited to bring the company on board. Its combined offering of software and payments services for memberships organisations fall within ClearCourse’s strategic vision and is the first acquisition for the Partnership in the sports and leisure sector. It is a highly complementary addition to the Partnership that will provide our existing companies access to a significant new market.”
Jamie Abbott, Founder and Managing Director of intelligentgolf, said: “We are really proud to have built intelligentgolf into the highly successful company that it is today, with a track record of innovation and great support for our customers. By becoming part of the ClearCourse partnership we will gain access to investment and resources that will enable us to accelerate developing and building our services, so that we can continue to lead the market with our technological expertise.”
■ More: intelligentgolf.co.uk
London | 4 June 2019 - Silverbear, a member of the ClearCourse Partnership and leading membership and CRM solutions provider for professional organisations, trade associations and the wider Not-for-Profit sector, today announces the acquisition of Decisions (“the company”), a provider of CRM solutions, application development and support for membership associations. The deal was financed by ClearCourse and represents the first acquisition made by one of its companies since the Partnership was set up seven months ago.
Decisions provides configurable, integrated management software and consultancy and events management services to member-driven associations, societies, clubs and professional institutes, such as the British Association for Shooting and Conservation and the Society of Genealogists. Following the acquisition, the company will become part of Silverbear, with all operations being rolled into the business, providing the clients of each business access to a greater range of services and software. The deal therefore represents an expansion of Silverbear’s leading CRM capabilities, adding consultancy and membership business intelligence capabilities to the company’s offering.
Silverbear was acquired by the ClearCourse in December 2018 and is one of seven companies within the Partnership. The acquisition exemplifies the way in which ClearCourse supports the growth and development of market-leading software and service providers within the membership, events & bookings and sports & leisure sectors. ClearCourse’s experienced management team will provide M&A and operational expertise to support the integration of Decisions into Silverbear.
Decisions is a great business with an excellent team. Its products and services are some of the best in the industry.
Mark Travis, Senior Principal of Silverbear, commented: “Decisions is a great business with an excellent team. Its products and services are some of the best in the industry and are truly complementary to our offering at Silverbear. This is an exciting development for the company which has been greatly supported by the team at ClearCourse. We are looking forward to being able to provide our expanded range of products to our customers.”
Yoga Gill of Decisions, said: “Joining Silverbear and the ClearCourse Partnership is a great opportunity for us to build upon our development over the last 20 years. We are excited to be able to offer our clients an enhanced range of products and services.”
Gerry Gualtieri, CEO of ClearCourse, said: “ClearCourse was founded to help achieve operational and commercial synergies between market-leading software and service providers, so that they can offer greater value for their end users. The addition of Decisions to Silverbear will bolster the ecosystem we have built over the last seven months and represents the latest development in the Partnership’s strong growth.”
■ More: decisions.co.uk
London | 16 May 2019 - ClearCourse Partnership LLP (“ClearCourse” or “the Partnership”), a group of innovative technology companies providing software, services and digital capabilities to the membership, events & bookings and sports & leisure sectors, today announces its acquisition of instaGiv (“the company”), one of the UK’s leading providers of mobile and digital fundraising solutions for UK-registered charities. The deal represents an expansion of the fast-growing Partnership’s offering into fundraising and donations.
Established in 2010, instaGiv offers a range of mobile and digital fundraising solutions. With a core focus on SMS donations, instaGiv has developed a range of products and services for fundraising, donor engagement and recruitment, including SMS donation processing, interactive voicemail capabilities and competition hosting. It works with over 300 UK-registered charities, including Macmillan Cancer Support, Tearfund and Amnesty international, to help facilitate their mobile fundraising. To date, instaGiv has helped raise over £7.5 million.
instaGiv is ClearCourse’s eighth acquisition since its foundation in October 2018. The Partnership seeks to acquire innovative technology companies that provide software and services to a variety of membership organisations including non-profits, trade associations, trade unions, sporting bodies and charities. The expansion of ClearCourse into donations and fundraising, through its acquisition of instaGiv, means that the Partnership will be able to provide an extended range of highly complementary products and services to its existing companies’ clients, many of which have fundraising requirements. In turn, ClearCourse will support the continued development of instaGiv through the provision of operational and financial resource as well as commercial and operational synergies from across the Group.
InstaGiv brings exceptional new products and services to the group that will significantly enhance our group offerings for clients with fundraising requirements.
Gerry Gualtieri, CEO of ClearCourse, commented: “As one of the market leaders in the mobile donations and fundraising space, instaGiv is an excellent addition to the ClearCourse Partnership. It brings exceptional new products and services to the group that will significantly enhance our group offerings for clients with fundraising requirements. The strategic acquisition will also allow our existing companies to target the fundraising and charity sector with a combined complementary solution incorporating instGiv’s capabilities.”
Michael Carlin, Managing Director and Founder of instaGiv, said: “Becoming part of the ClearCourse Partnership is a truly exciting step in instaGiv’s development. Our mission is to build the best products and services for our clients, helping them raise money to make a difference. The resources we will have access to as part of the Partnership, as well as the opportunities for operational and commercial synergies with ClearCourse’s other companies, will help us deliver on this commitment. We look forward to working with Gerry and the team as we take our business into the next chapter.”
■ More: instagiv.com
London | 3 May 2019 - ClearCourse Partnership LLP (“ClearCourse” or “the Partnership”), a group of innovative technology companies providing software, services and digital capabilities to the membership, events & bookings and sports & leisure sectors, today announces the acquisition of Crafty Clicks (“the company”), a specialist data provider and address validation platform. Crafty Clicks is ClearCourse’s seventh acquisition since its foundation in October 2018, representing an expansion of the Partnership’s technological capabilities.
Crafty Clicks was founded in 2008 to provide the UK market with a postcode lookup and validation solution. Since its foundation the company’s scope has expanded significantly, and it now offers clients international address data spanning over 240 countries and regions. The company provides clients’ websites, ERP, CRM and POS systems with full-service integration of its address validation service through its market-leading application programming interface (API). Crafty Clicks services thousands of clients including many internationally recognised brands such as Royal Bank of Scotland, B&Q and Robert Dyas.
Crafty Clicks delivers a complementary extension to ClearCourse’s partnership of companies. The company will continue to service its own client base, as well as providing a solution that can be adopted by the Partnership’s other businesses to be offered as a product to their own respective clients. The company has significant synergies with the Partnership’s six other acquisitions to date, all of which are UK-based software and service providers within the Partnership’s target sectors.
The operational expertise and access to a broader range of markets that the Partnership can offer us is simply unparalleled.
Gerry Gualtieri, CEO of ClearCourse, commented: “We’re very excited to welcome Crafty Clicks to ClearCourse. The business is not only hugely complementary to our existing portfolio but has enormous growth potential in its own right. Its elegant, market-leading technology will add significant value to our businesses and their clients.”
Adam Stylo, Managing Director of Crafty Clicks, said: “Our aim has always been to build Crafty Clicks sustainably without compromising on customer service. ClearCourse is the right partner to help us continue that mission. The operational expertise and access to a broader range of markets that the Partnership can offer us is simply unparalleled. We look forward to working with the team to achieve the next level of growth.”
■ More: craftyclicks.co.uk
London | 26 April 2019 - Silverbear, the UK’s membership CRM specialist, and Clear Direct Debit, a BACS approved bureau and training provider, have joined forces in a move that is expected to radically transform the way Direct Debits are collected by membership, not-for-profit and fundraising-led organisations.
Currently, organisations that collect payments from members using manual or semi-manual methods may be exposed to human error, data security issues and overly dependent on only a handful of individuals to process payments. Legacy Direct Debit systems require manual files to be stored locally and are often held on laptops or emailed internally, which can lead to bank details being taken offsite and exposed to risk.
The partnership will enable customers of Silverbear’s flagship product, ‘Silverbear Membership’, which include Royal College of Nursing, Royal Academy of Dance and Royal Horticultural Society, to collect payments from members using a fully automated and secure cloud-based platform without manual intervention. The strategic venture follows the recent acquisition of both companies by ClearCourse Partnership LLP, a business formed of innovative technology companies that provide membership software to groups, organisations and small businesses.
Our partnership with Silverbear will help make organisations become more resilient and help them address data security issues in a more robust and meaningful way.
Gavin Lawrence, Managing Director of Clear Direct Debit, comments: “Payment processing in many organisations is still largely based on the manual movement of local data, such as exporting and importing files containing sensitive information, the consequences of which can be significant. We’ve seen one non-profit organisation collect a hundred times the subscription fee of thousands of its members by mistake simply because of a file formatting issue. Whilst errors of this magnitude aren’t common, other smaller mistakes are. Our partnership with Silverbear will help make organisations become more resilient and help them address data security issues in a more robust and meaningful way.”
General Data Protection Regulation, PSD2 (the revised Payment Service Directive) and ever-changing Direct Debit rules pose challenges for all organisations that process payments. Those failing to address them risk breaking the law and leaving their customers open to data breaches.
Carl Grieves, Chief Executive at Silverbear, adds: “Whether it’s unsecured data, file formatting issues or human error, Direct Debit mistakes can prove costly at an economic and reputational level. Through our partnership with Clear Direct Debit, and as a direct result of the synergies presented following both companies’ acquisition by ClearCourse Partnership, we’ve created a secure Direct Debit automation service that can be managed through a fully integrated approach with the click of a button. This is a huge step forward for Silverbear’s growing customer base and we’re proud to be pioneering this new approach.”
London | 25 April 2019 - ClearCourse Partnership LLP (“ClearCourse” or “the Partnership”), a group of innovative technology companies providing membership software/services and digital capabilities to the membership, events & bookings and sports & leisure sectors, today announces its acquisition of NetXtra (“the company”), a leading provider of intuitive integrated digital services to the membership, charity, not-for-profit and e-commerce sectors. The deal represents ClearCourse’s sixth acquisition and expands the range of digital services that it can provide to membership organisations.
Headquartered in Bury St Edmunds, NetXtra was Co-Founded in 1995 by Simon Hardingham. The Bury St Edmunds based, 25 strong NetXtra team develop and support digital infrastructure services that connect Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems with online engagement solutions. The company works with several leading unions, regulatory and awarding bodies, and membership organisations including the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and Coeliac UK. Since its acquisition of Marketing Interactive UK Ltd in 2016, NetXtra has also delivered integrated e-commerce solutions for businesses across the UK, winning awards for; ‘Best Exploitation of technology’ (ECMOD Direct Commerce Awards 2018), and ‘Best use of digital by sector’ (2018 Digital Impact Awards).
Since its foundation in October 2018, ClearCourse has acquired five other UK-based software and service providers: MillerTech, Silverbear, Clear Direct Debit, APT Solutions and Circdata. This acquisition will provide NetXtra and other ClearCourse companies with the opportunity to offer their highly complementary products and services to each other’s clients, as well as offering NetXtra access to strategic and operational guidance from ClearCourse and a collaborative network of like-minded entrepreneurs.
Joining ClearCourse is an ideal opportunity for us to capitalise on our leading position in order to deliver our services to a wider range of clients.
Gerry Gualtieri, CEO of ClearCourse, commented: “We are delighted to welcome NetXtra to the ClearCourse Partnership. The company has a fantastic reputation among clients and peers alike and the deal represents an excellent opportunity to expand our offering to the Partnership’s existing clients. We are looking forward to working with the NetXtra team to establish it as the go-to provider of digital services across our multiple sectors.”
Simon Hardingham, Co-Founder and Managing Director of NetXtra, added: “Over the past 20 years NetXtra have grown to become a trusted partner and leading provider of digital services to not for profits, charities, unions and, more recently, e-commerce businesses. Joining ClearCourse is an ideal opportunity for us to capitalise on our leading position in order to deliver our services to a wider range of clients. The Partnership’s collaborative approach suits us perfectly and we’re very much looking forward to what the future holds.”
■ More: netxtra.net
London | 28 March 2019 - ClearCourse Partnership LLP (“ClearCourse” or “the Partnership”), a group of innovative technology companies providing membership software and services, today announces its acquisition of Circdata (“the company”), a leading provider of event technology. The deal is ClearCourse’s fifth acquisition since its foundation in October 2018 and represents an expansion of the fast-growing Partnership’s offering into the events, exhibitions and conference space.
Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Newbury, Circdata was originally a data management company and has since developed into a leading event technology business, providing software solutions to many of the world’s largest exhibition and conference organisers. Its proprietary software platform, Fusion, offers a suite of services connected on one technological platform that aide exhibitor management, visitor registration, ticket sales and subscriptions. Circdata employs c.55 people across its head office in the UK and R&D team in Poland. It is approved by BACS for the handling of direct debit payments and is a certified partner of both Microsoft and Apteco Faststats. Following the acquisition, the company will be led by Chris Clipston, in his new role as Managing Director of Circdata, and the existing management team. James Ormiston, Circdata’s founder, will transition to an advisory and consulting role, working closely with the ClearCourse senior team.
ClearCourse seeks to acquire innovative technology companies that provide software and services to a variety of membership organisations including non-profits, trade associations, trade unions, sporting bodies and charities. Since its foundation in 2018, the Partnership has acquired four other UK-based software and service providers: MillerTech, Silverbear, Clear Direct Debit and APT Solutions. The acquisition of Circdata will expand ClearCourse’s offering into the events, exhibitions and conference space, extending the Partnership’s customer base and creating new opportunities for collaboration across the group. As part of the Partnership, Circdata will gain access to strategic guidance as well as financial and operational support provided by ClearCourse. Additionally, ClearCourse clients will benefit from the world-class services delivered by Circdata.
Becoming part of the ClearCourse Partnership was an attractive option for ensuring the continued development and growth of Circdata.
Gerry Gualtieri, CEO of ClearCourse, commented: “We are delighted to announce the addition of Circdata to the Partnership. Our mission is to foster talent and innovation in the membership software space, supporting the growth and development of dynamic tech companies through the provision of both capital and operational resource. Circdata’s addition to the group will create several operational and market synergies with our existing companies.”
James Ormiston, Founder of Circdata, added: “Becoming part of the ClearCourse Partnership was an attractive option for ensuring the continued development and growth of Circdata. With several new products and projects in its pipeline, we were looking for a partner that could provide both operational expertise and financial support. In ClearCourse we also found a community of like-minded businesses offering ample opportunity for collaboration and the realisation of synergies.”
■ More: circdata.com
London | 6 February 2019 - ClearCourse Partnership LLP, a partnership with a mission to acquire innovative technology companies providing membership software and services to groups, organisations and businesses, today announced its acquisition of APT Solutions, a leading membership and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions provider for trade unions professional institutions, sporting bodies and charities.
Stuart Shepherd, APT’s Co-Founder, will continue as Managing Director, and he and his management team will be responsible for steering and growing the company.
“We are excited to become the latest addition to the ClearCourse platform and look forward to working with their team. Joining ClearCourse will ensure that APT continues its position as a leading brand and allow us to expand and enhance the overall service proposition for our clients,” said Mr Shepherd.
The addition of APT Solutions to the ClearCourse platform follows the recent acquisitions of Clear Direct Debit, Silverbear and MillerTech. ClearCourse is backed by Aquiline Capital Partners, a New York and London-based private equity firm investing in businesses globally across the financial services and technology sectors.
Gerry Gualtieri, Chief Executive Officer of ClearCourse, added, “APT is an extremely important addition to our group of innovative technology companies. We will support the company as it grows, bringing its customers not only one of the best membership management systems on the market, but also the added benefit of products and services from across the ClearCourse group.”
■ More: aptsolutions.net
London | 23 January 2019 - ClearCourse Partnership LLP, a partnership with a mission to acquire innovative technology companies providing membership software and services to groups, organisations and businesses, today announced its acquisition of Clear Direct Debit, a market-leading provider of Direct Debit services focused on the membership and association markets.
Clear Direct Debit was founded in 2009 by Gavin Lawrence and Debbie Lane, initially as an advisory and training company providing insight and support to companies’ Direct Debit processing activities. They expanded their capabilities and became a Bacs Approved Bureau to offer a full service solution and now provide Direct Debit processing services to more than 75 organisations.
“Clear Direct Debit’s mission is to provide clear, objective insight into the world of Bacs and Direct Debits for membership and association organisations,” said Gavin Lawrence, Managing Director of Clear Direct Debit. “We are thrilled to continue and build upon that mission with ClearCourse, which will provide us with greater resources and offerings to help our customers manage their Direct Debit systems.”
Gerry Gualtieri, Chief Executive Officer of ClearCourse, said, “We are excited to work with Clear Direct Debit’s leadership team to build upon their current success. Clear Direct Debit is the ideal partner to help develop ClearCourse’s payments platform and continue our aim of bringing together the best-in-class membership management and payments software solutions in the UK.”
■ More: cleardirectdebit.co.uk
London | 16 January 2019 - ClearCourse Partnership LLP, a new partnership with a mission to acquire innovative technology companies providing membership software and services to groups, organisations and businesses, today announced its acquisition of Silverbear, a leading membership and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions provider for professional organisations, trade associations and the wider Not-for-Profit sector.
Originally launched as a CRM integration and development business in 2000, Silverbear later transitioned to a provider of integrated management solutions for the membership and trade association sectors. The Microsoft Dynamics ISV continues to grow and has implemented digital transformation programmes for more than 65 organisations, with over four million members using its flagship Silverbear Membership product.
Mark Travis, the company’s Founder, Carl Grieves, Silverbear CEO, and the current management team will continue to steer and grow the company.
We aim to further our ultimate goal of bringing together the best-in-class membership management and payments software solutions in the UK market.
“This exciting partnership with ClearCourse will allow us to continue providing new and innovative solutions to the membership management space at a rate that is more in line with our ambitious growth plans. We now look forward to leveraging the capabilities of the ClearCourse platform, expanding our offer to new and prospective customers and delivering our next stage of growth,” said Mr Travis.
Gerry Gualtieri, Chief Executive Officer of ClearCourse, added, “The acquisition of Silverbear is an important milestone for ClearCourse as we continue to develop our platform. We aim to provide Silverbear, and companies like it, with the resources and support they need for continued growth and further our ultimate goal of bringing together the best-in-class membership management and payments software solutions in the UK market.”
■ More: silverbear.com
London | 13 November 2018 - ClearCourse Partnership LLP, a new partnership of innovative technology companies providing membership software and services to groups, organisations and businesses, today announced its acquisition of MillerTech, a market leading supplier of membership and customer relationship management (CRM) systems to the Not for Profit (NFP) sector. ClearCourse has received capital backing from Aquiline Capital Partners, a New York and London-based private equity firm investing in financial services and technology.
MillerTech was founded in 1984 by Mohan Sharma and Fuad El-Hadery to develop and market contract management solutions for organisations in the NFP sector. MillerTech boasts 30 years of experience and has implemented solutions for more than 150 organisations and over 6 million members to date.
“Since our founding, we have been focused on delivering powerful, flexible and comprehensive software solutions to the membership marketplace,” said Mr. Sharma. “Joining forces with ClearCourse will provide us with the resources, operational guidance and platform to continue to provide best-in-class services to customers while expanding our reach and range of offerings.
Joining forces with ClearCourse will provide us with the resources, operational guidance and platform to expand our reach and range of offerings.
ClearCourse operates as a holding company with a mission to acquire primarily UK-based group and event management software companies and drive increased growth and profitability through more efficient payments, capital investment and operational support. The platform prioritises retention of existing leadership teams and is focused on creating an environment for talented entrepreneurs and their businesses to thrive.
Gerry Gualtieri, Chief Executive Officer of ClearCourse, said, “The acquisition of MillerTech is a significant step in building the ClearCourse platform and furthers our aim of bringing together the best-in-class membership management and payments software solutions in the UK and providing them with the resources and support they need for continued growth.”
■ More: millertech.co.uk
London | 12 November 2018 - ClearCourse Partnership LLP, a new partnership of innovative technology companies providing membership software and services to groups, organisations and businesses, today announced the launch of its platform and the hiring of two senior executives, Gerry Gualtieri as Chief Executive Officer and Joshua Rowe as Head of Mergers & Acquisitions. The company also has appointed Stephen Wolff as NonExecutive Director. ClearCourse has received capital backing from Aquiline Capital Partners, a New York and London-based private equity firm investing in financial services and technology.
ClearCourse operates as a holding company with a mission to acquire primarily UK-based group and event management software companies and drive increased growth and profitability through more efficient payments, capital investment and operational support. The platform prioritises retention of existing leadership teams and is focused on creating an environment for talented entrepreneurs and their businesses to thrive.
Gerry Gualtieri, ClearCourse’s Chief Executive Officer, is an accomplished C-level fintech executive, with over 25 years of experience leading and growing businesses in the sector. Mr. Gualtieri recently served as Senior Managing Director and executive management team member at Eze Software Group. Prior to joining Eze via acquisition, Mr. Gualtieri was the Chief Executive Officer of Tradar, a provider of hedge fund portfolio management software, as well as the Chief Operating Officer of Fidessa LatentZero, a provider of front office technology to asset managers.
“Over the course of my career, I’ve had the privilege of leading and building many companies in the fintech and software space. I’m excited to have this opportunity to create a new platform focused on the UK software market that will bring together best-in-class membership management and payments solutions,” said Mr. Gualtieri.
I’m excited to have this opportunity to create a new platform focused on the UK software market that will bring together best-in-class membership management and payments solutions.
Joshua Rowe, Head of Mergers & Acquisitions for ClearCourse, has spent 10 years working as the head of mergers & acquisitions for a variety of organisations in Europe including Callcredit Information Group (now known as TransUnion UK), IHSMarkit, KPMG UK, and Capgemini.
“My goal at ClearCourse is to seek out and bring together market-leading companies where we see an opportunity to further optimise their operations and drive value,” said Mr. Rowe. “We look forward to bringing these companies onto our platform and helping them to grow and evolve.”
Stephen Wolff, currently an Executive in Residence at Aquiline Capital Partners, will join the ClearCourse board as Non-Executive Director. Mr. Wolff most recently served as the Head of Corporate Strategy and a member of the executive management team of Markit Group, a financial information and technology company. Prior to Markit, Mr. Wolff was the Head of Strategic Investments at Deutsche Bank.
“ClearCourse has the right leadership team in place with Gerry and Josh, and I look forward to leveraging my experience developing and implementing growth strategies in financial technology to help them build ClearCourse and its family of companies,” Mr. Wolff said.
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