Lead Forensics


CIPHR: Acquisitive cloud-based software provider

Four acquisitions during four-year partnership supports growth at HR software provider.

CIPHR is a leading UK provider of HCM software solutions.

Deal type
  • Management buyout
Exit type
  • Private equity sale
Exit date

December 2020

The Team
LDC Team

CIPHR is a specialist provider of SaaS HR, payroll, recruitment and learning software which connects businesses with their employees via an online platform, CIPHR Connect.

The business’ marketplace offering allows its proprietary HR software to be integrated with customers’ existing tools, taking the strain out of HR admin and improving data accuracy.

CIPHR supports 300,000 employees across 50 countries globally, with customers including the Met Office, Natural History Museum and Volkswagen.

Driving acquisitive and organic growth

In May 2016 we backed the management buyout of CIPHR, led by CEO Chris Berry to further develop its software as a service (SaaS) offering and expand its product range.

We supported the management team through significant investment in sales and marketing resource to further leverage its industry-leading SaaS platform and also worked with the team to identify potential acquisitions in the human capital management (HCM) software sector.

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LDC is an experienced investment partner with a lot of expertise in the SaaS arena. The team quickly understood our model, ambition and strategy for the business. LDC has already introduced us to several of their existing portfolio companies for whom the CIPHR product is ideal.”
Chris Berry, CEO

LDC has supported the business to make four acquisitions, including Payroll Business Solutions Limited (PBS) in December 2019 and Digits in September 2020, which in addition to in-house platform development has helped broaden CIPHR’s software offering.

In March 2019 CIPHR was shortlisted for Best Performer – Accounting & Enterprise Software and featured in the top 15 best performing companies at the 2019 Megabuyte Emerging Stars awards.

Delivering growth

In December 2020, LDC exited its investment in CIPHR. During the four-year partnership, CIPHR invested in product development and completed four strategic acquisitions, expanding CIPHR’s offering beyond HR to also include recruitment, learning and payroll solutions through the CIPHR Connect HCM platform. Between 2016 and 2020 CIPHR invested heavily, doubling its headcount, driving a compound annual revenue growth of over 25%.

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Our relationship with LDC has been extremely successful, not just in terms of financial growth, but also the development of our offering to meet the needs of our customers. The support and experience provided by Chris Baker, Alastair Weinel and the rest of the team at LDC has been invaluable.”
Chris Berry, CEO

Our partnership has helped the management team grow revenue from £6m to £16m in four years. This involved a specific sales enhancement project lead by LDC’s Value Creation Partners who worked in partnership with management to improve sales across lead generation and accounts management.

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LDC’s Value Creation Partners have shown CIPHR what is possible, where targets need to be and provided the tools to get there. It has also been very helpful for people development.”
Alastair Hazell, Chairman


Top 15 best performing companies

Megabuyte Emerging Stars Awards 2019