News & insights

Mavenlink and Kimble Applications Merger Closes

Michael Speranza named CEO of the new company that offers the most comprehensive portfolio of Vertical SaaS solutions for professional services organizations

IRVINE, Calif. and LONDON — DECEMBER 15, 2021 — Mavenlink and Kimble Applications today announced the successful close of their merger led by Accel-KKR, a global technology-focused private equity firm. Existing Kimble and Mavenlink investors, including Carrick Capital Partners and Goldman Sachs, will continue to be investors. The new company will accelerate the development and delivery of a wide range of vertical SaaS solutions purpose-built to help professional services organizations optimize resources and elevate operational performance to build thriving businesses.

With the full support of both company boards and current CEOs, Michael Speranza has been named CEO of the newly combined company. He has worked with numerous private equity firms to scale their portfolio companies from $100 million towards $1 billion in annual revenue. Michael has successfully guided more than 15 merger and acquisition integrations, establishing a proven track record of quickly executing on opportunities to deliver incremental client value through product functionality and service delivery advancements while accelerating company growth and financial performance.

“Uniting two market leaders that offer unique and complementary capabilities will enable us to accelerate our efforts to build the best cloud-based solutions for professional services organizations,” said Speranza. “Our unmatched domain expertise coupled with our commitment to continued innovation on two distinct best-in-class solutions will provide our clients the capability to dynamically optimize resources – unleashing  the creativity and impact of their most valuable asset: their people.”

Mavenlink CEO and co-founder Ray Grainger said, “We are excited to embark on this next chapter because it positions us to accelerate the move by professional services organizations from generalized horizontal applications to purpose-built vertical SaaS solutions.” Grainger, who will assume the role of Executive Chairman added, “I look forward to contributing to the growth of the business and elevating the importance of the need for firms to move beyond the limitations of legacy software applications and implement purpose-built solutions designed to help them overcome the unique human-centric challenges they face.”

Kimble CEO and co-founder Sean Hoban said, “The combination of our talented teams and ongoing investment across two category-leading products will ensure that customers have phenomenal choice in best-of-breed capabilities from true specialists. This merger creates the first true industry cloud offering for the next generation services organization, whether they are a small or global enterprise.”

The merger establishes the new company at the forefront of what Forrester Research calls the “human-centered technology transformation” movement.[1] For professional services organizations, this means replacing horizontal software solutions and “homegrown” workflows built around spreadsheets and email with flexible automation platforms that connect multiple systems and data to enable dynamic insights into everything from resource allocation to business intelligence.

According to Forrester: “Digital transformation has come and gone. Leading firms (will use) intelligent technologies like automation and predictions engines that focus on outcomes, not just financial results. This shift will establish a new era of transformation, one comprising human-centered tech initiatives that form a tight link between CX and EX, drive competitive advantage, and deliver a 3% to 5% net gain in productivity.”

“Accel-KKR is excited to bring together these two leaders in the professional services automation space,” said Tom Barnds, Co-Managing Partner at Accel-KKR and incoming board member. “The combined new entity has the potential to fundamentally improve how professional services organizations deliver more successful engagements for their customers in an effective and profitable manner,” jointly stated by Greg Williams and Maurice Hernandez, Managing Directors at Accel-KKR. Both Williams and Hernandez will remain as board members of the combined company.

The two companies are scheduled to be integrated and operating as one by the end of Q1 2022. In the interim, the leadership team will focus on maintaining both companies’ track records of product innovation and delivering client value and ensuring the integration effort will not impact these key focus areas.

Evercore served as M&A and debt financing advisor to Accel-KKR and Kimble. Brodies LLP and Kirkland & Ellis served as legal advisors.

SVB Tech Investment Banking and UBS served as M&A advisors to Mavenlink while K&L Gates served as legal advisor.

About Mavenlink

Mavenlink’s purpose-built cloud software for professional services takes PSA software to a new level, one that optimizes resources and elevates operational performance to build thriving businesses. A resource-first architecture, enables services businesses to field the best team, every time and see up-to-the-minute progress against timelines and budgets so projects run smoothly, predictably, and profitably. Mavenlink gives professional services firms in more than 100 countries the clarity, control, and confidence to do what they do best, even better. Learn more at www.mavenlink.com.

About Kimble

Kimble Applications helps professional service organizations run their project-based businesses better. Global leaders in consulting, software, and hi-tech such as NTT Data, Sage, and Canon use Kimble to optimize resource utilization, profitability, and business scalability. Kimble is an award-winning software provider in professional services automation (PSA) technology, focused exclusively on innovating features and easy-to-use functionality that improve team collaboration and efficiency around the key services processes. Built on the Salesforce platform, Kimble drives a forward-looking focus and more timely decision-making with intelligent insights and guidance. For more information, visit www.kimbleapps.com.

About Accel-KKR

Accel-KKR is a technology-focused investment firm with over $10 billion in capital commitments. The firm focuses on software and IT-enabled businesses, well-positioned for topline and bottom-line growth. At the core of Accel-KKR’s investment strategy is a commitment to developing strong partnerships with the management teams of its portfolio companies and a focus on building value alongside management by leveraging the significant resources available through the Accel-KKR network. Accel-KKR focuses on middle-market companies and provides a broad range of capital solutions including buyout capital, minority-growth investments, and credit alternatives. Accel-KKR also invests across a wide range of transaction types including private company recapitalizations, divisional carve-outs, and going-private transactions. For three consecutive years between 2019 and 2021, Inc. named Accel-KKR to its annual “PE 50 – The Best Private Equity Firms for Entrepreneurs” list of founder-friendly private equity firms. Accel-KKR is headquartered in Menlo Park with additional offices in Atlanta, Mexico City, and London. To learn more, visit www.accel-kkr.com.

[1] “Predictions 2022: Tech Leadership And Innovation”, ©2021 Forrester Research, Inc.