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SugarCRM Partners with Private Equity Firm Accel-KKR for next phase of accelerated growth

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SugarCRM Partners with Private Equity Firm Accel-KKR for next phase of accelerated growth

SugarCRM Inc., the company that helps organizations build better business relationships, is excited to announce that Accel-KKR, a leading technology-focused private equity firm, has made a strategic and significant investment in SugarCRM.

The partnership is the latest milestone in SugarCRM’s journey and will accelerate its strategy of driving global growth with its award-winning relationship management platform.

Accel-KKR has committed substantial investment dollars to drive product innovation, services, expanded capabilities and a strategic acquisition program.

“Following several years of significant growth, market recognition and high customer satisfaction, this is the perfect time for us to work with an investor who is as enthusiastic and confident about the CRM market and our approach as we are” said SugarCRM’s CEO, Larry Augustin. “This significant investment will enable substantial business growth, both organically and inorganically.”

SugarCRM prides itself on its modern and simple user interfaces, industry-leading customer experience and giving users the right information, when they need it, before they even ask. Its approach has led to more than 90% customer retention rate and, in 2018, it won the industry-recognised PC Mag Business Choice ‘Best CRM Software Award’ for the fourth year running, being the only CRM software that readers ‘would strongly recommend to their peers’.

Larry continued: “CRM has moved forward exponentially in recent years. The recurring revenue economy is driving customers across all industries to look at satisfying the entire customer lifecycle. At SugarCRM, we are helping our customers increase the productivity of their sales, service and marketing teams with an intuitive user experience that automates common business processes and orchestrates actions and information to increase the efficiency of every customer-facing employee. Through technology we are helping businesses outmaneuver competition and achieve business outcomes faster by using AI, machine learning and predictive insights to add intelligence everywhere inside the user experience. It’s an exciting industry and we’re delighted to be at the forefront.

“Accel-KKR has an excellent reputation for driving growth in its portfolio companies, and a proven track record working with other technology companies, such as Kana and Applied Predictive Technologies. We’re excited to be working with them as we build on the momentum we have created in our business over recent years and accelerate our vision for growth.”

Accel-KKR is a top-tier investment firm with $4.3 billion in capital commitments and has worked with businesses like SugarCRM for almost 20 years. The PE firm focuses on software and IT-enabled services companies that are well positioned for top and bottom-line growth. This investment will allow SugarCRM to continue its innovation in product development, expand its suite of CRM capabilities and enhance its ability to deliver the highest level of support to its existing customer base.

Jason Klein, managing director at Accel-KKR, added: “With our extensive and global network, we will be able to introduce SugarCRM to potential customers and partners around the world. Our holistic approach to growth, both direct and through channel partners, combined with the strategic guidance and operational expertise we provide, means we can add significant value to the businesses we work with from day one. SugarCRM is a truly innovative and ambitious company; we look forward to working together.”

For further information or additional comment on the investment please contact:

Veronica Mikhail, Vice President, Corporate Marketing at SugarCRM ([email protected])

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Sunak to use budget to expand apprenticeships in England

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Sunak to use budget to expand apprenticeships in England 1

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak will announce more funding for apprenticeships in England when he unveils his budget next week, the government said on Friday.

Employers taking part in the Apprenticeship Initiative Scheme will from April 1 receive 3,000 pounds ($4,179) for each apprentice hired, regardless of age – an increase on current grants of between 1,500 and 2,000 pounds depending on age.

The scheme will extended by six months until the end of September, the finance ministry said.

Sunak will also announce an extra 126 million pounds for traineeships for up to 43,000 placements.

Sunak’s March 3 budget will likely include a new round of spending to prop up the economy during what he hopes will be the last phase of lockdown, but he will also probably signal tax rises ahead to plug the huge hole in the public finances.

Sunak is also expected to announce a “flexi-job” apprenticeship scheme, whereby apprentices can join an agency and work for multiple employers in one sector, the finance ministry said.

“We know there’s more to do and it’s vital this continues throughout the next stage of our recovery, which is why I’m boosting support for these programmes, helping jobseekers and employers alike,” Sunak said in a statement.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken)

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UK seeks G7 consensus on digital competition after Facebook blackout

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UK seeks G7 consensus on digital competition after Facebook blackout 2

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is seeking to build a consensus among G7 nations on how to stop large technology companies exploiting their dominance, warning that there can be no repeat of Facebook’s one-week media blackout in Australia.

Facebook’s row with the Australian government over payment for local news, although now resolved, has increased international focus on the power wielded by tech corporations.

“We will hold these companies to account and bridge the gap between what they say they do and what happens in practice,” Britain’s digital minister Oliver Dowden said on Friday.

“We will prevent these firms from exploiting their dominance to the detriment of people and the businesses that rely on them.”

Dowden said recent events had strengthened his view that digital markets did not currently function properly.

He spoke after a meeting with Facebook’s Vice-President for Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, a former British deputy prime minister.

“I put these concerns to Facebook and set out our interest in levelling the playing field to enable proper commercial relationships to be formed. We must avoid such nuclear options being taken again,” Dowden said in a statement.

Facebook said in a statement that the call had been constructive, and that it had already struck commercial deals with most major publishers in Britain.

“Nick strongly agreed with the Secretary of State’s (Dowden’s) assertion that the government’s general preference is for companies to enter freely into proper commercial relationships with each other,” a Facebook spokesman said.

Britain will host a meeting of G7 leaders in June.

It is seeking to build consensus there for coordinated action toward “promoting competitive, innovative digital markets while protecting the free speech and journalism that underpin our democracy and precious liberties,” Dowden said.

The G7 comprises the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada, but Australia has also been invited.

Britain is working on a new competition regime aimed at giving consumers more control over their data, and introducing legislation that could regulate social media platforms to prevent the spread of illegal or extremist content and bullying.

(Reporting by William James; Editing by Gareth Jones and John Stonestreet)

 

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Britain to offer fast-track visas to bolster fintechs after Brexit

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Britain to offer fast-track visas to bolster fintechs after Brexit 3

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Friday it would offer a fast-track visa scheme for jobs at high-growth companies after a government-backed review warned that financial technology firms will struggle with Brexit and tougher competition for global talent.

Finance minister Rishi Sunak said that now Britain has left the European Union, it wants to make sure its immigration system helps businesses attract the best hires.

“This new fast-track scale-up stream will make it easier for fintech firms to recruit innovators and job creators, who will help them grow,” Sunak said in a statement.

Over 40% of fintech staff in Britain come from overseas, and the new visa scheme, open to migrants with job offers at high-growth firms that are scaling up, will start in March 2022.

Brexit cut fintechs’ access to the EU single market and made it far harder to employ staff from the bloc, leaving Britain less attractive for the industry.

The review published on Friday and headed by Ron Kalifa, former CEO of payments fintech Worldpay, set out a “strategy and delivery model” that also includes a new 1 billion pound ($1.39 billion) start-up fund.

“It’s about underpinning financial services and our place in the world, and bringing innovation into mainstream banking,” Kalifa told Reuters.

Britain has a 10% share of the global fintech market, generating 11 billion pounds ($15.6 billion) in revenue.

The review said Brexit, heavy investment in fintech by Australia, Canada and Singapore, and the need to be nimbler as COVID-19 accelerates digitalisation of finance, all mean the sector’s future in Britain is not assured.

It also recommends more flexible listing rules for fintechs to catch up with New York.

“We recognise the need to make the UK attractive a more attractive location for IPOs,” said Britain’s financial services minister John Glen, adding that a separate review on listings rules would be published shortly.

“Those findings, along with Ron’s report today, should provide an excellent evidence base for further reform.”

SCALING UP

Britain pioneered “sandboxes” to allow fintechs to test products on real consumers under supervision, and the review says regulators should move to the next stage and set up “scale-boxes” to help fintechs navigate red tape to grow.

“It’s a question of knowing who to call when there’s a problem,” said Kay Swinburne, vice chair of financial services at consultants KPMG and a contributor to the review.

A UK fintech wanting to serve EU clients would have to open a hub in the bloc, an expensive undertaking for a start-up.

“Leaving the EU and access to the single market going away is a big deal, so the UK has to do something significant to make fintechs stay here,” Swinburne said.

The review seeks to join the dots on fintech policy across government departments and regulators, and marshal private sector efforts under a new Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT).

“There is no framework but bits of individual policies, and nowhere does it come together,” said Rachel Kent, a lawyer at Hogan Lovells and contributor to the review.

($1 = 0.7064 pounds)

(Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by Jane Merriman and John Stonestreet)

 

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