Fast-growing private equity backed Cirencester software business buys US company


Cirencester-based Kallidus, one of the UK’s fastest-growing digital learning software companies, has acquired Sapling, a leading USA-based People Operations Platform. The acquisition transforms Kallidus, which is backed by European private equity firm Apse Capital, into a full-suite human capital management (HCM) software and digital learning provider, across the entire employee lifecycle.

Based in San Francisco and Vancouver (Canada), Sapling automates people workflows — from onboarding to offboarding and everything in between — by connecting people data across existing HR systems to save everyone time and help people build better companies. The company, which was founded in 2017 and employs 50 people, is growing rapidly and works with around 200 international clients, including InVision, Digital Ocean, Coupa, Geckoboard and IOSH.

The acquisition will help Kallidus enter the North American market as well as offer HR and digital learning solutions, at a time of growing demand for full HCM due to greater adoption of distributed and remote working practices; fiercer competition for talent; and increasing compliance requirements across industries.

Sapling is the second strategic acquisition made by Kallidus since Apse Capital invested in the business in March 2019.

Since the investment, Kallidus’s recurring revenues having improved by 79 per cent to £14.4 million as of December 2020. In March 2020, Kallidus acquired Engage in Learning, a provider of high-quality, editable eLearning. Following the acquisition of Sapling, Kallidus’ team is 200-strong, across offices in the UK, US and Canada.

Kallidus supports some of the world’s largest and best-known brands, including McDonald’s, the NHS, Transport for London and Eurostar.

Rob Caul, CEO of Kallidus, said: “Sapling is an impressive business that represents an excellent strategic fit for Kallidus and we are delighted to welcome them to our team. Together, we can help meet the significant unmet demand for full HCM and eLearning solutions and provide international businesses with a one-stop solution for all their HR and Digital Learning needs across the entire employee lifecycle.”

Andy Crebar, CEO of Sapling, added: “We’re excited about the teaming up with Kallidus to accelerate our mission and vision of helping People Operations and HR teams globally. By integrating with Kallidus’ existing high-quality offering and its award-winning software platform and Digital Learning content, we can take our growth to the next level. With the impact of COVID-19 accelerating demand for integrated HR software and creating new challenges for businesses around the world, we see numerous opportunities to help even more people build better companies.”

Tim Green, Managing Partner at Apse Capital, added: “Kallidus has shown impressive growth to date and Sapling, with its complementary offering, geographical footprint and ethos, will help take this growth to the next level. We look forward to continuing to help Kallidus deliver on its ambitious plans.”