Calculus, today announced that it has sold its investment in Avvio Limited (‘Avvio’), returning 5.5x the original investment to its investors. The sale sees 100% of Calculus’ holding sold as part of the merger between Avvio and the US company SHR. SHR is a portfolio company of Serent Capital (‘Serent’), a private equity firm that invests in enterprise software and tech-enabled services companies.
Avvio is a B2B SaaS company operating in the travel technology industry. Avvio launched the world’s first AI powered booking engine, allora.ai, which is today used by over 500 hotels around the world. The allora.ai engine allows for increased direct hotel bookings, as opposed to bookings delivered by third- party online travel agents, improving user experience and reducing referral fees. Avvio also provides digital marketing and web design services.
SHR is a B2B SaaS company providing technology that helps hotels execute revenue generation strategies. Ranging from distribution to guest management solutions, SHR provides properties around the globe with a suite of AI-driven solutions.
The combination of Avvio and SHR Global will create a leader in the travel technology market with well- established positions in the US and Europe.
Richard Moore, Co-Head of Investments at Calculus, said: “At Calculus our mission is to support and nurture innovative businesses while generating impressive returns for our investors. Avvio has been disrupting the hotel booking technology industry and has grown tremendously since Calculus’ investment. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with the team and are looking forward to seeing where the group can go following the merger with SHR.”
Frank Reeves, CEO at Avvio, said: “The support Calculus has provided to Avvio since its investment in the company in 2014 has enabled us to continue cementing our reputation for innovation in the travel industry and to expertly service the needs of both our business users and consumers. We are excited to work with SHR Global and Serent going forward as we look to help create a better, more modern hospitality industry.”
Rod Jiminez, CEO at SHR, said: ““SHR and Avvio have complementary global customer footprints, products and sales teams across North America and Europe, which will fuel scalable global growth backed by significant local knowledge and incredible customer support. Together, I have no doubt that we can become the first-choice provider for forward-thinking hotels around the world who really value customer experience.”
In 2022, Calculus launched a new VCT top up offer which offers investors access to a diversified portfolio of UK companies across the fastest-growing sectors of technology, healthcare, and entertainment, and a HMRC-approved Knowledge Intensive EIS Fund. This new Fund gives investors the opportunity to invest in young, innovative UK companies with societal impact. At least 80% of the fund’s capital will be invested into businesses carrying out research and development to create new intellectual property. Avvio formed part of the Calculus EIS Fund, the 23rd iteration of which is also currently open for investment. The Fund launches follow a strong 2021 in which Calculus made eight profitable exits, returning over £50m.
Calculus’ current portfolio of pioneering Knowledge Intensive companies includes: Oxford BioTherapeutics, a clinical stage oncology company; Hinterview, the only video platform designed exclusively for recruitment agencies allowing users to increase their net fee income and speed up deal cycles; and Arecor, a globally focused biopharmaceutical company revolutionising treatments for diabetics.