Par Equity delivers strong returns to EIS Fund investors with sale of Symphonic Software

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On October 31, 2020 Par Equity sold its stake in Edinburgh-based portfolio company Symphonic Software alongside other shareholders and investors in an all cash transaction for a headline price of $31 million U.S dollars. Par Equity achieved a blended 8.3x return across two rounds of investment for its EIS Fund, over a period of 6.8 years. Par’s earliest EIS Fund investors secured a 9.5x return.

Edinburgh-based Symphonic provides software that enables organisations to go beyond authentication to identify what information they are entitled to see. For instance, in a healthcare situation Symphonic could check whether a patient had given authorisation for a hospital doctor to see medical notes held at their GP’s surgery.

Symphonic was acquired by Ping Identity, the Intelligent Identity solution for the enterprise. Ping Identity partners with the largest and most complex global organisations, helping them achieve Zero-Trust identity-defined security and more personalized, streamlined user experiences. Symphonic’s products allow Ping Identity’s customers to move from real time authentication to globally managing each identity’s authorizations. This extra layer reviews the user’s entitlements to access particular sorts of information by checking authorisations, consents and other risk factors. While these are often held in multiple data stores, Symphonic provides the capabilities to easily integrate all consents and entitlements into a unified view. This use case has become increasingly relevant as companies seek to comply with new and evolving data privacy laws.

Symphonic was spun-out of Edinburgh Napier University in 2014 and received its first round of investment from Par Equity. After gaining its first clients in healthcare, and following three further funding rounds from Par, the company has grown to 28 employees. Its customer base today has broadened to banking, pharmaceuticals and FMCG, spanning the UK, Europe, Australia and North America. All of Symphonic’s employees have transferred to work for Ping Identity and will continue to be based in Edinburgh.

Derick James, CEO of Symphonic, said: “The first thing I need to say is thank you to Par Equity. The guidance and support they have provided to Symphonic over the past seven years has been invaluable. On day one they provided our team with support that was key to identifying directors and board advisers as the business grew. We are delighted to join the Ping Identity family. They are leaders in Identity with an impressive global customer base which will provide an excellent opportunity to expand the adoption of Symphonic’s software. The highly-skilled team at Symphonic has bright futures as Ping Identity employees.”

Paul Atkinson, Partner at Par Equity said: “Symphonic illustrates what Par Equity is all about. The opportunity was identified by Richard Lewis, a member of our Investor Network, who, with his colleagues has supported the founders with in-depth expertise ever since. Building on our investments, their hard work has resulted in the creation of a successful company that will remain in Edinburgh after the sale and continue to deliver its innovative technology to a global economy. Symphonic delivers market leading solutions to clients in multiple sectors globally from its base in the UK.


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