Raising over £5m, The Panoply Holdings plc floated on the London Stock Exchange yesterday. Co-founder and CEO Neal Gandhi outlined plans to become a "force to be reckoned with" in digital transformation.
The Panoply listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange, raising more than £5 million and effectively acquiring four businesses: Strategy and management consultancy Bene Agere in Oslo; London-based digital experience agency Manifesto Digital; IT consultancy Notbinary; and Questers, a provider of onshore and nearshore agile software development services.
Gandhi, a serial tech entrepreneur, joined The Panoply co-founder and CFO Oliver Rigby and members of all four group companies at the London Stock Exchange yesterday to witness the first day of trading.
Floating just two years after incorporation, and in the face of challenging financial market conditions, both co-founders admitted that the journey had been a tough one, but pointed to the growth of the market for digital transformation services as proof that the timing was right. IDC figures suggest that the EMEA market for digital transformation is expected to be worth $82 billion by 2021.
“The Panoply is a services company assembled to meet the demands created by the “fourth industrial revolution”, combining the very best talent to service the growing technical needs of clients with innovation, creativity and efficiency,” said Gandhi. “With digital transformation becoming more and more critical to companies’ success across many verticals, this is the right time for a digitally native business such as ours to come to the market and capitalise on that structural shift. The old consultancy model is dying, and our decentralised, agile operating model is here to take its place.
“We have ambitious growth plans and are confident that AIM will be the right platform to support us in rapidly scaling the business. Admission to the exchange will bolster our brand and provide the capital necessary to pursue further, sustainable growth.”
The Panoply was founded in 2016 with the aim of identifying and acquiring best-of-breed specialist information technology and innovation consulting businesses across Europe, to form regional clusters of group companies positioned to deliver services that help clients digitally transform their businesses for the automation age.
Rigby said the £5 million raised will be used to invest in its existing four businesses as well as exploring additional acquisition opportunities. “Listing on AIM gives us that platform to make those acquisitions more quickly and more simply,” he said. “We’ve done four acquisitions as a private company on the promise of an IPO – which was challenging. Being a listed a company will allow us to progress discussions quicker as we look to add further businesses.”
Gandhi told BusinessCloud that he wants the company to be a “force to be reckoned with”, adding that he also wants to prove that a company can be incredibly successful financially while still “doing good in the world”.
“The world is full of companies that are simply out to make money,” he said. “We have a deeper purpose than that; we’re here to improve lives through technology.”
The group is listed under the stock ticker TPX, where 40,601,642 Ordinary Shares were initially priced at 74p, valuing the group at £30 million.