28 May 2008
DataArt Secures Private Equity Investment
DataArt secured a $4 million private equity investment round, and is aiming to close an additional $2 million in the near future. The first outside capital investment DataArt has taken since the company’s inception in 1997 will be used to strengthen sales and marketing efforts in high-end applications development and to support geographic expansion of DataArt’s delivery capabilities in Eastern Europe.
The deal was lead by London-based Tower Gate Capital, known for its investments into high growth technology-centric businesses. CEO Michael C. Wright went on the due diligence trip to St. Petersburg and Voronezh R&D centers and was impressed with the established operation. "It was a definite investment opportunity that clearly fell within our investment banks' objectives and focus. The management team is exceedingly strong, with the business servicing an impressive client list notably in the financial and travel sector," Wright said. "We were happy to close off the investment round, and look forward to working with the management going forward."
TGC was joined by one of the top Russian hedge funds and by New York-based Third Millennium Russia Fund. John Connor, the fund’s manager and the author of the book, “OUT OF THE RED: Investment and Capitalism in Russia” was also an investor in Mail.ru, the largest Web portal in Eastern Europe with 50+ million users, originally developed by DataArt. "Third Millennium Russia Fund assesses DataArt to be a very promising play, giving it exposure to the Russian IT sector, which is dynamic and growing," Connor said. "Finding investments in the IT sector in Russia is not that easy, but Russians tend to do very high-end programming work, and DataArt has great access to intellectual talent."
“Raising money took away many of the barriers a company like this has for expansion," said Eugene Goland, President of DataArt. "There has been a limit to how fast we can grow, and we are going to scale up and invest in the brand reputation while expanding into other areas, including media and publishing, telecommunications services and online travel."
DataArt has been experiencing strong demand for its services, which include developing bespoke software applications for customers in knowledge-intensive industries, specifically in financial services including asset management and hedge fund administration. Among DataArt's clients are Standard & Poor's, BNP Paribas, HedgeSpeed Technology and Misys.