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DriveWorks Receive Investment from Business Growth Fund

Building on 20 Years of Innovation

2021 marks 20 years of continuous innovation and automation for DriveWorks co-founders, CEO, Glen Smith, and VP, Maria Sarkar. It also marks the start of the next phase of our strategic plan, thanks to investment from BGF, the UK’s most active growth capital investor.

At DriveWorks, we have a strong track record of adding to our design automation and configurator capabilities year after year, by listening to customers and anticipating market needs. We’ve also forged strong partnerships with SOLIDWORKS, Microsoft, and many local organizations, colleges, universities, and schools.

In 2019, our technology and team were recognized with Queen’s Awards for Innovation and International Trade.

Now in 2021, we’re excited to announce that we have partnered with another Queen’s Award-winning company, BGF – an established, independent investment company that has backed almost 400 businesses in the UK since 2011.

With BGF we are supported by a knowledgeable team with a non-controlling approach. This means we can lean on them for support, guidance, and funding. DriveWorks will continue to be led by Glen and Maria, with the same core values and commitments to users, technology, and our team.

The funding from BGF provides us with more opportunities to scale, invest in our international markets, and of course develop our technology further.

BGF’s company culture is very similar to our own and we’re looking forward to working with them. We’re excited about this partnership and look forward to meeting other BGF funded companies.

See the press release below for more information about the funding and what it means to us.

“With BGF’s support, we have an opportunity to build on our growth with continued investment in our software and focus on international expansion into new and existing markets. We’ve been impressed with BGF and their expertise in supporting the scale-up of technology businesses in our sector which will be key to achieving our ambitions for DriveWorks.”

– Maria Sarkar, VP & Co-Founder, DriveWorks Ltd

BGF Backs DriveWorks for Further International Expansion

BGF – the UK’s most active growth capital investor – has invested £4 million into double Queen’s award-winner, DriveWorks. The Warrington-headquartered company works with manufacturing and engineering businesses to provide innovative design automation and 3D sales product configuration software solutions.

The fast-growing technology company was co-founded by CEO Glen Smith and VP Maria Sarkar in 2001 with the creation of DriveWorks software as a design tool to automate SOLIDWORKS, the world’s leading 3D CAD design platform.

With an already established userbase in the US, DriveWorks’ technology has a truly global reach and is utilised by thousands of customers across 47 countries.

BGF’s funding will support continued investment in technology to accelerate growth and position the business to address the significant market demand for customised 3D product visualisation in an increasingly virtual world.

Commenting on the deal, co-founders Glen Smith and Maria Sarkar said: “Our company is built on innovative technology, high standards and above all else the quality and commitment of our people to our customer base and channel partners.

“With BGF’s support, we have an opportunity to build on our growth with continued investment in our software and focus on international expansion into new and existing markets. We’ve been impressed with BGF and their expertise in supporting the scale-up of technology businesses in our sector which will be key to achieving our ambitions for DriveWorks.”

Harry Jones from BGF originated and led the deal. He said: “DriveWorks is an excellent business with unique and world-leading technology which has significant global potential to help manufacturing companies generate more sales whilst also driving efficiencies in their production processes. We have also been impressed by the founders’ commitment to their team and investing in talent within the business which gives a strong cultural alignment between our organisations. All of these elements, combined with our support, investment and attractive sector fundamentals, mean DriveWorks is primed to scale its operations.”

“This is a sector BGF knows well having previously backed Solid Solutions – the UK’s largest reseller of SOLIDWORKS, in 2016 which more than tripled revenues through significant organic and acquisitive growth over a four-year period before a successful exit last year.”

Harry Jones, Business Growth Fund

The advisors to the transaction were: Knights (Legals for BGF), DTM Legal (Legals for Management), Mattocks Grindley (Financials for Management) and Hurst (Tax DD).

“DriveWorks is an excellent business with unique and world-leading technology which has significant global potential to help manufacturing companies generate more sales whilst also driving efficiencies in their production processes. We have also been impressed by the founders’ commitment to their team and investing in talent within the business which gives a strong cultural alignment between our organisations. All of these elements, combined with our support, investment and attractive sector fundamentals, mean DriveWorks is primed to scale its operations.”

– Harry Jones, Business Growth Fund

About BGF:

  • BGF was set up in 2011 and has invested £2.5bn in nearly 400 companies, making it the most active investor in the UK.
  • BGF is a minority, non-controlling equity partner with a patient outlook on investments, based on shared long-term goals with the management teams it backs.
  • BGF invests in growing businesses in the UK and Ireland through its network of 16 offices.
  • BGF models have now been set up in Canada and Australia, with other countries evaluating the opportunity to replicate this.
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