Tech entrepreneurs sell mobile app design business Grapple for £40m

 

Gideon Spanier
Thursday 05 September 2013 14:15
Comments

Two London tech entrepreneurs are enjoying a windfall after selling their mobile app design business, Grapple, for almost £40 million just three years after setting it up.

Former advertising executive Alistair Crane, 27, and serial investor Jamie True, 36, will collect the lion’s share of the £39.4 million from the sale to AIM-listed mobile payments firm Monitise.

True is the largest shareholder in Grapple with around 37%, according to Companies House, making his stake worth around £15 million.

Crane has a double-digit stake and is likely to collect well over £5 million.Grapple, which featured in the Evening Standard’s Growth Capital column last year, makes apps for blue-chip clients including BSkyB, Procter & Gamble and Whitbread.

Crane said Grapple’s success came from a twin focus on making sure its apps “look bloody brilliant” and “driving as much commercial revenues as possible” for clients.“We have a particular focus on making it as easy as possible for consumers — that is human beings — to make transactions.”

Grapple has turned down several bids “from day one”, but Crane said the attraction of selling to Monitise, a £800 million company, was its financial backing and global footprint.

Annual results for Monitise, which processes mobile payments for banks and credit card companies, today showed its revenues doubling to £72.8 million. “This is not cutting edge, this is mainstream now,” said chief executive Alastair Lukies.

Pre-tax losses tripled to £51 million after an acquisition spree, but “month-on-month profitability is within touch” and it has £85 million cash.  

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in