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Gloucester based Blackfinch exits first portfolio company, Candidate.ID

The Business Magazine article image for: Gloucester based Blackfinch exits first portfolio company, Candidate.ID
31 March 2022

Blackfinch Ventures, part of venture capital company Blackfinch Group, has exited its investment in Candidate.ID, a leader in marketing automation technology for recruitment.

The move follows the acquisition of Candidate.ID by iCIMS, the US-based talent cloud company, resulting in a strong return for Blackfinch investors over a 2-year period.

This is the first exit for Blackfinch Ventures, which has established a strong reputation as the ‘go to’ investor for technology and tech-enabled companies having invested a total of £28.8m across 45 deals since it was established three years ago.

Founded in 2015 and based in Glasgow, Candidate.ID is award-winning marketing automation software built for talent acquisition, which enables recruiting teams to hyper-target best fit, most engaged candidates with unique lead scoring and automated marketing campaigns.

With a range of time and cost-saving smart features including candidate sourcing, recruitment analytics, candidate management and email marketing, the company’s solid customer roster has included several FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies including Specsavers, Nielsen, BUPA, and Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Having recognised the business as a market disrupter with a huge potential for international growth, Blackfinch Ventures invested in Candidate.ID over two rounds, the first in 2020, and the second in 2021.

Over the past two years, the funding and support from the team in Blackfinch Ventures has enabled the company to focus on its revenue growth plans, while developing the machine learning technology behind its solution.

Adam Gordon, Co-founder and CEO of Candidate.ID, said: “The Blackfinch Ventures team has provided us with a depth of partnership which surpassed my expectations. As they are all experienced founders, they’ve been there, done it before and felt the highs and lows. Blackfinch has played a significant role in our growth.

“When we started to talk to iCIMS, we realised that our combined strengths made for an unmatched service, with a global reach – the combination makes sense for Candidate.ID and our stakeholders.

“I’m personally very excited about what it means for the team and our customers and am looking forward to leading the acceleration of our vision for the market as part of iCIMS.”

Reuben Wilcock, Head of Blackfinch Ventures, said: “Candidate.ID took proven digital marketing techniques and applied them innovatively to employee recruitment. Its online platform has given large firms the power to leverage existing databases of potential applicants, and it has helped firms to recruit better employees, more quickly, and at a lower cost. The potential of the product, the growing market, and the grit of the team formed the thesis behind our 2020 investment.

“The company recovered quickly from the first Covid lockdown, and our growing conviction in the company and the space led to us investing again in 2021. Candidate.ID has grown rapidly ever since, so it is not surprising at all that last year its unique proposition attracted the interest of iCIMS.

“This price offered represented an excellent rate of return for our investors, and so we are delighted to have supported the acquisition.

“The deal is testament to the hard work and dedication that Adam and the team have put in over the last few years, and we wish them all of the success in the future.”


Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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