Baird Capital has sold Crisp Thinking Group to Kroll Inc. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in the UK, Crisp is a risk intelligence firm that protects brands, assets and people from reputational damage, security threats and online harms.
LONDON–1 June 2022– Baird Capital announced today the sale of private equity portfolio company Crisp Thinking Group (“Crisp”) to Kroll, Inc. (“Kroll”). The transaction represents a full exit from this investment for Baird Capital. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Crisp is a Real-time Risk Intelligence company that protects brands, assets and people from reputational damage, security threats and online harms. Crisp is headquartered in Leeds, England, with significant sales generated from an established client base in the United States. The company also has an office in Chicago.
Kroll (formerly known as Duff & Phelps), headquartered in New York City, is focused on delivering solutions to its customers focused on data, technology and insights for risk, governance, and growth, making Crisp an excellent strategic fit with the platform. The acquisition will expand Kroll’s digital services capabilities with AI technology trained to discover and track the risk signals embedded within digital chatter.
Baird Capital invested in Crisp in 2018, providing capital and resources to support the company’s rapid growth. In the period since the investment, annual recurring revenue has grown by more than 250% and the business has opened and built out a substantial presence in the United States. Crisp’s headcount has grown to over 250 people, and the company currently helps protect more than $6.5 trillion of aggregate market capital for its customers.
Michael Holgate, Partner with Baird Capital, commented, “Crisp is a trailblazer in real-time risk intelligence. Whilst their growth over the past three years has been tremendous, they have only scratched the surface of the available market. This transaction shows real confidence in the business, and we look forward to watching the company continue to grow as part of the Kroll group.”
Andrew Ferguson, Partner with Baird Capital commented, “We are so pleased that Baird Capital could assist Crisp in bridging the gap between their U.S. and U.K. markets. This is the beauty of Baird Capital’s global team; we believe our global footprint combined with our significant investment experience and operating focus positions us well to assist lower-middle market companies in navigating challenges and taking advantage of globalization opportunities. Crisp has a bright future ahead with the support from Kroll.”
Andrew Burke, Executive Chairman at Crisp, added, “We are grateful to Baird Capital for helping us to achieve this important milestone in our business. Digital chatter is an essential source of risk intelligence for protecting the global enterprise. In recent years, risks originating from or becoming amplified by digital chatter across the open, deep and dark web have reached an unprecedented scale. It’s now a board-level issue and C-suite responsibility. With their support we succeeded in establishing Crisp as the leading expert in fast, actionable risk intelligence.”
Lazard acted as sole financial advisor to Baird Capital and Crisp in connection with the transaction. DWF acted as legal advisor. For more information, visit Baird Capital’s website.
About Baird Capital
Baird Capital manages two investment platforms: Global Private Equity and U.S. Venture Capital and makes investments in B2B technology & services-focused companies around the world. Having invested in 335 companies over its history, Baird Capital partners with entrepreneurs and, leveraging its executive networks, strives to build exceptional companies. Baird Capital provides operational support to its portfolio companies through teams on the ground in the United States, Europe and Asia, a proactive portfolio operations team and a deep network of relationships, which together strive to deliver enhanced shareholder value. Baird Capital is the direct private investment arm of Robert W. Baird & Co. For more information, please visit BairdCapital.com.