MAPAL and Flow Hospitality Announce Combination to Create a Leading Pan-European Provider of Technology Solutions for the Hospitality Sector
MADRID AND EDINBURGH – MAPAL Software (“MAPAL”), a developer and supplier of workforce management, business analytics and back-of-house software for the hospitality sector, and Flow Hospitality Training (“Flow”), a learning management system for the hospitality sector, today announced a combination to create a leading provider of technology solutions for the European hospitality sector. MAPAL is backed by Providence Strategic Growth (“PSG”), the growth equity affiliate of Providence Equity Partners. Jorge Lurueña, Founder and CEO of MAPAL, will lead the combined entity with the support of the existing management teams of MAPAL and Flow. Ruth and David Wither, Founders of Flow, will step down from their day to day leadership responsibilities – but have reinvested in the combined entity, with David remaining as a Non-Executive Director.
“Today’s announcement is a testament of the hard work and commitment of the entire team at Flow since we launched over 10 years ago,” said David Wither, Co-Founder of Flow. “Together we have built an outstanding business that innovatively solves a major challenge faced by the industry: a need for relevant technology that accelerates employee training and development. We are confident that this combination with MAPAL – supported by the team at PSG – will enable the business to make an even greater impact going forward and Ruth and I have decided that now is the right time to transition the stewardship of Flow to new investors. We are excited for what the future holds – and we believe that Jorge, with the support of our current management team, is the ideal leader to help Flow and MAPAL transition to this next chapter.”
Flow delivers a suite of online training modules to over 400,000 unique users through FlowZone Manager – its flagship management system that allows employers to issue training, track results, plan and manage learning and development, competencies and appraisals. The benefits of this combination between two highly complementary businesses are significant. MAPAL’s advanced and user-friendly workforce management, analytics and back-of-house solution – and Flow’s learning and development solutions – will create a business that can offer stronger technical capabilities and a more robust end-to-end service to hospitality companies throughout Europe.
Jorge Lurueña, Founder and CEO of MAPAL, said: “We believe this alliance will create more opportunities for Flow and MAPAL. Ruth and David have built a tremendous business – offering a complete solution that brings real benefit to its loyal client base – and we are grateful for the trust they have placed in us. I look forward to working with my new colleagues and am thrilled to be leading this next phase of growth.”
Edward Hughes, Managing Director of PSG, said: “MAPAL and Flow are already established providers of tech-enabled solutions for a variety of global companies in the hospitality sector and we are confident that together they will create a significantly scaled-up business with a larger suite of capabilities and reach to provide essential solutions to customers.”
EY’s UK Corporate Finance team was sole financial adviser to the shareholders of Flow, and originated the transaction.
About MAPAL Software
MAPAL was founded in 2008 by Jorge Lurueña, an experienced restaurant operator, who recognised that restaurant businesses needed specialist tools to automate and optimise management processes. Bringing together industry experts, data scientists and software developers to create GIRnet, the management and business intelligence platform that key players in the sector use today, has driven MAPAL’s success. MAPAL boasts a large portfolio of clients operating well-known brands such as La Tagliatella, Burger King, Starbucks, KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Grupo Areas or Five Guys, among others.
About Flow Hospitality Training
Founded in 2009 by David and Ruth Wither and based in Edinburgh, Scotland, Flow is a learning management system for the hospitality sector staffed by a team of over 55 people. Flow’s flagship FlowZone Manager platform enables employers to have direct and immediate visibility to all stages of employee development. FlowZone Manager can be integrated to employers’ HR and payroll systems – especially Fourth, Selima, S4 Labour, CoreHR, and TimeTarget – and is relied upon by leading hospitality brands, including Soho House, Firmdale Hotels, and Gleneagles.
About Providence Strategic Growth Capital Partners LLC
Providence Strategic Growth (“PSG”) is an affiliate of Providence Equity Partners (“Providence”). Established in 2014, PSG focuses on growth equity investments in lower middle market software and technology-enabled service companies. Providence is a premier global asset management firm that pioneered a sector-focused approach to private equity investing with the vision that a dedicated team of industry experts could build exceptional companies of enduring value. Since the firm's inception in 1989, Providence has invested in more than 180 companies and is a leading equity investment firm focused on the media, communications, education and information industries. PSG is headquartered in Boston, MA, with offices in London. For more information on PSG, please visit www.psgequity.com, and for more information on Providence, please visit www.provequity.com.