Global investment firm acquires Chattanooga-based tech startup Skuid

Ken McElrath is founder and CEO of the cloud software company Skuid.
Ken McElrath is founder and CEO of the cloud software company Skuid.

The nationally recognized, Chattanooga-based cloud software company Skuid - known as one of the most successful startups in the city - has been acquired by a global investment firm, company officials recently announced.

Marlin Equity Partners completed a majority recapitalization of and growth investment in Skuid that will allow it to "aggressively scale" its user base across enterprise IT departments and global systems integrators, developers, consultants and user experience designers, according to the tech company.

The amount of the deal was not disclosed, and Skuid officials did not respond to requests for comment about how this would affect the company's headquarters and growth in Chattanooga.

"We sought to partner with a global investment firm that has a history of empowering companies with game-changing technologies," Ken McElrath, founder and CEO of Skuid, said in a statement. "Marlin shares our strategic vision of helping our customers transform their businesses through innovative, human-centered applications and we are thrilled to be working alongside such a complementary partner."

Skuid develops a simple, user-friendly interface to run what would otherwise be complex business software. The company's leading no-code, design-first cloud application platform enables developers and non-technical users to design, integrate, develop and rapidly deploy enterprise applications.

Skuid is an acronym for "Scalable Kit for User Interface Design."

Skuid quickly became one of Chattanooga's most successful start-up companies when it was founded by McElrath in 2013. From 2013-2017, McElrath grew Skuid from five employees to over 160.

Skuid's headquarters is on Chestnut Street, but the company also has offices in San Francisco Bay Area, London and Zurich.

Curve Securities, an investment company that assists 450 Australian-based organizations, recently announced how using Skuid helped the company expand its system in just a few weeks - 50 percent faster than previous development initiatives. Curve Securities CEO Andrew Murray said Skuid's platform consolidated 40 different reports and dashboards into a single view, which helped to make the company more efficient.

A Marlin Equity spokesperson said the firm will support Skuid's management team in expanding its capabilities for web and mobile application development.

"Skuid has swiftly transitioned from a startup to a leader in the rapidly growing application development market, and its growing customer base and partner network are a testament to the company's value proposition for global enterprises," said Ryan Wald, a managing director at Marlin.

In 2016, Skuid completed a Series A fundraising round, raising $6.6 million. In 2017, Skuid raised another $25 million.

In 2018, Skuid placed 69th out of 500 on Deloitte Technology's list of the fastest growing companies in North America and was also named one of Inc. magazine's "Best Workplaces."

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Contact staff writer Allison Shirk Collins at, @AllisonSCollins or 423-757-6651.

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