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Staff photo by Tim Barber / Rebecca Eaves, left, Beth Woodall and Corey Ayers work in the finance department at Skuid, a software company on the seventh floor at Liberty Tower, in 2017.

The cloud software company Skuid, which has grown since its start in 2013 into one of Chattanooga's most successful tech startups, made its first business acquisition Thursday by buying the Montreal, Canada-based Inflight Corp., to double the number of data sources the app development company can connect to.

Terms of the deal were not announced, but the purchase will add about 50 more employees to the 150-employee staff now at Skuid.

"This is a game-changer for the future of people operations applications," Skuid CEO Ryan Niemann said in an announcement of the purchase. "The combined capabilities of Skuid and InFlight present a much-needed solution for enterprises that want to design, create and deliver impactful apps."

Skuid, whose name is an acronym for Scalable Kit for User Interface Design, was started in Chattanooga in 2013 by Ken McElrath, who stepped down as the company's CEO last year to become chief strategy officer. McElrath said in a telephone interview Thursday that the purchase "will accelerate our growth roadmap" with new software capabilities and customers.

"We've already built some great award-winning solutions in the people app space, but this is going to dramatically increase our subject matter expertise to grow even more," McElrath said. "When you can find people who are rock stars in a particular area, it's always a great acquisition."

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File photo / Ken McElrath is the founder and chief strategy officer for Chattanooga-based Skuid.

Skuid works to develop and offer customer-friendly apps for workers to help companies recruit and retain talent. According to a recent Gartner survey, only 13% of employees said they are fully satisfied with their daily interactions with people, processes and technology necessary to their jobs.

"As workforces become increasingly digital and business priorities rapidly evolve, the right technology is no longer nice to have — it's imperative," Skuid said in its announcement of the Inflight purchase. "The human-centered design process of Skuid combined with the newly expanded offering of Skuid + InFlight provides a unique and complete path for enterprises to optimize talent and employee apps."

Hundreds of companies, including Baker Hughes, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, GolfNow, AMD, John Hancock and TalkDesk, already use Skuid to build applications for such functions as employee portals, audit, compliance and workplace risk apps, or recruiting and retention apps and onboarding software.

McElrath said the acquisition of InFlight extends the human resources focus of Skuid by adding integrations with popular human capital management enterprise solutions including Oracle PeopleSoft, Workday, Taleo and SAP SuccessFactors.

In 2019, Marlin Equity Partners acquired majority ownership of Skuid. Although the Inflight purchase is the first such acquisition for Skuid, it may not be the last. McElrath said the growing company is looking to grow both organically and through the right acquisitions.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6340. Follow him on Twitter at @dflessner1.

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