Idaho investment firm acquires controlling stake in Sharpen Technologies

Idaho-based private equity firm Teleo Capital Management LLC has acquired a controlling stake in Indianapolis-based Sharpen Technologies Inc., the companies announced Tuesday.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and the announcement did not specify what percentage of the company Teleo now controls. According to Teleo’s website, the transaction closed last month. Representatives of both companies did not immediately respond to phone messages from IBJ on Tuesday morning.

In connection with the investment, Teleo operating partner Kevin Hatch is now the CEO of Sharpen, which offers a software platform for call centers. Hatch replaces Sharpen’s interim CEO, David Kerr, who also serves as managing director at Indianapolis-based investment firm Allos Ventures LLC. Allos was among the investors in Sharpen’s $15 million capital raise in 2019.

Kerr said Allos continues to hold an ownership stake in Sharpen, though he referred other questions to Teleo and Sharpen.

Teleo, whose headquarters is in Boise and has an office in Los Angeles, targets investments in the technology and software, health care information technology, business services and industrial sectors.

“We’re proud to welcome Teleo as investors who recognize the potential SharpenCX has in the contact center market,” Sharpen Chief Operating Officer Pam Hynes said in a written statement. “This partnership will enable us to continue our focus on serving our customers while accelerating product innovation, ultimately advancing our vision for a customer engagement solution.”

Founded in 2011 and known as Fathom Voice until 2016, Sharpen offers software that call center operators can use to monitor, score and coach their agents. The company topped IBJ’s 2021 Fast 25 list of fastest-growing private companies, with revenue growth of 555% between 2018 and 2020. As of 2020, Sharpen had annual revenue of $8.99 million and 80 full-time employees.

As of June 2021, Sharpen had raised more than $55 million in total investment through multiple funding rounds.

Union Square Advisors, a tech-focused investment bank with offices in New York City and San Francisco, advised Sharpen on the Teleo deal.

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