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Tech Firm Founded by Scottish Entrepreneur Acquired for $330m

Ross Kelly

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Eggplant

Inverness-born George Mackintosh was Eggplant’s single largest private shareholder at the time of the acquisition.

A software company founded by Scottish entrepreneur George Mackintosh has been acquired by California-based tech group Keysight Technologies.

Eggplant, an intelligent software testing platform specialist, was acquired for $330 million (£267m). Headquartered in London, the software firm has been majority-owned by global investment firm The Carlyle Group since 2016.

Inverness-born Mackintosh, who is now based in Edinburgh, founded Eggplant in the UK before establishing the firm’s US headquarters in Boulder, Colorado in 2010. The firm has since expanded its operations to Germany and Japan, and employs more than 200 staff globally.

He also previously founded 3i-backed audio, video and web conferencing business, Geoconference, in 1996. The firm was sold to Global Crossing – now CenturyLink – four years later.

Mackintosh served as CEO at the firm from 2008 to 2017, remained on the board until the acquisition was completed earlier this month and was the single largest private shareholders at the time of the deal.

Commenting on the deal, a spokesperson for Mackintosh said: “The pace of digitisation has only increased in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and Eggplant is one of many tech players to have benefited from this trend.

“George has founded and managed equity-backed technology companies for the last 28 years and is highly skilled in software, services and hardware sales to global businesses in Europe, North America and Asia.”

The spokesperson added: “The combination of market vision and that level of expertise in sales is arguably at the heart of the success he has had to date.

“It will be interesting to see what George does next and there are certainly some interesting new ventures and projects in the pipeline.”

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Eggplant’s Digital Automation Intelligence platform uses artificial intelligence and analytics to test technology on any device, operating system or browser.

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, global demand for the firm’s services and products has accelerated along with those of Keysight.

Headquartered in Santa Rosa, California, Keysight Technologies traces its roots back to Hewlett-Packard in South Queensferry in the 1970s. It was subsequently spun-out of HP and continues to have an operating base in Edinburgh.

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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