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LiquidHub raises $53M from ChrysCapital, plans growth, deals

Vanguard, IBC, Subaru, SEI, Novartis are clients

LiquidHub, the Wayne-based business software developer and IT outsourcing firm that counts Novartis, SEI, Independence Blue Cross, Comcast, Vanguard and Subaru among its customers, has raised $53 million from investors led by ChrysCapital, based in the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius, which says it has invested more than $2 billion in 65 firms in India and other countries since 1999.

Under chief executive Jonathan Brassington, an immigrant from Guyana in South America, LiquidHub says it has doubled sales, to $125 million, since 2010, and boosted its share in healthcare and financial software markets from competitors such as Sapient and SAP AG. The company employs 1,400 worldwide. LiquidHub will use the ChrysCapital-led investment to expand, and ChrysCapital has agreed to make available up to $100 million to back possible strategic acquisitions by LiquidHub over the next few years. (LiquidHub previously raised $20 milllion in equity, plus debt, from PPM American Capital Partners, NewSpring Capital and Credit Suisse in 2007.)

"LiquidHub's management team has built one of the largest practices in the digital space using cloud, analytics and mobile technologies," the "fastest-growing areas within the IT services sector," ChrysCapital managing director Sanjay Kukreja said in a statement. "These disruptive technologies represent the fastest growing areas within the IT services sector."

Brassington, who came to Dallas Pa. (near Scranton) on scholarship to attend Misericordia College (he also has a master's from Penn), called the ChrysCapital investment "a significant milestone in LiquidHub's lifecycle" and said it will help reach "our goal of becoming a nationally-recognized, global digital integrator" with "resources to grow organically as well as through pragmatic and strategic acquisitions."

At some big local companies, LiquidHub has moved programming once done in the Philadelphia area offshore to India - and also put its own people to work under area corporate IT managers. LiquidHub has picked up some of the displaced company staff, sometimes at similar pay but with lesser health and retirement benefits, a veteran IT manager at one of the region's largest employers told me. Others replaced by LiquidHub have been let go with severance. "We train the LiquidHub people, but some of our management is starting to wonder if we have gone too far in losing our knowledge base" of in-house IT guys, he added.