Ciphr announces acquisition of Shape Payroll

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Ciphr has announced that it is strengthening its payroll business with the acquisition of Shape, a cloud-based payroll platform used by 1,500 UK businesses.

The acquisition of Shape – a robust, intuitive and fully integrated payroll solution – marks a significant ramp-up in payroll-focused activities for the Reading-based tech group, which already processes over £2bn in payroll and BACS salary payments a year.

In just the past few months, Ciphr has added a significant number of new payroll customers, including payroll software, outsourced payroll and payroll bureau customers, and expanded its team of payroll experts. The deal will help ensure that Ciphr can deliver an even better experience for its new and existing payroll customers and their employees.

Shape’s founders, husband and wife team Alex and Cheri Bartlett, and the rest of their team, will join Ciphr from today.

We’re thrilled to welcome Alex and Cheri to the Ciphr team. Shape is a cutting-edge, API-first payroll solution that has a great reputation in the payroll sector. Shape’s applications are extensive and well-suited to medium and large-sized organisations, like Ciphr’s customers.

We have great HR solutions, we are HR experts – it’s what we do best – and we have more than 40 years’ experience in the HR and payroll industry. Building out Ciphr’s payroll business is a key focus for us this year, and part of our longer-term growth strategy. And Shape is a perfect fit to take our payroll tech to the next level.

This acquisition will truly enhance our payroll proposition and help us to continue to support and empower the payroll professionals who use, and rely on, Ciphr’s software and solutions.”

Sion Lewis

CEO, Ciphr

Cheri and I founded Shape with a vision to build the most flexible payroll software possible, allowing integration at any level via our Open API and backing that up with an intuitive user interface and fantastic customer support. We’re immensely proud of what we have achieved over the last five years, and it has been a privilege to work with all the fantastic people we have met along the way. The relationships we have built, and the feedback we’ve received from our customers, has been amazing.

We are both extremely excited about Shape becoming part of the Ciphr Group and taking the next step in this journey. With the help of the amazing team at Ciphr, we will be able to take our application to the next level. And being part of the Ciphr brand will enable us to help customers we couldn’t have reached before.”

Alex Bartlett

Co-founder, Shape

We’re delighted to welcome Alex, Cheri and the Shape team into Ciphr and therefore the ECI portfolio. It’s another exciting development for Ciphr, further strengthening its payroll proposition to customers. We look forward to working with Sion and the rest of the combined team to continue Ciphr’s organic and acquisitive growth journey.”

Stephen Roberts

Partner, ECI

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