A new buy and build venture has announced £50 million private equity funding, and is seeking telecoms resellers in fixed, mobile, data, and hosted services with over £5 million turnover to join the group.
The as yet unbranded new venture is the brain child of Russell Horton and Neil Gething, both former directors at Daisy Communications up to 2010.
Speaking to Mobile Business Magazine, Horton said: “With greater financial certainty in the market place and strong drivers for consolidation in a fragmented market, 2011 is an ideal time to launch a buy and build venture in telecoms, in the short term with a focus on simplifying supply and service for clients across multiple products, and in the medium term delivering more complex unified solutions across fixed, mobile and IT.”
Horton and Gething were both instrumental in Daisy’s phenomenal growth, and originally worked together at Isis Telecommunications Management, an award winning mobile service provider, which they grew organically and sold to Vodafone on 2006.
The pair also co-founded Flexphone, first to market in the UK with tax free mobiles as an employee benefit, which they sold to Vodafone in 2007. They are supported by a strong management team at the new venture, with experience across the full unified product range.
The aim of the group is to become the number one independent supplier of communications and related IT services to UK SME’s within four years, measured on quality of service and breadth of offering. Horton and Gething’s strategy is to take the best elements of an acquisition model and combine this with the service excellence, low churn and organic growth model from Isis, to deliver a long term sustainable business with the customer at its core.
A key USP for the new venture will be the development of a market leading web portal fully integrated with customer care, billing and provisioning for the full range of unified communications products, which will be unique to the venture.
Horton added: “I believe that with convergence and particularly with the movement of more services to the cloud, that there is a growing demand from SME customers for suppliers that are expert and trustworthy, with the tools and staff to deliver, as more and more business critical services move outside of the LAN. With unified comms products still evolving, there is a real opportunity to build a business over the next three to five years that can be at the forefront of the industry for service, and innovate via developing its own core IT platform built to cater for the unified comms of the future.”
The key team members behind the Isis MoBill Customer Care and Billing system, which won at the world billing awards in 2004 and 2005 (and is still used by Vodafone today), plus the Flexphone system that won in 2007, are part of the new venture and will focus on designing and building the new platform.
The team are currently progressing due diligence on several targets and welcome the opportunity to meet further resellers to discuss potential valuation and future acquisition or business partnership.