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Tuesday 22 September 2020

Parity strikes optimistic note as new business returns

Parity logo2020 was always going to be a year of transition for data and technology focussed professional services business Parity. With new CEO Matthew Bayfield at the helm, it had planned a transformation of the business, investing in a new operating model and moving the business towards higher margin business in the key sectors of data, digital transformation and cyber security (see UKHotViews here and track back).

Of course, it hadn’t planned for the impact of Covid - a sudden and sharp downturn in new business opportunities with many existing projects being affected too as the UK was locked down in March. Under the circumstances, therefore, Parity has done well to navigate H1 and deliver a modest adjusted PBT despite much lower than predicted revenues. Parity’s longstanding relationships with clients, particularly in the public sector, and the fact that it had already started to realign its cost base in 2019, stood it in good stead.

Nonetheless, Parity’s interim results for the six months to end of June show a significant impact on the business, with the Group reporting net revenue 29% lower than the same period last year at £5.3m (H119: £7.5m), a loss before tax of £0.4m (H119: loss of £0.5m), and an ‘adjusted profit before tax (excluding non-underlying items)’ of £0.1m (H119: £0.2m).

The good news is that, since June, Parity has started to see a recovery in both contract extension rates and new placements as clients have been able to again focus on the key data and digital transformation projects. As new business returns to the market, the SME is benefiting from its decision not to furlough any of its staff in order to remain close to its clients.  It’s also benefiting from the sudden shift to more people working from home, which has increased the demand for digital specialists in fields such as cyber security and emphasised the need for clients to invest in robust data management and security.

Overall, Parity’s CEO strikes an optimistic note, commenting: “We are leaner and more efficient, are clearer in our market position and have recruited a team who can deliver on the business plan, our prospects are good.” Recent new contracts give the Board confidence that Parity will trade profitably in the second half, with full year adjusted PBT expected to be similar to that achieved last year (£115k). As Parity continues to transition to offering a combination of strategic high-end recruitment and data consultancy, net margins are also expected to improve.

Posted by: Tola Sargeant

Tags: results   publicsector   covid-19  

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Tuesday 22 September 2020

DWP proposes IBM contract extension

IBM logoAt the end of last month, we wrote about DWP extending its contract with Accenture. For today’s news, replace ‘Accenture’ with ‘IBM’. Both companies originally signed seven year contracts under the department’s Application Deployment (ADEP) tower, first let in 2011 (see DWP lets contracts to IBM and Capgemini). Both had already had their contracts extended. And, now, IBM looks set to join Accenture as the department proposes (under a VEAT – voluntary ex ante transparency - notice) to extend IBM’s contract again – this time to 2024. Like Accenture, IBM’s extension would be for up to three years. It would be valued at £25.3m. If no-one objects in the statutory 10-day period, the contract will be signed.

The reasons given for extending the contract mirror those given in the previous Accenture announcement; in summary, the department states it will mitigate the risk of disruption to the critical public services that the applications managed by IBM support. The contract scope will be very different to the original, as only four applications will continue to be within IBM’s remit; 49 applications have already been decommissioned, insourced, or replaced by new digital services. This explains the reduction in annual contract value – now c£8m per annum vs. £50-75m per annum when the original deal was signed in 2011.

The four remaining applications are: Customer Information System (CIS); Provider Referrals and Payments (PraP), Bank Liaison and Automation and Customer Contact (BLACC); and Fraud Referral and Interventions Management System (FRAIMS). DWP comments that “ADEP comprises a complex technology stack of legacy applications, with hosted environments, written in outdated software languages. The technology stack is aged and requires significant upgrading that would be extremely difficult without existing knowledge of the solution”. DWP believes that any other option – e.g. insourcing or re-procurement – would be financially prohibitive and have significant technical restrictions. Once again, the COVID-19 pandemic is highlighted as having exacerbated the issues; this is unlikely to be the last extension of this type we see in Whitehall.

Posted by: Georgina O'Toole

Tags: publicsector   centralgovernment   contract   applications   legacy   digital  

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Tuesday 22 September 2020

Unit4 wins £30m Surrey County Council ERP deal

Unit4 logoCloud enterprise software supplier Unit4 has secured the contract to supply Surrey Council Council with a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform. The contract is for an initial seven year term, with optional extensions of five and three years—potentially taking it out to 2035–and is worth up to £30m.

The council published a Prior Information Notice in November last year, stating its intention to replace its SAP back-office systems covering HR, Finance and Procurement. Its existing solution has been in place since 2004 and will no longer be supported by SAP from 2027 onwards. The council's associated hardware was procured in 2011 with a projected lifespan of five years and according to the outline business case is now suffering performance problems, increasing the risk of system failure with serious consequences for the council.

The contract notice for a fully integrated SaaS ERP or a fully integrated best of breed SaaS solution was published in January 2020. As well as the technical imperative for change, the council was also looking to deliver efficiencies through improving corporate support processes, removing unnecessary bureaucracy, enabling greater staff self-sufficiency and agile working through the introduction of the new system. Unit4 beat four other suppliers to secure the contract.

Unit4 will implement its People Experience Suite (see Unit4 doubles down on the People Experience), comprising ERP, Financial Planning and Analytics, and Human Capital Management software at the local authority. The solution will also include Proactis Supplier Management SaaS solutions.

People Experience Suite will be deployed to 6,500 council staff and a HR and Payroll bureau service will be delivered to c.36,000 external users, including schools in the region. Unit4 will work with its implementation partners Embridge Consulting to deliver this large scale programme.

As one of the largest local government organisations in the UK, the contract with Surrey County Council is a big win for Unit4. It fits with the company's strategy of accelerating the transition to the cloud and will help support its ambitious growth plans (see Unit4 points to "breakthrough year").

Posted by: Dale Peters

Tags: localgovernment   erp   contract   saas   software  

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Tuesday 22 September 2020

Acquisitions fuel Ideagen’s growth

LogoNottingham-HQ’d AIM-listed risk management software specialist, Ideagen has chalked up its eleventh consecutive growth in turnover and EBDITDA in FY20. In line with the trading update issued in five months ago (see here), the top line for the twelve months ending 30th April rose by 22% yoy to £56.6m. Recurring revenue increased to £43.1m, up from £32.1m in the prior period, and represented 76% total sales. Adjusted EBITDA improved by 30% yoy to £18.5m.

Impressive as these headline figures unquestionably are, Ideagen’s FY20 performance was heavily supported the company’s continued focus on acquisitive growth. This has seen the purchase of eight companies since the beginning of 2018. Three of these – Redland Solutions, Optima Diagnostics and Workrite – were landed during the reporting period. Underlying organic growth for the financial year, which included less than two months of “full” COVID impact, slowed to 5% yoy, down from both 8% in FY19 and 7% in H120.

The tougher trading conditions in March and April also prompted Ideagen to reduce its cost base by c.£4m via some redundancies and salary freezes. Furthermore, the company took a £2.0 million non-recurring exceptional impairment of receivables the year, reflecting a worsening bad debt position with customers operating in markets such as aviation. This write down generated a net loss in FY20 of £134K, reversing a profit of £1.39m in the previous year.

Ideagen, however, remains confident regarding the outlook. Although no specific guidance was offered, the company is standing by its previously stated objective of reaching a £100 million in run rate revenue by 2023.  Trading in Q1 is reported to be ‘robust’ with notable contract awards from KPMG, GSK, Medtronics and Bank of Montreal. Furthermore, the company’s business model remains resilient with customer retention and cash generation largely unaffected by the pandemic. With risk management likely to remain high on board agendas for the foreseeable future, moreover, Ideagen sits well positioned in a growing market.

Posted by: Duncan Aitchison

Tags: results   saas   risk  

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Tuesday 22 September 2020

Things have changed

...or have they?

One of the features I like most in Facebook is when it reminds you of what you were doing x years ago. Have been on Facebook since 2008 now. That’s a lot of memories!

Nine years ago yesterday, I gave my then annual ‘State of the ICT Nation’ presentation atop BT Tower for the Prince’s Trust. The series of presentations eventually raised over £1m for the Trust.

I’d always used a snatch of music as my introduction and title. In 2011 it was Bob Dylan’s ‘Things have changed..

BT TowerThings had changed rapidly in the tech sector in the previous 10 years. Skipping through the presentations make interesting reading a further nine years on.

Anthony Miller’s set was all about the importance of Cloud to the IT services sector and contained his memorable remark that many suppliers were just ‘putting lipstick on a pig’!

Georgina O’Toole reported on the unprecedent declines in public sector IT spend post the financial crisis of 2009 and forecast the death of the large IT project which had so scarred public sector IT in the preceding years. Remember NPfIT? It had been cancelled that day.

Amazingly my ‘One more thing..’ was all about how the newly released iPad would revolutionise how we interacted with the internet and, building on my previous Holway’s Martini Moment where we had access ‘any time, any place, any device’,  how this consumerisation of tech would spur a WFH revolution.

These Prince’s Trust presentations morphed into TechMarketViews own evenings. Indeed, without the wretched COVID-19 we would have been welcoming our guests this month.

I hope you have all got next year’s date in your diaries. Sincerely hope we will see you on 16th Sept 2021. More details CLICK HERE.

Footnote – Photo shows Anthony, Georgina and myself with Neil Rogers - at that time, President Government and Health, BT Global Services.

Posted by: Richard Holway

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Tuesday 22 September 2020

Underlying and acquisition-fed growth edge up LTG H1 revenue

LTG logoWith revenue edging up 2% yoy to £64.1m, Learning Technologies Group (LTG) coped with COVID-19 disruption during H1 (to 30 June 2020) with acquisition-aided growth in one part of the business offsetting C-19 caused declines in another.

The Software and Platforms division (76% of total revenue) saw a 13% increase in revenue to £48.5m. Excluding the timely May 2020 Open LMS acquisition but including previous acquisitions, revenue rose 3.6% from £43.7m to £45.3m, a 3.6% increase. The company saw an increase in both SaaS and on-premise software licence revenues which together rose 6.6%. A decline in projects and implementation due to COVID-19 meant the Content and Services segment did not fare so well and revenue fell 22% to £15.6m but there has been some recovery in early H2 within the Content subsegment in particular.

PBT was impacted and was down to £4.1m from £6.8m in the year ago period, although Adjusted EBIT was not so badly effected - £18.4m vs. £19.4m, a 5% decline.

Positively, the company maintained corporate activity levels during difficult times. As well as completing the open source Open LMS acquisition which added Moodle learning system capabilities in May, it raised £81.8m (gross) from a placing in the same month specifically to “capture long-term growth opportunities in digital learning and talent management”. With cash behind it, LTG today announced the acquisition of eCreators, as Australian based provider of Moodle services who had revenue of A$4.6m in the year to 30 June 2002, for a cash sum of A$5.5m (c.£3.1m), plus future performance related payments. The latest acquisition builds its Moodle base, marking this as a prime area to grow the business, and expands its geographic footprint. 

The online learning focus combined with a high level of recurring revenue (up to a high of 81% in H1 due to the drop in professional services but expected to drop back to the still strong mid-70’s norm) puts LTG in a good position, confident enough for it to reconfirm its run-rate target of c.£230m revenues and c.£66m EBIT by the end of 2022.

Posted by: Angela Eager

Tags: results   software   learning  

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Tuesday 22 September 2020

Rosslyn in the black

RosslynAnalytics-as-a-Service provider Rosslyn Data Technologies made its first ever operating EBITDA profit as it grew revenues 2.1% to £7.1m (2019: £7.0m) and reduced more than £0.6m of low margin contracts for the year ended 30th April.

Rosslyn’s EBITDA of +£36k (2019: loss of £432k) might be small, but it is significant, as it’s all part of a bigger plan to remove low margin products and services revenue and replace it with annual recurring revenue (ARR). Here, an existing consolidation programme designed to put the building blocks in place to accelerate growth, has seen ARR increase 16.7% to £6.3m (2019: £5.4m).

Rosslyn landed a number of larger deals last year, with new client wins including a multinational general insurance company and a manufacturer of rolling stock and infrastructure for the rail network that had a combined contract value of £0.9m; a £0.6m contract with a science-led sustainable technologies business; and a €1m contract with an international building materials group.

The acquisition in H1 of bulk supply chain data provider Langdon Systems from the administrators (for a bargain c.£50k) also looks pretty smart ,adding some new customers and import/export duty management systems, reporting and analytics to the stable which positions the firm nicely post-Brexit, when companies are required to report to HMRC for EU import/exports. In the new financial year, Rosslyn saw a slowdown in sales activity during lockdown but in recent weeks has seen activity bounce back. 

Rosslyn raised £6.8m via a placing back in May which should put it in a strong position to take advantage of other acquisition targets that present themselves over coming months.

Posted by: Marc Hardwick

Tags: results   software   analytics   data  

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Tuesday 22 September 2020

HPE extends edge to cloud with Silver Peak buy

HPE completes Silver Peak SD-WAN acquisitionThe completion of HPE’s US$925m acquisition of Silver Peak brings a readymade software defined wide area network (SD-WAN) platform tailored for remote cloud access to the company, alongside a large pool of paying customers in retail, healthcare, utilities, financial services and the legal sector.

We estimate the deal will add much as US$100m of revenue and 400 employees to HPE: privately held Silver Peak was founded in 2004 and has raised around US$210m in funding to date.

Its technology will now be integrated into the Aruba Edge Services Platform, strengthening the HPE subsidiary’s portfolio of wired, wireless and WAN solutions to enterprise IT departments looking to optimise their networks to boost the performance, security and availability of cloud applications and services.

Increasing numbers of organisations are looking to refresh their legacy WAN routers with more flexible solutions that trunk bandwidth from multiple transport technologies (broadband, DSL, Ethernet, WiFi, 4G etc) to deliver more cost effective network connectivity to distributed locations (see our report SD-WAN Builds New Service Models for Network Providers here).

More recently, SD-WAN suppliers have switched their focus to optimising the performance of cloud applications and services accessed from branch offices and remote sites. That fits neatly not only with HPE’s Intelligent Edge and edge-to-cloud vision, but also plays to the large swathes of employees who now work from home more regularly following the implementation of Coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Posted by: Martin Courtney

Tags: acquisition   SD-WAN   edge   networkinfrastructure  

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Tuesday 22 September 2020

Happiest day for Happiest Minds!

logoThe first I had heard of Bangalore-based mid-tier IT services firm Happiest Minds was just over  five years ago when I got an email from Isaac George, whom I knew from his time at Xansa/Steria back in the day. He joined Happiest Minds in April 2015 as their UK head and is now Senior Vice President & Head of European Operations.

I tell you this as I missed the news that Happiest Minds IPO’d in India a couple of weeks ago, which must be a bit of a result given the current circumstances. Happiest Minds was founded by ex-Mindtree founder (and prior, ex-Wipro exec) Ashok Soota in 2011 at 68 years old (it’s never too late!). Happiest Minds’ strong suits are in digital services (natch), Infrastructure Services, and Product Engineering (as per Mindtree and Wipro). Happiest Minds closed FY20 (to 31st March) with revenues around $100m.

Interestingly, according to an article in my favourite gossip broadsheet, the Economic Times of India, Soota sees London-based nearshore IT services firm, Endava, as one of its main global competitors, with nary a mention of Mindtree, LTI (which now controls Mindtree) and a host of other mid-tier players well known in the market. Endava is a real UK star, and one of the very few SMEs that successfully broke through the triple-digit revenue barrier without imploding. Indeed, Endava went on to list on the NYSE in July 2018 (see UK nearshore services star Endava to IPO as NYSE 'unicorn') and is still growing fast (see Endava still growing at over 20% pa).

Like peers, Happiest Minds derives the bulk of its revenues (around 78%) from the US, which at best leaves its European revenues at some $20m or thereabouts, I assume mostly from the UK. This makes for an interesting challenge for Isaac George, who will be battling not only Endava, but all his ‘old mates’ at Mindtree as well as the rest of the ‘mid-tier mob’ here in the UK.

I look forward to catching up with him again in the near future.

Posted by: Anthony Miller

Tags: offshore   ipo  

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Tuesday 22 September 2020

Agora leverages Corda blockchain to transform bond market processes

AgoraUK capital markets fintech, Digital Debt Capital Markets Ltd (t/a "Agora”), has secured £4.3m in follow-on seed funding. The latest fundraising was led by IPGL and supported by David Rutter, the founder and CEO of Corda blockchain provider, R3.

Agora was co-founded by bond market veterans, Charlie Berman and Naveed Nasar. The company is developing Corda based technology to improve process efficiency in the bond sector by connecting participants and reconciling data throughout the full life cycle of a bond.

Agora raised £2.5m in September 2019 via an initial seed funding round in September 2019 and has subsequently been working with bond market participants to develop its offering. The company has so far completed the initial development and in-house testing of its first phase software. The startup will use the latest cash injection to expand the team in areas such as marketing, end-user support and software development.

In the highly competitive capital markets sector, firms are increasingly seeking ways to improve operational efficiency and to reduce costs. Just as elsewhere in the financial services ecosystem, technology innovation is giving rise to new approaches. Margins are wafer thin, especially in the multi-trillion dollar bond market and firms are looking to technology to automate, streamline and enhance processes.

Posted by: Jon C Davies

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Tuesday 22 September 2020

IBM expands financial cloud ecosystem

IBMIBM has announced that UK “regtech”, Shield, has joined its Cloud for Financial Services ecosystem. The UK startup, founded in 2018 will onboard its communication compliance and surveillance offerings to the platform.

Shield is the latest partner vendor to join the ecosystem of companies providing their capabilities to financial services customers via the IBM Cloud for Financial Services.

The Shield platform has been created to support the regulatory and compliance requirements of financial services firms by automating and orchestrates the compliance lifecycle. The system includes a variety of elements covering data analytics, preventative detection and reporting and has been nominated for a number of industry awards.

The IBM Cloud for Financial Services is Big Blue’s vertical specific play, designed to address the requirements of financial services institutions in terms of regulatory compliance, security and resiliency. IBM has been actively growing its ecosystem of partners as it looks to challenge the dominance of other players in this space.

Despite the early mover advantage of the likes of AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google et al, it is still relatively early days in the evolution of this market and there is still plenty of greenspace to play for.

Posted by: Jon C Davies

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Tuesday 22 September 2020

*UKHotViewsExtra* Has DXC begun the "end-game" as Saleh sails away?

Paul_SalehOn 1st October, DXC Technology will formally part company with its US healthcare operations in the latest of a string of recent disposals by the ailing US technology company. The $5bn sale is part of a tranche of planned divestments announced in March this year that in total equates to around 30% of the company’s total revenue (see: DXC looks to reduce debt via US healthcare sale).

DXC Technology’s exit from the US healthcare market is notable not just for what the move represents but also because it will mark the departure of the company’s CFO, Paul Saleh, one of former CEO, Mike Lawrie’s most loyal lieutenants.

You can learn more about what the latest DXC divestment signifies by downloading Has DXC begun the "end-game" as Saleh sails away? which also contains our perspective on the simultaneous exit of the company’s longstanding CFO.

HVPHas DXC begun the "end-game" as Saleh sails away? is available to all TechMarketView clients including HotViews Premium subscribers.

If you are not a TechMarketView subscriber, but would like access to or any of our other research material, you should contact Deb Seth.

Posted by: Jon C Davies

Tags: DXC  

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Monday 21 September 2020

Craneware stable as COVID-19 hits growth

CWUS focused, healthcare analytics specialist, Craneware, has released full-year results highlighting flat revenue, despite continuing sales growth. The results for the twelve months ended 30 June revealed that annual revenue was $71.5m compared with $71.4m last fiscal, meanwhile sales for the year grew by 3.6% to $65.4m. Profit before tax increased by 5% to $19.3m and adjusted EBITDA was also up 5% to $25.2m.

Prior to lockdown, Craneware was enjoying strong sales momentum, with new business up by 30%. The company's renewals were also improving, however, the company's overall performance was hit by the loss of a major client. Meanwhile, the contribution delivered by Craneware's flagship Trisus offering has contined to grow and now stands at 14% of total sales.

Craneware’s full-year performance has followed a similar pattern to the one apparent at the interim stage (see: Strong sales defy flat revenue at Craneware). Whilst medium-term market prospects remain favourable, the company has understandably endured lengthening sales cycles in the face of COVID-19. Management will no doubt be hoping that market conditions continue to improve and that a resurgent coronavirus does not further inhibit its recovery.

Posted by: Jon C Davies

Tags: craneware  

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Monday 21 September 2020

TikTok furore fizzling out

TikTok logoA tripartite settlement has been agreed over the US part of the TikTok business that will see the creation of a new US HQ’d company, TikTok Global, owned by ByteDanceOracle and Walmart (who was originally linked with Microsoft before Microsoft was rejected from the process – see here).

ByteDance is to remain the primary stakeholder, with Walmart and Oracle taking 20% between them and Oracle hosting US user data. There is a proposal to run an IPO for 20% of the business within 12 months of the deal being signed. Trump has given the scheme the thumbs up but the Chinese authorities have yet to state their position other than to say that TikTok’s algorithms will not be transferred to the new US business. The new deadline set by the US authorities for completion of the deal is now 27 September.

What changes? Not much apparently other than where US customer data is to be hosted because although the board of TikTok Global would be predominantly US run, ByteDance will have a seat, still retain 80% ownership and the valuable algorithms look likely to remained secured within China. The US government is in line to receive $5bn in various advance taxes, the promise of jobs and the commitment from the proposed company to pump out educational content. The outright shift to US ownership that Trump initially insisted on is not happening but with US VC’s owning 40% of ByteDance and Oracle/Walmart to take 20% of the new company enough numbers are being shuffled around to make a case for US ownership by those who choose to. 

Walmart stands to benefit from access to a younger demographic and as the commercial partner could use its stake to add ecommerce capabilities to the TikTok environment; as we’ve said previously the deal would boost Oracle’s IaaS business. (You can reacp the convolutions here.)

It’s certainly not an industry changing proposal for the tech sector but it was generally more political than anything else anyway. There is still the consideration over Tencent-owned WeChat which also faces ban in the US but a judge has just blocked that US government proposal. 

Posted by: Angela Eager

Tags: acquisition   data   legal   divest  

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Monday 21 September 2020

Shock horror risk of cold showers with smart meters

picA couple of articles sprung up in the press over the weekend (e.g. The Telegraph’s “The critics of smart meters were right all along”) with the ‘shock, horror’ news that the real reason the UK Government is so keen for us all to install smart meters is so that utility companies can turn off the power to our high-load appliances should the national grid get overloaded.

Clearly these journos have not been reading my endless ‘Smart Meter Madness’ posts (start with Smart Meter Madness (16): COVID strikes! and work back through nearly 12 years (!) of commentary).

If they had, (a) they would come to the same conclusion as did I that it is unlikely that the national smart meter rollout will be complete in our lifetimes – if ever; (b) in any event, our ‘open’ market for utility suppliers (of which there are around 100) makes it most unlikely they’ll all use the same smart meter protocols (this is already a problem, by the way); and (c) as best as I understand it, smart meters do not know what devices you have installed in your home and in any event cannot turn them on and off individually.

Must have been a light weekend for news!

Posted by: Anthony Miller

Tags: smartmeters  

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Monday 21 September 2020

Do VCs ask enough stupid questions?

logoA very interesting interview by TechCrunch uber-journalist Steve O’Hear with UK VC Hoxton Ventures founding partner Hussein Kanji last Friday. The article was titled VCs have to train themselves to ask the stupid questions, in which Kanji makes the point that people (i.e. backers) are ‘probably too shy … to ask the stupid questions’ before investing in a start-up.

I just hope that Hoxton ‘asked the stupid questions’ before backing London-based start-up Kbox Global, which I also wrote about last Friday (see Kbox lightens ‘dark kitchen’ opportunity with extra funding). Kbox claims to turn underused commercial kitchens, such as in restaurants, pubs, clubs and supermarkets, into branded meal delivery hubs.

Hoxton also backs ‘unicorns’ Deliveroo, Darktrace and controversial ‘dial-a-doc’ service Babylon (about which our Dale Peters has written reams – start with Babylon suffers data breach and work back), so you can’t argue that Hoxton hasn’t made some good calls from a valuation perspective.

But I do agree with Kanji’s point that you have to ask the stupid questions. But you also have to challenge the answers too!

Posted by: Anthony Miller

Tags: funding  

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Monday 21 September 2020

Compliance, not Coronavirus, depresses GRC FY20

GRC results indicate cyber consulting slumpPreliminary results at governance, risk management and compliance management GRC International Group suggest the impact of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions on commercial activity was not as bad as previously expected.

What really depressed the company’s performance was a steep drop in GDPR compliance engagements in 2019 however. Revenue and billings for the 12 month period ending March 2020 shrank 11% year on year to £14m though GRC did shrink its pre-tax loss to £3.6m, down from £5.4m in a difficult FY19.

Consultancy was the only part of the business that actually grew in FY20, up 19% yoy to £8.6m (61% of the total). There were big declines in training (down 45%), publishing and distribution (down 27%) and software (down 10%), though H2 was a slight improvement on the first half.

Management continue to lament an immediate and significant drop in activity after the May 2018 deadline for GDPR compliance which it had not fully anticipated. That prompted a swift restructure and headcount reduction to “right size” the business while an equity fundraise of £3.75m enabled it to complete the acquisition of data protection and e-privacy firm DQM Group.

The outlook for FY21 is now positive with opex having dropped 18%, though GRC has not issued any guidance given the continued uncertainty. Based in Ely, Cambridgeshire the company is keen to mitigate any ongoing fallout by expanding into other forms of compliance elsewhere in the world and eventually build its overseas sales to exceed those in the UK (international sales currently account for 17% of turnover).

Posted by: Martin Courtney

Tags: results   compliance   GDPR   consultancy   FY20  

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Monday 21 September 2020

Recruiter Nakama down to last £300k

logoTroubled UK-headquartered ‘recruiter-of-two-halves’ Nakama has just over £300k cash left in the bank as at 31st August though it has managed to claw back £120k since its FY ended on 31st March. However, the company has yet to file its accounts at Companies House and has been granted an extension beyond the statutory 30th September deadline. Needless to say, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated an already parlous situation for the company (see Virus adds to recruiter Nakama’s woes).

Nakama chairman Tim Sheffield warned that things will only get worse without access to additional capital if the UK Government schemes end on schedule.

The writing has been on the wall for Nakama even before the virus struck. Now it is writ even larger.

Posted by: Anthony Miller

Tags: warning   recruitment  

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Monday 21 September 2020

You are just 6 small steps away from the perfect virtual partner programme…

V-TIPPThe Virtual TechMarketView Innovation Partner programme (V-TIPP) offers you the opportunity to discover exciting start-ups and scale-ups to partner with to help you bring innovative, differentiated solutions to your customer’s business.

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Having ran six TIPP programmes so far, we have never yet failed to find great innovation partners for our clients (see what they have to say). And we do it at a fixed price regardless of how many candidates we find you. We’d welcome the opportunity to find partners for your organisation too.

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Posted by: HotViews Editor

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