- Related sector Technology
- Investment status Realised
- Related company Giacom
The investment was originally made from the Livingbridge 6 fund. The business has been acquired by Digital Wholesale Solutions.
The deal also marks an exit for minority shareholder, LDC which has been invested in Giacom since 2016.
Founded in Hull, UK in 1999 as an internet service provider, Giacom now offers a one-stop platform for all the cloud software, infrastructure and IT support services that an ITC might require to transition an SME client into a public or private cloud environment, and then manage them on an ongoing basis.
Livingbridge first invested in Giacom in 2017, having identified the potential to capitalise on SMEs’ increasing adoption of cloud software, and their need for ITCs to help them navigate the ever-complex digital landscape.
Since then, Giacom has become the UK’s largest independent cloud portal, with a highly specialised and large-scale distribution platform. Its cloud platform now services over 70,000 end-user SMEs and over 1 million individual licenses, via its 3,400 ITC clients. Giacom has also seen significant revenue growth over the last four financial periods, growing at a CAGR of 52.1% – primarily driven by the industry shift towards cloud-based solutions.
Giacom’s exceptional growth has continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic; since March, the business has grown both its revenue and SME base, and has continued to win new ITCs in line with previous months. The company has also committed to closing the digital divide and increased its provision of Microsoft 365 licenses to schools across the UK during the crisis by over 50,000, alleviating the strain on the country’s education system.
Led by CEO Mike Wardell, and supported by a highly experienced management team, Giacom has created a collaborative workplace culture that has been recognised through numerous awards, cementing its reputation within the industry. Since Livingbridge’s acquisition, Giacom topped the list of Insider’s Fastest Growing Businesses in Yorkshire, 2020, was a finalist in the Amazon Growing Business Awards, was named ‘One to Watch’ in the European Business Awards, and has featured in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 league table for the fourth consecutive year, to name a few.
Adam Holloway at Livingbridge, said: “It has been a real pleasure to partner with Giacom over the past three years by providing the support required to transform the business and rapidly build market share. With more people working from home over the long-term and companies overhauling their strategies to maximise workforce productivity, cloud technology adoption is only expected to accelerate. We wish Mike and his team the best of luck in fulfilling this potential.”
Mike Wardell, CEO of Giacom, said: “This has been a highly successful collaboration with Livingbridge. Their experience in the tech sector and of growing businesses and their deep digital skills have enabled us to build on the strong momentum we had generated before our partnership, and reach the next level. We are now well-positioned to embark on the next step of our growth journey with Digital Wholesale Solutions, and look forward to developing our future together.”
The principal advisors on this exit for Livingbridge included Alantra (Corporate Finance – James Chapman-Andrews, Oliver Norman, Jamie Dickson and Milan Vashi), Pinsent Masons (Legal), PwC (Commercial due diligence) and KPMG (Financial due diligence).
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