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Fluidly raises £5m to help SMEs with their cashflow
14 Nov 2018
Cyber acquisitions drive growth at Falanx
14 Nov 2018
Mporium raises £2.3m to target ‘micro-moments’
14 Nov 2018
Great British Scaleups: The Fifth Generation – Day 2
14 Nov 2018
Happy Birthday Sir. Prince Charles joins the 70s Club
14 Nov 2018
Amazon reinvents the light switch
13 Nov 2018
Experian H1: growth driven by B2B proposition
13 Nov 2018
Great British Scaleups: The Fifth Generation – Day 1
13 Nov 2018
Kofax spends US$400m on Nuance for RPA
13 Nov 2018
Little first half cheer for Vodafone
13 Nov 2018
Hold on to your hats
13 Nov 2018
AXA helps Birdie take flight
13 Nov 2018
Cyan Forensics secures new funds
13 Nov 2018
SERVICES READY 2019: Challenges and Innovation for Professional Services in Tech
13 Nov 2018
SAP puts up $8bn for Qualtrics for CX data
12 Nov 2018
North London authorities to end shared IT service
12 Nov 2018
Virtual estate agent Nested raises a real £120m
12 Nov 2018
EduMe gets dosh to bring CBT to gig workers
12 Nov 2018
*NEW RESEARCH* BMC: Running and reinventing for its customers – and itself
12 Nov 2018
Gain access to TMV's Full UKHotViews and UKHotViewsExtra Articles
12 Nov 2018
Software and IT Services - Putting Finance at the Core: FINANCE READY 2019
12 Nov 2018
*NEW RESEARCH* Communisis – From Printer to Customer Experience Management
09 Nov 2018
Northgate wins first software deal in India
09 Nov 2018
Portify gets £1.3m to manage gig worker finances
09 Nov 2018
Rimini Street investing for growth
09 Nov 2018
Unisys revenue improves again in Q3
09 Nov 2018
InsurTech Yulife raises £3m for 'wellbeing' life insurance
09 Nov 2018
Equiniti benefits from strong year for IPOs
09 Nov 2018
ScaleUp Group scales up with new talent
09 Nov 2018
Accenture latest partner for ambitious scale-up Quantexa
08 Nov 2018
CGI UK bookings picture weakened by Brexit
08 Nov 2018
Atos/VMware team up on IoT practicalities
08 Nov 2018
Tracsis closes solid year of progress
08 Nov 2018
Conduent sees bumps in the road in Q3
08 Nov 2018
AdEPT buys ETS for healthcare UC
08 Nov 2018
H1 results reflect Xero's expansion activities
08 Nov 2018
Zopa banks another £16m to become a bank
08 Nov 2018
Home Office faces further criticism of police strategy
08 Nov 2018
CyberArk Q3 confirms strong demand for IAM
08 Nov 2018
Lloyds puts thought – and dosh – into Thought Machine
08 Nov 2018
Blue Wave or Blue Ripple?
08 Nov 2018
SCC acquires avsnet
07 Nov 2018
'Frugal' Ignitho ignites in the US
07 Nov 2018
aiden.ai - one for the mobile app marketers
07 Nov 2018
£50m invested in new AI centres for healthcare
07 Nov 2018
Speculation points to Symantec PE buyout
07 Nov 2018
Genpact delivers solid third quarter
07 Nov 2018
DXC fails to hit Q2 revenue target
07 Nov 2018
Partnerize finds new funding partner
07 Nov 2018
Starcom raises expectations
07 Nov 2018
Engineer.ai: blending humans and AI for app dev
07 Nov 2018
Subdued Sophos looks to FY20 for better results
07 Nov 2018
Capita renews Westminster Revs & Bens
07 Nov 2018
Paddle rows further with new funding
07 Nov 2018
Not a TechMarketView Client? Sign up to UKHotViewsPremium and reap the benefits of our archive
07 Nov 2018
FINANCE READY 2019: How Finance Professionals in Tech are preparing for the future
07 Nov 2018

UKHotViews©

 

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Fluidly raises £5m to help SMEs with their cashflow

FluidlyFluidly, a London-based fintech start-up delivering cashflow management for SMEs has raised £5m in Series A funding.

The round was led by Nyca Partners with participation from Octopus Ventures, Anthemis and tech angels Simon Murdoch and Charlie Songhurst.

Fluidly received £2m in seed funding led by Octopus Ventures back in October 2017 and has developed a SaaS-based platform aimed at smaller businesses to help them manage and predict cash flows using AI and modelling tools. 

The platform, which integrates with both cloud accounting packages and Open Banking APIs, is clearly gaining traction having been taken on by nine of the Top 20 UK accounting firms as well as numerous smaller accountants looking to reach SME end users.

Fluidly is led by founder and serial entrepreneur Caroline Plumb (formerly of research company Freshminds) and will look to use funds to expand its team of engineers and data scientists and ramp up sales and marketing capacity.

Fintech remains an incredibly competitive market with a huge amount going on. FinancialServicesViews subscribers can follow our take on the latest developments in the Fintech space with our recent publication FintechViews - The State of Global Fintech.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '09:45' - Tagged: funding   FinTech  

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Wednesday 14 November 2018

Cyber acquisitions drive growth at Falanx

Falanx logoRevenue at AIM-listed cyber security and strategic intelligence business Falanx Group was up 51% in the six months ended 30 September 2018 to £2.2m (2017: £1.4m); lower than original internal expectations. Underlying EBITDA losses narrowed marginally to £0.71m (H1 2017: £0.85m loss), with loss before tax coming in at £0.97m (H1 2017: £1.0m loss).

Revenue improvement was driven by the two acquisitions completed during the year. First Base, a cyber security testing and consulting business, was acquired for £3.2m at the end of March. It was followed by SecureStorm, a cyber security consultancy and professional services business, for £0.1m in shares in July. In 2017, First Base reported full year revenues of £1.8m and SecureStorm reported c.£0.7m.

In Falanx’s Cyber division, where both of these acquisitions are located, revenue was up 198% to £1.4m (H1 2017: £0.47m). Post-acquisition integration absorbed resources during the period, which is blamed for a shortfall of c.£0.2m in professional services revenues. Integration has now been completed and the company says utilisation of staff has increased significantly in recent months. Adjusted EBITDA losses in this part of the business narrowed to £0.12m (H1 2017: £0.55m).

Revenue in the Intelligence side of the business, Falanx Assynt, was down 25% to £0.71m (H1 2017: £0.96m). Falanx is trying to shift its strategic intelligence business to higher margin recurring revenue through sales of its subscription-based Assynt Report, but clearly still has work to do. Adjusted EBITDA in this part of the business fell 96% to £0.01m (H1 2017: £0.18m).

The business has flagged the potential from its selection by US-based SolarWinds, to be its Threat Monitoring Service Provider in the UK and South Africa. Falanx aims to partner with the business to sell complementary cyber services to SolarWinds' end customers, of which it says there are c.100,000 in the UK. However, in order to do so it will need to ramp up its own resources to meet the expected increase in business. Much will depend on Falanx’s ability to do this without impacting existing operations. 

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:27' - Tagged: results   cybersecurity   H1   managedsecurityservices  

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Wednesday 14 November 2018

Mporium raises £2.3m to target ‘micro-moments’

MporiumAIM listed “Mobile-first” technology company Mporium Group plc has raised £2.3m from exiting investors for working capital to support its growth.

As the proportion of advertising spend devoted to digital channels continues to grow, retail brands are looking to ensure their advertising spend delivers best value. AIM-listed Mporium targets this spend by offering companies the ability to determine those “micro-moments” when a consumer will be most susceptible to advertising and most easily convinced to open his or her wallet.

Mporium will be looking to build on last year’s 20% revenue growth. Whilst the company was still loss making (£3.87m in 2017) the huge potential offered by digital media spend ($126bn in 2017) is the carrot to keep on investing.

Nelius De Groot, CEO of the Company, commented: "The Group continues to make strong progress. We are delighted that our shareholders share our strategic vision for the business and would like to thank our shareholders for their continued support."

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '08:10' - Tagged: funding   mobile   advertising  

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Wednesday 14 November 2018

Great British Scaleups: The Fifth Generation – Day 2

It's Day 2 of the fifth Great British Scaleup Event and the second 4 fast-growing UK tech SME companies will be participating at the event today in London.

GBS5 Day 2They are:

  • Assuria
  • Searchlight Consulting
  • Shift Left Group
  • Tisski

Top executives of these companies will be joining a team of TechMarketView research directors and ScaleUp Group advisors for individual, intensive 90-minute workshops to help them realise their scale-up potential. 

The companies will be rated using the ScaleUp Growth Index®, a proprietary scorecard which identifies areas of the business that might be an inhibitor to achieving management’s growth objectives. It gives an independent insight of the company’s scale-up potential relative to its peer group, and helps management feel better prepared to undertake the next stage of the scale-up journey and track progress.

logoWe will be telling you more about all these companies in future UKHotViews posts.

Many congratulations to all of these Great British Scaleups!

The TechMarketView Great British Scaleup programme is generously sponsored by ScaleUp Group and proudly supported by techUKFor more information, please contact us at gbs@techmarketview.com.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '08:00'

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Wednesday 14 November 2018

Happy Birthday Sir. Prince Charles joins the 70s Club

I’m sure there will be no shortage of comment today about HRH Prince Charles’ 70th Birthday.

HRHI first met Prince Charles in 2002 when I got involved with the Prince’s Trust and helped to found the Technology Leadership Group. I think the first real meeting was around a table for tea at Clarence House - the first of a number I attended. Each time it was my ‘event of the day/week/month…year’. Prince Charles was always ‘on the ball’ so you really had to know your stuff. I remember looking in the London Gazette on the following day after one such encounter. Prince Charles had had 13 other engagements on that same day! I was even more surprised at a Buckingham Palace Garden party this year to learn that, as well as the Prince’s Trust, Prince Charles was the President, Patron or whatever of over 400 other charities and activities.

Most believe - as I do - that the Prince’s Trust is his greatest achievement. Over 900,000 young, disadvantaged people helped over the last 40+ years. That I’ve played a tiny part is one of my greatest achievements too.

Many people ask me what he is really like. Of course, I haven’t got a clue as I can’t claim to know him at all. When I have spoken to him he is extremely passionate about the causes in which he believes. He works extremely hard. He brings people together and it is often hard to say ‘No’!

I’ve had the honour of introducing him to groups of tech people at various receptions. He has a quite unique ability to ‘work a room’. After each conversation, lasting just a minute or so, leaving each person with a broad smile on their face. Indeed, making people feel that he would have stayed talking to them for hours if only…

I look back on my 16 years of association with Prince Charles via the Prince’s Trust with great pride. If you visit my home you will see a wall of photos and framed copies of his letters to me complete with his famous ‘black spider’ additions. When I got my MBE from him in 2012 it was one of the proudest days of my life. Even my wife and daughters were ‘chuffed’!

In 2007, when I was Chair of the TLG, we had a dinner at Windsor Castle and my wife Elizabeth was seated next to Prince Charles. They chatted for an hour! In the car on the way home, Elizabeth said ‘He was the best person I have ever sat next to at dinner. Can we ask him to dinner at our house?’. We never did although I understand he has said ‘YES’ to stranger requests!

I think the world - and the UK - would be much the poorer without Prince Charles and I wish him a Very Happy 70th Birthday and Many Happy Returns.

Posted by Richard Holway at '00:06'

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Tuesday 13 November 2018

Amazon reinvents the light switch

EchoAmazon, having revolutionised shopping with its online store, is now moving into…on premise shopping with Amazon Go. So you can now get in your car, park, walk into a shop, examine what you want to buy, walk out with it, carry to your car and drive home. Surely that will never catch on?

So I was excited today to learn that Amazon was bringing new functionality to its recently introduced Echo Buttons. When they were launched it was to play party games with Alexa. Now Amazon has introduced new features. And WOW! listen to this innovation… Rather than wearing out your voice asking Alexa to switch on the lights, you can now press an Echo Button and it will do it for you!

Bit like a ‘light switch’ you might think…

Posted by Richard Holway at '11:18'

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Tuesday 13 November 2018

Experian H1: growth driven by B2B proposition

Experian logoGlobal information services provider Experian was a new entrant into our Enterprise Software Supplier Rankings this year, as it continues to building its marketing and decision analytics software business to extend its value proposition, particularly in the B2B space, and capitalise on its data assets.

Today’s H1 results (for the six months to end September 2018) show that it is continuing to successfully draw on its combination of technology and data assets, built up over several years of investment. At the headline, total revenue growth was 7% (to $2.4b), with 9% growth at constant currency and 8% organic. Meanwhile, the EBIT margin, at 27.5%, was up 20bp at ccy but down 10bp at actual exchange rates.

In the UK&I, an overall 3% organic revenue growth (to $396m) disguised diverse performances across the B2B and Consumer Services businesses. B2B revenues were up 5% to $313m, driven by 3% growth in data (to $184m) and 9% growth in decisioning (to $129m). But the Consumer Services business declines by 6%. Experian highlights a “further moderation” in the rate of decline in Consumer Services and predicts a return to positive organic growth in H2.

The UK growth in B2B was driven by “significant” multi-product wins in the banking and utilities sectors for Experian’s traditional credit services and decisioning software. New technologies also performed well. ‘Verdus’ – an open data platform simplifying the ability of users to ingest and combine data from multiple different sources – is highlighted as a positive influence on the UK results. Verdus is a good example of Experian combining third party tech (Runpath) with Experian Technology, as well as externally sourced data with its own credit data, to good effect; in this case it enables banking and price comparison clients to better match consumers to financial products.

The share price has responded positively to the morning’s announcement.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '09:54' - Tagged: software   bps   data  

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Tuesday 13 November 2018

Great British Scaleups: The Fifth Generation – Day 1

It's Day 1 of the fifth Great British Scaleup Event and the first 4 fast-growing UK tech SME companies will be participating at the event today in London.

GBS5 Day 1They are:

  • Accountagility
  • Emapsite
  • Worksmart
  • XCD

Top executives of these companies will be joining a team of TechMarketView research directors and ScaleUp Group advisors for individual, intensive 90-minute workshops to help them realise their scale-up potential. 

The companies will be rated using the ScaleUp Growth Index®, a proprietary scorecard which identifies areas of the business that might be an inhibitor to achieving management’s growth objectives. It gives an independent insight of the company’s scale-up potential relative to its peer group, and helps management feel better prepared to undertake the next stage of the scale-up journey and track progress.

logoWe will announce the second group of companies participating on Day 2 in tomorrow’s UKHotViews, and we will be telling you more about all these companies in future UKHotViews posts.

Many congratulations to all of these Great British Scaleups!

The TechMarketView Great British Scaleup programme is generously sponsored by ScaleUp Group and proudly supported by techUKFor more information, please contact us at gbs@techmarketview.com.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '09:40'

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Tuesday 13 November 2018

Kofax spends US$400m on Nuance for RPA

Kofax spends US$400m on NuanceA US$400m deal for Nuance Document Imaging (NDI) will expand business process automation specialist Kofax’s voice recognition capabilities as the company looks to add more artificial intelligence (AI) to its back-office platform.

Kofax highlighted cloud compatibility, document security and print management tools as other attractions as it looks to combine document capture and print capabilities in a single robotic process automation (RPA) platform for its enterprise customers.  

Acquired by printer manufacturer Lexmark in 2015, Kofax then found itself part of private equity firm (and Symantec suitor) Thoma Bravo after the latter paid US$1.5bn for Lexmark’s enterprise software business last year.

We think the market for RPA solutions is now maturing (see our Business Process Services Market Trends & Forecasts 2018 report), and Kofax is understandably keen to enhance its platform with the latest technology quickly to steal a march on its competitors.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:29' - Tagged: acquisition   RPA   Kofax   NDI   Nuance  

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Tuesday 13 November 2018

Little first half cheer for Vodafone

Little first half cheer for VodafoneVodafone’s poor start to the year continued in the second quarter, with reported revenue dropping 5.5% yoy to €21.8bn (£19bn) for the first half of FY19.

Multiple reasons were given for the eye watering €7.8bn (£6.8bn) loss posted during the period, driven by impairment charges in Spain and Romania, currency headwinds, the adoption of IFRS 15 rules and costs associated with the merger of Vodafone India with Idea Cellular and the disposal of its Qatar business.

UK turnover fell 5% organically to €3.4bn (£3bn) leading to an adjusted EBITDA loss of €14m (£12.2m), down 14% yoy. Management blamed marginal 1% growth in consumer mobile and fixed line service turnover which failed to offset a drag from new handset financing for the performance.

New Group Chief Executive Nick Read, who replaced Vittorio Colao last month after mixed FY18 results in May, will now have a much better idea of the uphill task facing him. Indeed, there was little to cheer for the MNO, with only revenue from its Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity business (up 7% yoy) and a return to growth for enterprise fixed service revenue (up 2%) showing signs of promise.

Massive investment in broadband network infrastructure via partnerships with CityFibre in the UK and the proposed €18bn acquisition of Liberty Global in Europe (as well as NB-IoT and imminent 5G cellular rollouts) should leave the operator well placed to grow those two service portfolios and customer base in the future.

The company has also improved its network net promotor scores, indicating past troubles with customer service are being eased, But any sustained pickup in Vodafone's performance will only come from better cross-selling of fixed, wireless and mobile voice, data and video services to businesses and consumers alike in the face of strong competition from rival providers.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '08:55' - Tagged: results   mobile   broadband   iot   Vodafone   H1  

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Tuesday 13 November 2018

Hold on to your hats

Another bad day for tech stocks

SharesAnother pretty awful day for tech. Yesterday’s 2.8% plunge in the NASDAQ index was lead by Apple’s 5% fall. This was occasioned by Lumentum, which supplies facial recognition systems at the heart of the Apple iPhoneX, saying that a major supplier was to ‘materially reduced’ its orders. Their shares plunged 33%. In turn, the UK’s IQE plunged by 29% as Lumentum is one of its biggest clients. As Apple’s recent results showed - See Apple warns of subdued times ahead - iPhone sales are flat BUT their unit price is rocketing. Good for Apple’s bottom (but not top) line. Probably very bad news for its suppliers. The fact that Apple will not give unit numbers in their quarterly results in future, merely fuelled the fears that Apple iPhone sales were on a downward trend - albeit at even higher prices.

The tech sell-off was across the board though with Amazon slumping 4.4%. So Apple and Amazon, the two largest tech companies by market value, have fallen by 16% and 20% respectively since their respective highs reached as recently as the last two months. That really hurts - particularly to newcomers to the tech sector.

Amongst the other FANMAGs, Netflix fell 3.1%, Alphabet/Google was off 2.6%, Microsoft off 2.5% and Facebook down 2.35%.

Most Asia tech shares - particularly those that do business with Apple eg Japan Display (down 7.6%), AAC Technologies (down 7.4%) and  Foxconn (down 5.7%) - fell overnight which doesn’t bode well for the UK and later the US exchanges today.

Hold onto your hats

Posted by Richard Holway at '08:08'

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Tuesday 13 November 2018

AXA helps Birdie take flight

Birdie logoCare technology startup Birdie has secured €7m in a Series A funding round led by AXA. The London-based business has now raised €9.5m since launching in 2017.  

Birdie provides technology aimed at the elderly care sector, including digital care notes for care providers; communication tools for sharing information between care professionals, families and other health practitioners; and 24/7 home monitoring and health alerts through remote sensors. It is also developing health analytics systems to help predict cases of worsening health.

The company is already working with a number of care agencies and has formed partnerships with Tunstall, Advanced and the UK Home Care Association. It intends to use the latest funds to develop its products further, recruit new staff and extend its partnerships with care agencies.

Technology will have an increasingly important role to play in the elderly care sector and we are seeing many start-ups focus on this area e.g. OnCare, CeraCare Sourcer, Oxehealth, and Hometouch. As we discussed in our UK Public Sector SITS Market Trends & Forecasts 2018 report, there is huge pressure on social care provision for older people in the UK, which is impacting local authorities, hospitals, GPs, care providers and families. Recent government funding is intended to reduce pressure on hospital beds by enabling more elderly patients to be treated at home, but will be insufficient to address the issue in the long-term. 

Posted by Dale Peters at '07:12' - Tagged: funding   startup   socialcare   healthcare  

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Tuesday 13 November 2018

Cyan Forensics secures new funds

Cyan Forensics logoEdinburgh-based digital forensics start-up Cyan Forensics has raised £900,000 in its latest investment round. The round was led by existing investor Mercia Fund Managers, who were joined by the Scottish Investment Bank (also an existing investor) and private investor Don Macleod. This round brings total funding to date to c.£1.5m.

The business started life as a digital forensics project at Edinburgh Napier University. Current CEO Ian Stevenson was brought in by the university as a ‘Commercial Champion’ in 2015 to help the research team explore the commercial potential in their work and build the business plan. Backed by Mercia Fund Managers and the Scottish Investment Bank, Cyan Forensics was founded in 2016 and research team member Bruce Ramsay joined the company as CTO.

The business has developed technology that can help police investigators find evidence on seized computers faster. It offers products aimed at forensic analysts and frontline staff to triage and screen for material such as indecent images or terrorist activity. It has run trials with both Police Scotland and the National Crime Agency, and its products are currently being used by a number of UK police forces.

The latest investment will be used by the company to develop opportunities in the UK and start exploring markets internationally. It also intends to look at applications for its technology in cybersecurity.

Digital evidence is now collected at virtually every crime scene and this is putting increasing pressure on forensic teams. The amount of data stored on devices is often high and can take a long time to screen. Technology such as that being developed by Cyan Forensics will be vital to ensure efficient, accurate and comprehensive processing of digital evidence.

Posted by Dale Peters at '07:02' - Tagged: funding   startup   police   cybersecurity   police   police   police   police  

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Monday 12 November 2018

SAP puts up $8bn for Qualtrics for CX data

logoWhen announcing the proposed acquisition of Qualtrics International over the weekend SAP CEO Bill McDermott described it as transformational and at $8bn cash this is no tuck-in acquisition (indeed, it’s the second largest, only topped by the $8.3bn paid for Concur in 2014).

What it is, is a move to combine SAP’s operational data with real time customer/employee/brand experience data from Qualtrics’ survey-based customer experience platform, with the aim of providing organisations with real time insight. When it  announced C/4HANA earlier this year, SAP planted its renewed CRM flag in the sand and this acquisition is positioned to be an important addition to the C/4HANA-headed CRM/CX portfolio. An acquisition of this size needs to be multi-purpose so it also adds to SAP’s SaaS assets and by also bridging operations and CX data, it links traditional and digital environments, providing some of the much needed ‘how’ of digital transformation.

Initial questions about the acquisition (scheduled to complete in H119) relate to the valuation. Swooping just days before Qualtrics’ planned IPO, a premium would be expected but the $8bn is still a high price tag. Qualtrics was valued at $2.5bn in 2017 when it raised its last round of funding ($180m, taking the total to $400m). Initially it expected to raise $200m through its IPO which was said to be oversubscribed and could have been looking at a valuation of up to $4bn. 2017 revenue came in at $290m, a 52% increase, with operating income of $3.1m. 2018 revenue guidance is $400m. SAP anticipates annual revenue growth of c.40%+ post acquistion. Qualtrics’ closest competitor is Survey Monkey - it IPO’d in September with a valuation of $1.25bn.

SAP needs to do something substantial with Qualtrics. We’d like to see it play a part in a determined data supply chain strategy. With organisations struggling to gather sufficient and relevant data (to feed the hungry machine learning algorithms that provide insight to improve CX), providing the means to gather and make sense of customer data in an operational environment is valuable. CRM competitors Oracle, Microsoft and Salesforce have all gone some way down the data supply chain, this could be an opportunity for SAP to go further. 

Further reading: Enterprise Software Market Trends & Forecasts to 2021.

Posted by Angela Eager at '10:05' - Tagged: acquisition   saas   cloud   software   data   digitaltransformation  

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Monday 12 November 2018

North London authorities to end shared IT service

London Borough logosThe Shared Digital Service arrangement between the London Boroughs of Camden, Haringey and Islington will be discontinued at the end of the year. Council reports state, “It has become clear that the three councils have different local priorities and approaches with regards to ICT and digital services.”

The Shared Digital Service formally came into existence in October 2016, with the intention of potentially saving £6m a year across the three boroughs. In July 2018, it was agreed to amend the basis of the service from a fully integrated approach to a “light” model that focussed on shared infrastructure and consolidate the savings at £2.4m per annum; less than half the savings originally envisaged.

Camden’s update on the partnership, which was submitted to the local authority’s Cabinet last month, states, “It has become clear that the commitment to the long-standing core principles [of the service] are no longer shared and it is therefore no longer possible or practical to implement a shared service, or ‘light’ model, as envisaged.”

The equivalent report submitted by Haringey makes it clear it was not responsible for driving the decision to disband the partnership—it states, “the termination of the project was not something which was sought by our borough”. And both Camden and Haringey say they “may explore the potential for some joint working in the future”, which certainly seems to be pointing the finger of blame at Islington.

Local responsibility for digital services will resume on 01 January 2019, which doesn’t give the local authorities much time. Camden, as the host authority for the shared service, has acted as the purchasing body for ICT contracts for the three boroughs over the last 18 months. Existing contracts will need to be unpicked, with responsibility returned or novated to individual boroughs.

Shared services may be seen as a good route to mitigate the financial challenges in local government (see UK Public Sector SITS Supplier Rankings 2018), but success relies on a great deal of trust and an ability to manage cultural differences and local priorities. This is not easily achieved and, as demonstrated in this example, relationships can remain fragile.

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:44' - Tagged: shared+services   local+government   digital+transformation  

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Monday 12 November 2018

Virtual estate agent Nested raises a real £120m

logoSince writing about London-based online real estate agent Nested last October (see Investors feather Nested’s nest) they have tweaked their business model yet again.

You can sell your home on Nested for a fixed 1.2% commission, including the usual 'virtual' real estate agency services (photos, viewings etc). This compares with a £899 fixed fee from market leader Purple Bricks (depending on postcode – in my area it's £1,399 plus £399 for accompanied viewings).

But Nested's USP is that you can borrow between 90% to 95% of Nested's valuation of your home after it has been listed for 30 days on its platform (the upper limit used to be 97%). If you want to reserve the bridging loan, Nested will charge you a flat fee of 0.7% of the valuation; if you want to use the loan after 30 days, then Nested charges an additional fee of 2.79% of the valuation (I back-calculated this figure). This goes down to less than 1% if you draw the loan after 120 days of listing. I have absolutely no idea what interest rate this represents and I would imagine neither would the borrower.

And there's more. You can delist from Nested after 30 days and they will give you £1,000 so long as you had listed at their recommended valuation. And they take the risk if your property sells below the advance. Oh - and you get £500 of John Lewis vouchers if you refer a friend.

All this requires dosh – and lots of it. Nested has just closed a £120m Series C funding round comprising £20m equity funding led by Northzone, and Balderton Capital, and £100m in debt funding from an unnamed lender.

I fear Nested's proposition has become too complex for the potential home seller to understand how much they will pay to get their home sold if they wish to take a cash advance. Which makes me wonder - is Nested really just a bridging loan business but with a real estate agency shop window? And can this business model make a profit?

Posted by Anthony Miller at '09:31' - Tagged: funding   startup   PropTech  

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Monday 12 November 2018

EduMe gets dosh to bring CBT to gig workers

logoI would imagine it would only be readers 'of a certain age' who know what 'CBT' means – (Computer Based Training, for those of an uncertain age). And some (like me) may have even whiled away hours at 'green screen' VDUs (visual display units for those etc etc) learning our trade from mainframe-based interactive training courses that our employers deemed too impractical or costly to teach in a classroom.

Roll forward many years. CBT has long since been rebranded 'eLearning', and we now arrive at the gig economy whose workers still need training but, by the nature of their jobs, are unlikely to be anywhere long enough to spend quality time learning their trade. This has spurred a number of entrepreneurs to develop eLearning systems that create training content in bite-size chunks ('micro-learning') that are specifically tailored to run on mobile devices. Many also extend their apps to include Learning Management System (LMS) functionality so that employers can track workers' 'attendance' and progress through the courses.

One such entrepreneur is Jacob Waern, whose Chiswick-based startup, EduMe does all of the above and has become the preferred training platform for Uber in the UK and Germany. Established in 2015, EduMe has recently closed a $1.8m seed funding round led by Connect Ventures.

EduMe charges from USD1.99 per user per month ('at scale' price) for the full gamut of course authoring, reporting and analysis tools, and also offers a bespoke course content authoring service for those employers who don't want to go DIY.

EduMe is far from alone in this market, but to sign up Uber as a reference client has got to be a pretty good result!

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:31' - Tagged: funding   startup   edtech  

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Monday 12 November 2018

*NEW RESEARCH* BMC: Running and reinventing for its customers – and itself

logoAs one of a group of long established suppliers in the IT Operations area, software provider BMC has struggled to modernise its own business to keep pace with the many changes in the broader tech environment, specifically the move to cloud.

With close to flat growth (0.78% CAGR, 2010-2013, taking revenue to $1.97bn in 2013), the company was acquired by investors led by Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital in 2013 for $6.9bn and just last month (October 2018) transferred into the hands to KKR for a rumoured $8.3bn. Altered ownership indicates change is afoot and the recent BMC Exchange conference in London provided clues as to how it revitalising itself as a competitor with cloud and digtial transformation credentials. 

logoBMC has a lot to prove and strong competition, especailly with ServiceNow bringing a modern take and service managment stack to the market, but it is gearing up. BMC's portfolio – and most of its revenue – is attached to legacy products and technologies. Shifting the balance towards digital enablers, at pace, is the challenge. Conversations at the BMC Exchange event certainly provided food for thought. TechMarketView subscribers, including those who take the UKHotViews Premium service, can see what we think by downloading "BMC: Running and reinventing for its customers - and itself".

Posted by Angela Eager at '08:07' - Tagged: cloud   software   automation   machinelearning  

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Monday 12 November 2018

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Posted by HotViews Editor at '08:00'

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Friday 09 November 2018

*NEW RESEARCH* Communisis – From Printer to Customer Experience Management

communisisThe success of communications services provider Communisis in generating faster growth and developing its digital platforms made it a target in October of New Jersey-based outsourced billing, communications and payments provider OSG.

As seen in our most recent BPS supplier rankings report Communisis is now the UK’s ninth largest BPS player by revenue yet it often goes ‘under-the-radar’ when the market is discussed. Its heritage as a printer means that its transformation into a multi-channel communications provider is often not fully understood. It is also a UK business with lofty ambitions of opening up the ultra-competitive US market.

As Communisis executes its new strategy or as it calls it ‘Value Enhancement Programme’, we thought a look under the covers at Communisis was long overdue.

Click to download Communisis – From Printer to Customer Experience Management. If you are not a subscriber, you can contact Deb Seth for details.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '15:00' - Tagged: newresearch   customerexperience   communisis  

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Friday 09 November 2018

Northgate wins first software deal in India

NPS logoNorthgate Public Services (NPS) has secured a contract with the Indian Society for Hip and Knee Surgeons (ISHKS) to provide a national joint registry in India; its first ever software deal in the country. The contract is initially for three years, but with options to extend further.

NPS has been exploring the registry market in India for some time (see NPS renews NJR deal and targets Indian market) and concluded a six hospital pilot with ISHKS last year. The success of this pilot and the experience NPS has gained from running the UK National Joint Registry (NJR) were key factors in securing the deal.

The contract with ISHKS is similar in scope to how NPS started working with the NJR several years ago. The NJR system has increased in sophistication over time and NPS hopes the ISHKS platform will follow a similar evolutionary path. NPS has carved out a strong niche in the medical registry sector, including securing a five-year deal with the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners earlier this year (see NPS looking good with JCCP deal).

The ISHKS platform takes in data via a web-based application and provides a library of orthopaedic implants. It is designed to make the registration of a procedure straightforward and facilitate detailed analysis on implant use and performance. Joint replacement surgeries in India are expected to increase significantly over the next few years, so platforms that record and monitor outcomes and performance will become increasingly important.

This is a strategically important win for NPS. It could open up a significant new market for the business, where it has employed software developers for some time, but never deployed its products at scale. Although the initial opportunity will be in extending its medical registry footprint, NPS will be hopeful of broadening its customer base in India across other areas of its business, such as policing.

Posted by Dale Peters at '10:07' - Tagged: contract   software   healthcare   india  

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Friday 09 November 2018

Portify gets £1.3m to manage gig worker finances

logoOh my goodness, there's so many fintech apps out there now aiming to help you manage your finances. And here's one for 'gig economy' workers – Portify (no idea where that name comes from and another startup owns the Twitter handle!). Its app connects with users' bank accounts for managing financial activity, and includes a rewards system based on the amount of work you do. Portify's current rewards partners are Amazon, Spotify and TransferWise.

If I understand this right, Portify aims to use gig economy employers (is that a contradiction in terms?) as its channel to market, offering the platform as some sort of incentive scheme.

Anyway, founded in May 2017, Portify has recently raised £1.3m is a seed funding round led by Kindred Capital and Entrepreneur First, with angel investors also participating.

While most apps for gig economy workers seem aimed at helping them find and manage their work, I do 'get' the idea of a financial management app specifically targeted at this community. Success, though, will likely depend both on Portify getting 'employers' on board to promote the app to their workers, and the workers themselves seeing something more in Portify than in the very many other financial management apps in the market.

If you want to understand the state of global fintech, then subscribers to our FinancialServicesViews research stream can read our intuitively named report, "FintechViews - The State of Global Fintech". What? You don't subscribe to FinancialServicesViews? You'd better drop a note to info@techmarketview.com to find out how to fix the problem!

Posted by Anthony Miller at '09:59' - Tagged: funding   startup   FinTech  

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Friday 09 November 2018

Rimini Street investing for growth

logoWith 17% revenue growth in Q3, the upward trend continues at maintenance provider Rimini Street but the already moderating rate of growth slowed, dipping below the 20%+ of Q1 and Q2 (see here) and higher rates of the previous year.

Net loss deepened from $9m to $48.4m on total revenue of $62.6m but that was primarily due to the paying off of debt. Operating income was $2.5m. Other metrics were positive, including annualised subscription revenue of c.$250m (up 17%) and a 19% increase in the number of active clients to 1732. We note that revenue growth outside the US expanded by 32% and now represents 36% of the total, so that is an obvious target for future growth.

The three months to 30 September 2018, was a period of business development as the company increased the senior management team, appointing Tim DeLisle as group VP and GM for North America, Eric Robinson as group VP and GM for the SAP Product Line and Pat Phelan as VP of market research. The company also invested in sales and marketing programmes, and service delivery capacity and capability. As we indicated in Rimini Street: Supporting the business of IT, there is a lot happening under the covers as Rimini Street's expands it service lines (to include Salesforce for example), grows in sophistication and invests for growth.

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:43' - Tagged: results   software   itservices  

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Friday 09 November 2018

Unisys revenue improves again in Q3

Unisys logoFigures published overnight from Unisys show total company revenue for the three months ended 30 September 2018 grew 3.3% (5.8% in constant-currency) to $688m (Q3 2017: $666m). This means the company has now achieved four consecutive quarters of revenue growth. Operating profit was $55.8m (margin of 8.1%), compared to a loss of $2.9m in Q3 2017. Adjusted EBITDA improved by 6.5% to $96m (Q3 2017: $90m).

Services revenue (88% of total revenue in the quarter) improved by 5.2% (7.6% in constant-currency) to $606m (Q3 2017: $576m). Technology revenue fell 8.9% (5.3% in constant-currency) to $83m (Q3 2017: $91m), however, this was 2.5% up on Q2 2018 and ahead of company expectations.  

With the exception of Latin America, all regions saw year-over-year revenue growth. Latin America fell 37% (25% in constant-currency), largely due to exchange rates and technology renewals in Brazil; US and Canada improved by 1% (1% in constant-currency) and Asia Pacific was up 37% (42% in constant-currency). Revenue for the EMEA region, which represented 28% of total Q3 revenue, was up 12% (13% in constant-currency) to c.$193m—flat compared to Q2 2018 revenue (see Unisys revenues down in EMEA).

The selection of its Elevate platform by Monmouthshire Building Society was highlighted as a key Q3 contract signing. The building society will use the platform for provide new current account services, including a digital wallet, for its customers.

It’s a solid set of results for the business and the outlook for the rest of the year looks positive. It has strong contract signings with Total Contract Value up 46% year-over-year for the quarter and 93 percent year to date. Backlog in the Services division grew 33% year-over-year to the end of Q3, which the company indicates is the highest year-over-year growth since Q4 1999. And it continues to build on its security propositions, with Stealth revenue up 90% year-over-year. The company remains on track to hit full year expectations.

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:12' - Tagged: results   services   security  

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Friday 09 November 2018

InsurTech Yulife raises £3m for 'wellbeing' life insurance

logoIt's a novel spin on the life insurance game – reward your clients for keeping up a healthy lifestyle so they can pay their premiums for longer (that's not quite how they put it, of course!).

This is London-based InsurTech startup, Yulife, whose policies are aimed at employers wanting to offer their employees a 'value add' life insurance benefit. Employees can download the Yulife app and exert themselves in weird and wonderful (but healthy) ways to earn 'Yucoins', which can be exchanged for Avios points or gift cards and discounts from the likes of Amazon, M&S and Urban Massage.

Yulife has just launched on the back of a £3m funding round led by LocalGlobe. Set up by Sammy Rubin, previously CEO of PruProtect which rebranded as VitalityLife, Yulife is also led by community rabbi, co-founder and chief operating officer Sam Fromson, and physician, podcaster and author, Dr Chatterjee, as chief wellbeing officer.

Yulife charges employers £7.99 per employee per month for £100k accidental death cover or £14.99 pepm for additional death cover, including from illness and natural causes, subject to application (I assume they want to know if you have already been diagnosed with a serious disease before accepting the risk).

Yulife partners with insurance majors AIG and RGA for the policy cover, and the policy itself is held in a master trust which administers the claim and also invests the insurance proceeds. It is not stated whether Yulife gets a cut of any of this along with the fee it charges employers.

A very quick search on the internet revealed employee 'death in service' insurance policies for as little as £3.95 pepm for £50k cover. Whether employers will pay double for Yulife's proposition is a moot point. Or they could go to VitalityLife!

Posted by Anthony Miller at '09:11' - Tagged: funding   startup   insurtech  

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Friday 09 November 2018

Equiniti benefits from strong year for IPOs

EquinitiAn update from BPS specialist Equiniti shows the extent to which its Share Plan business is benefiting from both a buoyant IPO market and an increased number of companies looking to run share schemes.

Equiniti announced it has won 44 new share plan clients over the last 12 months – its best performance to date,  including six FTSE 100 companies. Equiniti is both dominating the IPO market acting as registrar on 70% of this year’s new company listings and is taking market share from the competition winning over the likes of Dunelm, Avast and Countryside Properties.

The business attributes much of its success to its tech enabled approach and has been majoring on its platforms for a number of years. Indeed, it has now taken the step to describe itself as a ‘Fintech business’.

Equiniti delivered a strong set of results in H1 and has continued to invest, increasing its stake in MyCSP and acquiring L&P tech player Aquila. Moves like this coupled with the integration of the Wells Fargo Share Registration business bode well for the future.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '09:08' - Tagged: bps   FinTech  

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Friday 09 November 2018

ScaleUp Group scales up with new talent

logoIt's great to hear that TechMarketView Great British Scaleup Programme advisory sponsor ScaleUp Group is continuing to attract successful tech entrepreneurs and executives to its boost its talent pool.

After bringing on board ex-CGI Europe CEO, Tim Gregory, and ex-Lansa CEO, Martin Fincham earlier this year, ScaleUp Group has just recruited award winning FinTech entrepreneur, Lisa Powis, and ex-Sage VP, Alan Laing, into the fold.

We look forward to working with Lisa and Alan, along with the many other battle-hardened tech entrepreneurs in ScaleUp Group, in helping fast-growing UK tech SMEs realise their scale-up potential.

The fifth TechMarketView Great British Scaleup event will be held next week in London. Check out Great British Scaleups: The Fifth Dimension to see the eight companies selected to participate.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '07:58' - Tagged: scaleup  

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Thursday 08 November 2018

Accenture latest partner for ambitious scale-up Quantexa

Quantexa logoLondon-headquartered data analytics scale-up Quantexa celebrated a significant strategic alliance with Accenture this week. The deal will see Accenture use Quantexa’s AI and network analytics capabilities to help banks fight financial crime, and make a minority investment in the SME, which is already backed by AlbionVCDawn Capital and HSBC (see Quantexa's big data/analytics attracts $20m funding).

HVP logoYesterday we met Quantexa CEO Vishal Marria to get to know Quantexa better and were very impressed by the business, its growth and ambition. Indeed, it could well be a future British ‘unicorn’ in the making.

TechMarketView subscription clients, including our growing band of UKHotViews Premium subscribers, can read the full story in our latest UKHotViewsExtra article published today: Accenture latest partner for data analytics scale-up Quantexa.

Posted by Tola Sargeant at '13:06' - Tagged: partnership   analytics   AI   machinelearning   data   scaleup  

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Thursday 08 November 2018

CGI UK bookings picture weakened by Brexit

CGI logoFor CGI UK, the return to constant currency growth in Q318 (see CGI UK returns to growth in Q3) continued into Q418; constant currency revenue growth in the final quarter was strong at 7.6%. However, it was not enough to rescue the year. For FY18, the UK business total revenues increased by 0.3%, to CAN$1.3b, but this was boosted by foreign currency movements. On a ccy basis, revenues went backwards by 3.5%. The UK was the only geography to decline on a constant currency basis. The adjusted EBIT margin for the region improved significantly – from 11.8% to 14.8%.

Referring to the UK, CGI Executives highlight a “temporary slowdown in procurement decisions as the Brexit deadline nears”, to explain a weak Q4 for bookings in the region – standing at just 74%. This indicates a significant slowdown; for the full year, bookings for the UK stood at 117.3%. CGI UK has a large proportion of business in the public sector; therefore, the hope is that CGI will benefit from Brexit-related ICT projects once some clarity returns for public sector organisations. On the results call, management also painted a positive picture of commercial sector prospects, stating that more global commercial clients are moving forwards with large IT projects compared to last year.

For CGI as a whole, revenue growth for FY18 stood at 6.1% (to CAN$11.5b), or 4.6% on a constant currency basis (this compares to 4.3% in FY17). With several acquisitions made over the year (Affecto, Paragon Solutions, and Facilité Informatique Canada), organic revenue growth stood at 1.5%. The adjusted EBIT of $1.7b represents 14.8% of revenue. Bookings stood at 117.3% (in line with the UK); the Executive team points out that there is more of a lean towards consulting & SI in the bookings mix, so this will flow through to revenues faster than it might have done previously. This has been fuelled by new mergers, and client demand for digital transformation consulting services, combined with less infrastructure revenue and growth in IP solutions and services.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '09:59' - Tagged: results   SI   brexit  

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Thursday 08 November 2018

Atos/VMware team up on IoT practicalities

logologoAtos and VMware have extended their strategic partnership, which already ranges across the Canopy cloud infrastructure business and the integration of VMware Workspace ONE into Atos’s Digital Workplace. The latest move sees VMware Pulse IoT Center integrated into the Atos Codex IoT Services management framework.

This is a move to address some of the practical issues around complex IoT deployment and encourage enterprise scale implementations. The integration is designed to facilitate the uninterrupted flow of critical data between connected IoT devices, the Edge, the datacenter, and the Cloud, to help ease the running of IoT operations and simplify IoT device management and monitoring. Atos’ task includes advising on use cases and providing functional capabilities and managed services to run live IoT environments.

As outlined in Atos goes all-in on AI, the company has demonstrated its commitment to lowering the barriers to deployment for technology areas likes AI and IoT with practical solutions. The extension of the VMware partnership contributes to that commitment, along with other partnerships such as the Atos/Google AI partnership which saw the first fruits in October with the launch of their first AI Lab, in London.

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:58' - Tagged: cloud   software   itservices   iot   digitaltransformation   edge  

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Thursday 08 November 2018

Tracsis closes solid year of progress

tracFor the year to the end of July 2018, AIM-listed traffic and transport data services provider, Tracsis, saw revenue increase 14% on an organic basis to £39.8m, with adjusted EBITDA up 11% to £9.4m.

The company provides software, hosting, consultancy and technology solutions to address mission critical challenges within the transport and traffic sectors. Tracsis goes to market via two main offerings: Rail Technology & Services and Traffic & Data Services – with its overall aim being to solve complex data driven problems. Revenue is split roughly 50/50 between these two segments, with growth in the former faster (+19% versus +13%). While profitability is also higher in Rail Technology & Services (an EBITDA margin of almost 36%), the firm has hit an important objective in pushing up the margin in Traffic & Data Services from 10% last year to 12.5% this year.

The full-year numbers underline what has been a very satisfactory period based on what was a solid first half with overall progress on multiple fronts – including M&A and operations. The Group holds a very nice position in a market with high barriers to entry and contracts sold on a repeat basis. The traffic and transport sectors are undergoing much change, and if Tracsis can be on hand to help with the critical data challenges there should be opportunities aplenty.

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '09:58' - Tagged: results   transport   traffic  

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Thursday 08 November 2018

Conduent sees bumps in the road in Q3

ConduentWhilst the headline figures for Conduent in Q3 pretty much show more of the same with improving profitability on smaller revenues, management has lowered guidance for the full year as its transformation experiences some bumps in the road.

Q3 revenue was $1.3bn, down 11.9% compared to Q3 2017. Adjusting for the impact of accounting standards and divestitures, revenue was down 4% compared with Q3 2017. Improved profitability was delivered with Q3 adjusted EBITDA of $157 million, up 10%.

Conduent’s transformation programme (see Conduent Leadership Q&A: Becoming a Digital Interactions Company) is focused on achieving $700m in cost savings by year end and divestment of activities accounting for a billion dollars of revenue.

On the divestment front Q3 saw the business close three previously signed transactions (see here and here) bringing in $272m in cash. It also signed an agreement to divest the $500m of customer care contracts that do not fit with the future model, that should yield a further $50m.

Whilst progress is clearly being made Q3 has thrown up a few obstacles that saw management lower its outlook for the full year, attributed to a range of factors.

Sales are clearly slower than expected as larger platform based digital transformation deals take longer to close than traditional BPO contracts. Whilst the overall pipeline appears strong there has been some slippage of deal signings into later quarters.

Management also pointed to some technology issues from both problems with a specific tech partner and more general issues with legacy IT both inherited from the Xerox days.

Finally, Management pointed to some delays in its European operation’s transformation. Here Conduent is moving away rapidly from what was historically a call centre business to one based on platform based services at a time when there is some softness in the market (Brexit etc.).

Conduent is going through some BIG changes very quickly, so perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised that it is experiencing some bumps along the way.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '09:51' - Tagged: resullts   conduent  

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Thursday 08 November 2018

AdEPT buys ETS for healthcare UC

AdEPT buys ETS for healthcare UCAcquisitive UK unified communications (UC) provider AdEPT Telecom will add to its revenue and Avaya IP Office expertise with the purchase of ETS Communications, a Wakefield company that delivers UC and connectivity services to over 200 GP surgeries.

The £2.5m cash price will be supplemented by an additional £1.75m depending on FY19 performance, with ETS’ FY18 turnover yielding £3.16m and a £310k pre-tax profit.

AdEPT is acutely focussed on expansion through acquisition, with ETS just the latest in a string of purchases which have included Comms Group, Cat Communications, Progressive Communications, Our IT Department and more recently Shift F7.

Those additions boosted AdEPT’s turnover 35% yoy to £46.5m in FY18 (managed services accounted for 70% of the total), and the ETS deal is expected to improve its run rate by a further 5%. Having paid an initial £5m for Shift F7 in August (with a further £2.9m due depending on performance), we think AdEPT’s turnover should comfortably exceed £50m in FY19.

The expansion of its UK customer base, particularly in the public sector, and closer integration of its communications, network and IT support businesses into a single managed service proposition should leave the company better placed than ever to grow organically. But having also signed a £5m extension to its existing £30m 5-year debt facility with Barclays and RBS, we are pretty sure more AdEPT acquisitions are in the pipeline.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:27' - Tagged: acquisition   unifiedcommunications   AdEPT   ETSCommunications  

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Thursday 08 November 2018

H1 results reflect Xero's expansion activities

logoInterim results from New Zealand-based SaaS accountancy software challenger Xero reflect a company in growth mode: revenue growth of 37% to $257m with deeper losses of $28.5m vs. $19.6m (to 30 September 2018), but as always the numbers are just the tip of the iceberg.

Xero is changing and increasing its scope. One of the most obvious signs was Steve Vamos moving into the CEO seat in March, as founder and CEO Rod Drury took up a non-exec role (see Xero is growing up nicely). But there is change on several fronts as the company raises itself from a point application to a platform provider with a growing international presence.

$300m available via convertible notes as of September provided resources for acquisitions and expansion. Prior to that it had already made an acquisition, bringing in Canadian data capture provider Hubdoc, as part of its aim of helping small businesses make sense of their financial data rather than expending resources collecting – this contributed to its widening losses. (Sage has similar goals via its ‘invisible accounting’ intention.)

As part of the platform direction, Xero introduced initial services, including payroll, expenses and data capture. Platform revenue is negligible at the moment but is a prime growth area. The company is feeling its way – it wrote down its US payroll software and opted to work with payroll provider Gusto, which added to its losses but no doubt provided a lesson to learn from.

International expansion is also a major part of its plans and Xero is seeing substantial growth in all regions. In the UK, where it goes head to head with Sage, revenue grew 56% to $53m in H1, with 40% growth in the number of subscribers to 355,000 (of c.1.6m worldwide). Next week sees the Xerocon conference come to London so we’ll have more insight into plans and ambitions.

One external factor of note is that in the ANZ region, Xero competes with MYOB. MYOB has concentrated on the ANZ region but now that private equity house KKR has launched a $1.2bn bid for MYOB that could change and Xero, Sage and Intuit could all be facing another challenger on the international stage. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:18' - Tagged: results   saas   cloud   software  

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Thursday 08 November 2018

Zopa banks another £16m to become a bank

logoSticking with the banking theme for a mo' (see Lloyds puts thought – and dosh – into Thought Machine), we bring you news hot off the press that UK P2P (peer-to-peer) lending startup Zopa has just closed the final phase of August's £44m funding round (see Zopa taps market for another £44m) adding a further £16m to the pot. Both existing and new backers were reportedly involved. Founded in 2005, this brings the total raised by Zopa to date to some $190m (Source: CrunchBase).

The funding will be used to pursue Zopa's ambition to become a fully-fledged bank. This ambition has hit the startup's bottom line. Whereas the core P2P lending business (Zopa Ltd) turned in a net profit of £1.45m last year on revenues of £46.4m, the nascent banking arm (Zopa Financial Services Ltd) recorded a £4m net loss, of course not surprising being in development phase. As far as I can tell, Zopa has yet to receive its UK banking license.

Whereas Zopa seems to have made a success of its lending business, it will go into battle against a broad range of banks, both 'next generation' startups as well as legacy players. How well Zopa can differentiate itself in the UK banking market and make a profit will be the issue.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '09:17' - Tagged: funding   startup   FinTech  

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Thursday 08 November 2018

Home Office faces further criticism of police strategy

Home Office logoThe House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has published its report on the Financial Sustainability of Police Forces in England and Wales. It calls for the Home Office to develop a national strategy for policing, reform the police funding formula, and make improvements in the delivery of police technology programmes.

The PAC concluded, the Home Office lacks a comprehensive picture of all the demands forces face and is unable to support forces in delivering the Policing Vision 2025, which includes its plans for digital transformation (see UK Police SITS Supplier Landscape & Market Trends). The PAC recommends the Home Office develop its own national strategy to complement Policing Vision 2025 within 12 months.

The report also highlights concerns about the 11% top-slice the Home Office takes to fund national programmes—£945m in 2018-19—stating that it was unconvinced the money was being used effectively. This includes £495m on police technology programmes, including the National Law Enforcement Data Service and the development of the Emergency Services Network (see A new strategic direction for ESN), and £175m for the Police Transformation Fund. The report concludes, projects funded by these programmes can face a ‘cliff edge’ when national funding runs out making it difficult to keep projects going locally—it calls on the Home Office to improve the delivery of these programmes and to work more closely with police forces in their development.

This report comes shortly after the Home Affairs Select Committee’s final report on ‘Policing for the Future’, which was also highly critical of the Home Office. It concluded, “Police forces’ investment in and adoption of new technology is, quite frankly, a complete and utter mess”, which has come as a result of "the complete lack of coordination and leadership on upgrading technology over very many years".

Subscribers to PublicSectorViews can find out more about how the perfect storm of fewer resources, reduced public services, new threats, and an increase in some types of traditional crime is having an impact across policing, and how technology has the potential to help forces address these challenges in UK Public Sector SITS Market Forecast Trends and Forecasts 2018.

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:15' - Tagged: funding   police   government   transformation   police   police   police   police  

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Thursday 08 November 2018

CyberArk Q3 confirms strong demand for IAM

CyberArk growth continues apaceIn contrast to the recent performance of Sophos and Symantec, identity access management (IAM) specialist CyberArk’s growth continues apace indicating that success in the cyber security market is all about bringing the right products and services into play at the right time.

CyberArk increased its Q318 revenue 31% yoy to US$85m and even managed to turn a modest profit – GAAP net income more than quadrupled to US$8.1m from US$1.7m a year earlier. The company grew both its software license revenue (up 29% yoy to US$46.1m) and its turnover from maintenance and professional services (up 33% yoy to US$38.5m) suggesting the two components of the business are well supported by adept upselling and cross-selling competencies.

Management are bullish about continued 18-20% growth in Q4, with FY expectations in the range of US$329-US$330m, which would represent a 26% yoy increase on FY17. Then, as now, CyberArk benefitted significantly from the mass surge of public and private sector organisations rushing to ensure compliance with the GDPR by protecting data and applications through closer monitoring and auditing of end user access.

We expect the intensity of that compliance activity to tail off over the next 12 months as implementation projects are completed however (read our Cyber Security Market Trends and Forecasts to 2021 report here) and it will be interesting to see if CyberArk can extend its stellar performance into FY19 and beyond.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '08:45' - Tagged: results   Q3   cybersecurity   IAM   CyberArk  

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Thursday 08 November 2018

Lloyds puts thought – and dosh – into Thought Machine

logoThe idea of a 'bank in a box' – as in a fully-formed, end-to-end 'drop it and hop it' core banking platform in a package – has been the holy grail of banking software product developers for many years.

Most of the established banking software vendors have mimicked the concept by developing 'templated' versions of their standard offerings to simplify implementation, especially for new bank entrants, but it's still their legacy product under the covers.

London-based startup Thought Machine has, they say, started with the proverbial clean sheet of paper. They are developing a 'cloud-native' core banking system from the ground up. The startup, which was founded in 2014 by a couple of ex-Google engineers, has attracted interest – and funding – from Lloyds Bank, which has invested £11m for a 10% stake in the business as part of an £18m Series A funding round. Its co-investors were not disclosed. Lloyds has been working with Thought Machine since 2017 and plans to enter into a 'development and deployment phase' in 2019.

There was some mystery over Thought Machine, which reportedly went into administration late last year (Source: Banking Tech). However, the founders subsequently explained that this was part of a technical restructuring process and that the business was very much alive and well.

I commend the Thought Machine team for their ambition. However, the idea of creating a 'one size fits all' core banking platform is rather at the extreme end of the art of the possible. And were they to succeed, there is the even greater challenge for traditional banks such as Lloyds to migrate holus-bolus to the new platform. Far less complex platform migrations using traditional software usually come to grief (you know to whom I refer).

At best, Lloyds will get early access to some useful cloud-based IP which they may be able to deploy around their existing core systems. But a total core replacement would be a 'brave and courageous' move!

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:26' - Tagged: funding   startup   FinTech  

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Thursday 08 November 2018

Blue Wave or Blue Ripple?

Blue WaveTalking politics - even those outside of the UK - is fraught with danger. I’d assumed that most of the people in my circle of friends and business contacts, like me, would be anti Trump. But I realise now that this is far from the case!

The result of the US Mid term elections seems to have been regarded as a success by both the Republicans and Democrats! Within the business community, the fact that the House of Representatives, which swung to the Democrats, was welcomed as it would put some ‘checks and balances’ on the more extreme of Trump’s policies. Conversely, relief too that many of the  ‘business friendly’ Trump policies would remain. I even heard that Trump’s moves against the healthcare programme was ‘good for business’.

All this translated into one of the best days in a long while for tech stocks. NASDAQ surged 3.1% and I suspect that will be followed through to the UK markets today.

Amongst the FANMAGs, Amazon was the best performer - rising nearly 7% (now up 50% YTD). Trump has been gunning for Amazon and Jeff Bezos (who owns the Washington Post so disliked by the President!) in particular. Netflix was up 5.4%, Microsoft up 4%, Alphabet/Google was up 3.6%, Apple was up 3%. Even much troubled Facebook managed a minor 1% bounce.

Anyone visiting San Francisco in recent years cannot avoid the homeless issues that it faces. The last time I was there I had to step over countless homeless people sleeping in the streets on my walk back to my hotel after dinner. Given that this is one of the richest cities on the planet, it does come as a real shock. The tax on tech companies in the area, said to be worth c$300m pa,  to try to address this issue was another successful policy voted through in the mid term elections. I doubt it will dent anyone’s bottom line too much. But is a step in the right direction.

Having got the uncertainty over the US mid term elections out of the way, we can all return to the main uncertainty affecting us all in the UK - BREXIT.

Posted by Richard Holway at '07:39'

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Wednesday 07 November 2018

SCC acquires avsnet

sccSCC has acquired Chessington-based avsnet in a move towards doubling the size of its audio-visual business. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

avsnet will be merged with SCC’s own AV business creating an entity with revenue of £20m (two-thirds of that is attributable to avsnet). But as avsMike Swain, MD for SCC Services, explained to us, this is just the beginning of an ambitious programme to create a business worth £40m within three years. “SCC AV” will be run by MD and founder of avsnet, Graham Fry.

The objective of hitting £40m in three years is based on an organic growth strategy. The approach will be to cross-sell SCC AV's products and services into SCC’s broader customer base. However, the company is also not ruling out further acquisitions (where it makes sense) to create greater scale and capability.

SCC has made various small acquisitions over the years – including the BPO arm of Hobs Group in May – and we certainly foresee more of these happening in due course.

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '16:15' - Tagged: acquisition  

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Wednesday 07 November 2018

'Frugal' Ignitho ignites in the US

logoI met up again the other day with Joseph ("Jijo") Olassa, founder and CEO at UK-based 'frugal innovation' startup, Ignitho Technologies (see 'Frugal' Ignitho making headway). Ignitho's sweet spot is with sub-£100k innovation projects in large enterprises that incumbent large-scale IT services players eschew as being too small.

Having made a beachhead in the UK market, Ignitho is now looking across the pond for similar opportunities, and has recruited a US business head, Scott Nugent, to lead the charge. Nugent – like Olassa – previously had senior roles at mid-tier Indian pure-play, Mindtree.

The challenge in the innovation project market is you have to eat little and often if you are going to grow profitably. Ignitho has the advantage of a 50-strong delivery centre in Indian 'second tier' city, Kochi, which provides more cost-effective resourcing than in top-tier locations such as Bangalore and Mumbai.

Innovation projects in the US market come with bigger ticket prices, and Olassa is hoping that this will give a substantial boost to Ignitho's prospects. It will undoubtedly be hard graft, but Olassa's and Nugent's prior experience with a respected player in that market means they know the territory well.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '15:01'

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Wednesday 07 November 2018

aiden.ai - one for the mobile app marketers

logoMarketing is a magnet for AI/machine learning powered analytics and one of the latest entrants to secure funding is London-based startup aiden.ai. Its $1.6m from Partech plus individual investors adds to the $750K from March 2017.

Its focus is mobile app marketing, providing an AI/machine learning-powered marketing analyst to analyse data and make recommendations to improve ROI around apps and mobile app marketing campaigns. Claimed benefits include the ability to operate over multiple platforms and provide one click optimisation although with a sparse web site it is not easy to determine the range of capabilities. Marketing analytics is a crowded area so providers need focus and clarity. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:49' - Tagged: funding   startup   software   AI   machinelearning  

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Wednesday 07 November 2018

£50m invested in new AI centres for healthcare

BEIS logoThe Government has announced £50m of funding to establish five new centres to develop the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare. The investment is part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund's Ageing Society grand challenge (see Industrial Strategy: facing up to Grand Challenges).

In March 2018 the Government announced a £300m competitive fund for this grand challenge, with £210m of that allocated to the theme of Data to Early Diagnosis and Precision Medicine. This investment is intended to help the UK lead the world in the development of innovative new diagnostic tools, medical products and treatments.

Approximately a quarter of the funding for this theme will be invested in the new centres, which bring together NHS hospitals, academia, industry and other healthcare organisations to drive innovation in the use of AI in healthcare and develop products to improve early diagnosis of disease.

UK Research and Innovation, an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, has awarded £10m to each of the following centres:

  • I-CAIRD (Industrial Centre for AI Research in Digital Diagnostics) led by the University of Glasgow;
  • London Medical Imaging & Artificial Intelligence Centre for Value-Based Healthcare led by King’s College London;
  • National Consortium of Intelligent Medical Imaging (NCIMI) led by the University of Oxford;
  • Northern Pathology Imaging Collaborative (NPIC) led by the University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust;
  • Pathology image data Lake for Analytics, Knowledge and Education (PathLAKE) led by University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust.

The centres, which are expected to be up and running during 2019, will receive additional funding from the technology suppliers with which individual centres have partnered—these include: GE Healthcare, Siemens, Philips, Leica, Canon, Roche Diagnostics, IBM, InterSystems, Kheiron Medical Technology, Alliance Medical, Bering, DeepCognito and a host of other SMEs.

As we discussed in our UK Public Sector SITS Market Trends & Forecasts 2018 report (published last week), there is little doubt that AI will fundamentally change healthcare in the country. Improving collaboration between industry, academia and healthcare providers, as these new centres seek to do, will be vital to the successful adoption of the technology more widely across the NHS.

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:39' - Tagged: nhs   investment   healthcare   AI  

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Wednesday 07 November 2018

Speculation points to Symantec PE buyout

Symantec logoThe Financial Times reported this morning that Symantec is being targeted for potential takeover by US private equity group Thoma Bravo after the cyber security company posted disappointing financial results last week,

It's possible that any new owner would consider splitting Symantec’s consumer and enterprise divisions should their mixed fortunes continue, but Thoma Bravo has already made some sizeable investments in enterprise security companies to date.

Those include Barracuda Networks which it brought for US$1.6bn in February and secure access solution start-up Bomgar purchased for an undisclosed sum in 2016. The PE company also unveiled a proposal to buy application security testing company Veracode for US$950m from Broadcom earlier this week, and has minority investments in McAfee as well as identity access management (IAM) software specialist SailPoint.

A deal for Symantec would be Thoma Bravo’s largest foray into the cyber security market to date however, with price estimations ranging between US$14bn and US$19bn. It certainly looks to us like a good time to buy Symantec on paper – its shares fell sharply after its FY18 results were clouded by an audit committee investigation (since completed with relatively minor fallout) though their value subsequently rose 13% today.

Viewed alongside Sophos’ subdued H1 results reported this morning, there is a worrying indication that some cyber security suppliers are battling to maintain their previously strong momentum. Symantec’s enterprise business in particular has been struggling recently after a period of major restructuring following the US$7.4bn sale of its Veritas unit and the US$4.65bn Blue Coat and US$2.3bn LifeLock acquisitions.

That said, Symantec management are confident the company now has the portfolio in place to reverse that enterprise decline. And its rivals (see our Cyber Security Supplier Ranking 2018 report) will be justifiably nervous that any large Thoma Bravo cash injection to drive sales impetus and increase RnD spend could leave them floundering in Symantec’s wake.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:33' - Tagged: buyout   cybersecurity   Symantec   ThomaBravo  

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Wednesday 07 November 2018

Genpact delivers solid third quarter

GenpactGenpact delivered a solid set of results for its third quarter with total revenue of $748m, up 6% year-on-year. Adjusted operating profit was $124 million, up 7% year-on-year, with a healthy margin of 16.6%. Whilst BPO revenues for the Group increased 7% year-on-year to $623m, and now represent 83% of the total, IT Services revenue remains flat at $125m for the quarter.

Genpact continues to benefit from a consistent strategy of investing heavily in a range of platforms which are then pointed firmly at a set of chosen industry verticals. The principle aim being to land a greater proportion of larger more transformational deals. This has seen recent investments in data, analytics and AI and acquisitions in supply chain and healthcare (see here and here).

Genpact has been pointing to a healthy pipeline for some time and is starting to close this down with 11 new deals with TCVs above $50m already signed this year to date. 

Former parent GE remains a key client, and whilst revenue for the quarter here declined year-on-year 11% to $65m, management pointed to a revitalised pipeline including some significant high value opportunities that should see its GE revenue base increasing significantly next year.

All in all, another solid set of results with management remaining confident of meeting its 2018 full year outlook of between 8%-10% growth with revenue of between $2.95 to $3.01 billion.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '09:32' - Tagged: results   genpact  

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Wednesday 07 November 2018

DXC fails to hit Q2 revenue target

dxcSecond quarter results out overnight from DXC Technology (FY19, three months to end September) revealed a disappointing top line. Revenue declined 6.2% (constant currency) to $5.01bn - which is about $200m below what CEO Mike Lawrie was expecting.

The decline in Q2 is deeper than Q1 (down 1.8%) - indeed, DXC is now revising its full year guidance to a range of $20.7bn-$21.2bn. There were two main reasons for this. Firstly the slow ramp-up of several “large” digital contracts. Lawrie also says it is taking DXC “longer than expected” to bring on the resources to support digital opportunities. And secondly, pressure in the apps maintenance and management business (which was also called out in Q1).

In Q1, Lawrie commented that the firm was seeing “literally an explosion in the number of deals that we’re doing under $5m”. Let that soak in for a minute. “UNDER $5m”. Even if these deals demonstrate that the firm’s digital offerings are resonating with the market, consider how many of these it would have to win to match a traditional IT services deal. Until the firm can stem the big declines in the apps business in particular, and ramp-up the flow of larger digital deals (partly by employing more of the right people), growth at the top line is going to be hugely challenging.

Getting back into growth mode is a key imperative for Lawrie following a long period of cost cutting. However, taking out staff cost can lead to both distraction and a dent on morale – which in turn can impact performance. And DXC’s sales engine really needs to be operating at full steam in today’s incredibly challenging market.

The profit story at DXC, however, continues to be strong. Adjusted EBIT margin was 15.9% (up 230 basis points yoy), with both GBS and GIS becoming more profitable. Lowrie points to his work around workforce optimisation, supply chain efficiencies and facilities rationalization for this uptick. Furthermore, he believes he can get another 250-350 basis points of expansion between now and FY22, which may well be achievable. The questions we have are much more around revenue growth.

Further reading:
DXC Technologies: A Tale of Two Strategies
Share Indices for October 18

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '09:29' - Tagged: results  

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Wednesday 07 November 2018

Partnerize finds new funding partner

logoPartner management software startup Partnerize has journeyed far from its roots in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and is now essentially run from San Francisco. But we should consider that to be another UK tech success story given that Partnerize is now valued at some $127m following a $9m Series D funding round led by GP Bullhound.

Founded in 2010 as Performance Horizon, Partnerize now has eight offices worldwide with over 200 employees and works for more than 300 brands.

Partnerize turned over £15.5m in 2017, 30% higher than in 2016. However, net losses increased dramatically from £1.65m to £6.12m in 2017. The business burned through over £3m of net cash last year but still has plenty of dosh in the bank from this and prior funding rounds.

Well positioned, well backed – looks like this Geordie did good!

Posted by Anthony Miller at '09:25' - Tagged: funding   startup  

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Wednesday 07 November 2018

Starcom raises expectations

LogoThis is turning out to be quite a year for Jersey-based telematics specialist Starcom. By the halway point at the end of June, the company was expecting to turn a FY profit for the first time since 2012 on the back of solid revenue growth (see here). A new breakthrough deal in North Africa should now both boost 2018 sales by c. $1m and lift turnover by over 25% towards the $7m mark. The contract also creates a platform for accelerated expansion in 2019.

The distribution agreement covers the supply of the company’s Helios vehicle tracking equipment and services to a government ministry. An NDA prevents the naming of the client at this stage. The total value of the initial order is approximately $1.1m. Starcom will receive payment for the majority of the order immediately prior to delivery. This is expected to be made before the end of 2018. The arrangement also provides for the supply of further equipment with a potential value of up to $2.5m on similar terms during 2019. To ensure that this and other contracts can be fulfilled as planned over the next six months, the company has conditionally raised £400k through the placing of 20 million new Ordinary Shares.

The North African deal promises to deliver a welcome fillip to the company’s top line, which for the last five years has struggled to break out of the $5m - $6m range. The only negative is that the contract will reverse the decreasing dependence on its low margin Helios products that Starcom had been successfully driving in recent times. The company now anticipates that revenues for 2018 will comfortably exceed the current market expectation of $5.9m and that EBITDA remains on track to land in the region of $485k. A further market update will be made soon after year end.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '09:09' - Tagged: contract   placing  

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Wednesday 07 November 2018

Engineer.ai: blending humans and AI for app dev

logoAI/machine learning and human effort combine within Los Angeles/London startup Engineer.ai to provide bespoke application development and operation, faster and cheaper than using traditional development approaches according to the company.

The concept is simple – an AI/machine learning backed guided process to identify the type of application, a pick list and suggestions to select the features and a software assembly line to bring the components together. The work is augmented by human effort as Engineer.ai appears to tap into the gig economy to access ‘developers on-demand’ for any custom development work requested. The balance of AI/ML vs. human augmentation will be key in practice, as will testing and quality control. Reusable components are designed to keep costs down and buyers only pay for the bespoke aspects of the application.

Engineer.ai’s human assisted AI/ML development concept is more feasible than full on AI/ML development. Developers also maintain that coding is creative; AI/ML (in its current state anyway) is not well suited to creative work. However, it also comes at a time when DevOps, API accessible micro services and Low and No Code approaches are challenging development norms and has piqued enough interest to secure $29.5m funding from Lakestar, Jungle Ventures and Softbank’s DeepCore.

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:04' - Tagged: funding   software   AI   machinelearning   startups  

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Wednesday 07 November 2018

Subdued Sophos looks to FY20 for better results

Subdued Sophos looks to FY20 for better resultsSophos delivered another subdued period of growth for its first half, with its shares falling as much as 28% on the news before recovering slightly. Sales of its cyber security products and services in H119 were sluggish compared to last year, when revenue was buoyed by the WannaCry ransomware attacks that disrupted large numbers of public and private sector organisations across the world, including 81 NHS trusts.

While there was some growth for Sophos, it was marginal. The company’s H119 billings increased 3% yoy to US$353m, up 2% in constant currency, and in line with expectations outlined in July’s first quarter trading update. Those numbers however fell some way short of analyst expectations as billings growth slowed to 6% yoy (2% in constant currency), and Q219 appears to have fared no better.

Sophos’ H119 group revenue grew 18% to US$350m, but only after the H118 numbers were restated to accommodate new IFRS 15 reporting standards designed to harmonise how and when revenue from customer contracts is recognised. That contributed to pre-tax profit of US$26m compared to an equivalent loss of US$36m in H118.

Sophos chief executive officer Kris Hagerman pointed to a solid enterprise security portfolio as a foundation for better times ahead. The company’s flagship Intercept X with EDR and XG Firewall products are both set for major refreshes in the next few months which are expected to drive sales in FY20 (the company anticipates only modest improvement in H219).

We agree with Hagerman that the underlying demand for enterprise cyber security products and services will remain strong (see Cyber Security Market Trends and Forecasts to 2021). The trouble is that competition is intense and profits hard to come by as suppliers large and small (see our Cyber Security Supplier Ranking 2018 report) spend heavily on developing tools to combat a fast expanding threat landscape and ease the complexity of security management for hard pressed IT departments.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '08:48' - Tagged: results   cybersecurity   Sophos   H1  

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Wednesday 07 November 2018

Capita renews Westminster Revs & Bens

CapitaCapita has renewed its Westminster City Council revenues and benefits services contract for seven years commencing this month with an option to extend for an additional three years, in a deal worth approximately £65m.

The contract will see Capita continue to deliver the usual ‘revs & bens’ services collecting council tax and non-domestic rates, managing housing benefit, and delivering business improvement levy services and associated customer management support.

As you would expect Capita is ramping up the digital tech component of this service extending the use of Capita One, its digital platform for collections, across all the services, providing a single-user interface, better integration of systems and enhanced provision of data, insight and automation.

As highlighted in our recently published UK Public Sector Market Trends & Forecasts report Local Government outsourcing remains a tough place to be at the moment. There are very few large deals in play and an increasing range of services are being taken back inhouse as the political winds blow in the opposite direction. Indeed, Capita has been one of the main victims of this trend, with its long-running contracts with Birmingham, Barnet and Southampton all being hit by decisions to insource services.

Defending and retaining existing contracts has become key to avoiding managed decline so Capita will no doubt be relieved to have won this one.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '08:39' - Tagged: localgovernment   contract   revs&bens  

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Wednesday 07 November 2018

Paddle rows further with new funding

logoIt's the software startup for software startups. I'm talking about Paddle, the Corby-born but now London Bridge-headquartered developer of the eponymous software ecommerce and licensing management platform for OSX, Windows and SaaS apps.

Having acquired OSX development suite DevMate from MacPaw back in May 2017 (see DevMate paddles in Paddle’s canoe), Paddle raised a further $12.5m in a Series B funding round that December (see More dosh for Paddle to sail software licensing streams). Paddle has now shored up a further $8m from existing investors Notion Capital, BGF and Kindred Capital, bringing the total raised to date to some $25m.

Founded in 2012, Paddle now employs more than 130 people and has over 700 client software businesses in more than 200 countries. So, from a bedroom in faraway Northamptonshire comes a UK-based global software champion.

And why not?

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:34' - Tagged: funding   startup  

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Wednesday 07 November 2018

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