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Collapse 2019 (39)2019 (39)
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Improved H2 gives WANdisco cause for optimism
24 Apr 2019
SAP Q1: operating loss but raised guidance
24 Apr 2019
Just saying..
24 Apr 2019
Mi-Pay results reveal continued improvement
24 Apr 2019
Innovation Partner: Service Robotics (Genie Connect)
24 Apr 2019
*NEW RESEARCH* BJSS: Putting relationships at its heart
24 Apr 2019
Nationwide launches £3m Open Banking for Good challenge
24 Apr 2019
SERIES A GROWTH CHALLENGE CLOSES TODAY!
24 Apr 2019
Fuel business growth and innovation by simplifying your data protection strategy
24 Apr 2019
Latest TechMarketView Research
23 Apr 2019
Twitter rewarded for starting to take its obligations seriously
23 Apr 2019
IFS Awakening
23 Apr 2019
PA puts on a spurt
23 Apr 2019
Microsoft buys in IoT OS
23 Apr 2019
NHS Identity piloted by London Ambulance Service
23 Apr 2019
Smart logistics start-up aims to spread its Weengs
23 Apr 2019
Torstone expands post-trade services with Percentile
23 Apr 2019
*UKHotViewsExtra* CX improvement driving ‘non-tech’ businesses to software company acquisitions
23 Apr 2019
Lloyds embraces Be My Eyes to support visually impaired customers
23 Apr 2019
SERIES A GROWTH CHALLENGE CLOSES TOMORROW!
23 Apr 2019
Seven days left to book your Early Bird Tickets - Don't miss out!
23 Apr 2019
A tale of two tech IPOs
22 Apr 2019
Setbacks
22 Apr 2019
Insurtech Cytora secures £25m Series B funding
18 Apr 2019
Credit Kudos secures £2.2m in funding
18 Apr 2019
'An Evening with TechMarketView' Early Bird ticket sales close in less than two weeks
18 Apr 2019
*NEW RESEARCH* BJSS: Putting relationships at its heart
18 Apr 2019
Funding Circle highlights strong revenue growth
18 Apr 2019
*UKHotViewsExtra* Agilisys triumphant at States of Guernsey
18 Apr 2019
Digital shipbroker Zencargo Raises $20m
18 Apr 2019
Mindtree hits $1 billion
18 Apr 2019
Innovation, efficiency, visibility - the benefits of a simplified data protection strategy
18 Apr 2019
*UKHotViewsExtra* Advanced boosts app mod potential with Modern Systems acquisition
17 Apr 2019
IBM’s Q1 marks third quarter of consecutive decline
17 Apr 2019
Breezy HR acquisition for LTG
17 Apr 2019
Universe overcomes setback to deliver
17 Apr 2019
Hack casts a cloud over Wipro results
17 Apr 2019
r8 raises $5m and plots an early IPO
17 Apr 2019
NETFLIX shares down as it faces increased competition
17 Apr 2019
DON'T MISS OUT ON THE SERIES A GROWTH CHALLENGE!
17 Apr 2019

UKHotViews©

 

Wednesday 24 April 2019

Improved H2 gives WANdisco cause for optimism

LogoOverall, 2018 proved a challenging period for Sheffield-based WANdisco. The data replication company’s revenue for the twelve months to 31st December fell 13% yoy to $17m and the adjusted EBITDA loss of $0.6m in FY17 increased to $9.4m last year.

The impact of the adoption from 1st January 2018 of the IFRS 15 accounting standard aside, the deepening loss was due mainly to the strategic investments made in both channel partner relationships and engineering capabilities. These coincided with lower bookings and a reduction in revenue as the company continued to transition toward a subscription model.

There was, however, evidence in the second half of the year that WANdisco is making positive progress on its journey away from on-premise, up-front deals to recurring revenue cloud-based contracts (see here). Turnover in H219 was up 13% yoy to $11.3m and the loss in the period fell from $6.8m to $2.6m sequentially. This momentum has continued though Q119 which has seen revenue increase by 38% yoy to $4m.

Central to this business uptick has been WANdisco’s increased focus on its partner channel. Over the last year or so, the company significantly extended its relationship with Microsoft, gaining co-sell status that allows the WANdisco Fusion big data platform, which now accounts for nearly two thirds of total revenue, to be sold as a standard offering with Azure. The company also expanded its footprint in the IBM channel with the release of Fusion for IBM BigSQL. In March 2018, moreover,  WANdisco signed an OEM agreement with Alibaba (see here) to launch a push into the burgeoning Chinese market.

The company is confident about the business outlook. It reports a robust and strengthening sales pipeline and believes that it is well positioned to succeed as the global demand for big data and cloud migration unfolds. Translating this optimism into profitable growth will be a key task for WANdisco in 2019.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '09:15' - Tagged: results   software+cloud   big+data  

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Wednesday 24 April 2019

SAP Q1: operating loss but raised guidance

Current and future profits/losses and margins dominated SAP’s Q1 results (to 31 March 2019) as it took an €886m impact from restructuring charges plus Qualtrics acquisition costs, leading to a €136m operating loss. As the cuts were designed to enable margin growth, the company was keen to demonstrate prospects, which is did by raising the 2019 operating profit outlook to €9.85bn-€8.02bn, a 9.5%-12.5% increase. It also set itself ambitious mid term targets, expecting adjusted operating margins to increase by 5pp by the end of 2023 largely due to the performance of its cloud offerings.

In terms of cloud progress, revenue reached €1.5bn, a 45% yoy increase, showing sustained growth. Software licence revenue also increased by 4% to €650m. The UK was cited as one of the countries showing strong cloud and licence growth. Overall revenue rose a creditable 16% to €6.09bn.

At €4.99bn, the Applications, Technology and Services segment (home to S/4HANA, HCM, Leonardo and the Digital Platform) is the largest segment but managed a solid 12% growth, including 42% cloud revenue growth to €717m. Reliable Successfactors contributed to the growth mix and S/4HANA continued to progress with the number of customers up 30% yoy to 10,900. Importantly, 40% were new to SAP. SAP does not release revenue numbers for the products within the segment so it’s hard to determine how each product area is progressing, particularly Leonardo which could be where a lot of SAP’s growth potential lies.

The other growth area was the newly created Customer and Experience Management segment, which includes C/4HANA and Qualtrics. Revenue growth exceeded 100% but reflecting the early stage of the segment and products within it, that took the total to just €305m. The ‘operational plus experience data’ proposition is appealing but SAP is going directly up against Salesforce so the road will be difficult.  As for the Business Network segment (Ariba, Concur, Fieldglass) revenue was up 25% to €740m as the segments’ commerce legs continued to stretch out.

SAP’s challenge is not just continuing the cloud transition but ramping up the pace – cloud revenue represents 26% of the total – while growing profitable returns. Aligning cloud growth, revenue and margins is challenging and not even the larger software suppliers can afford to pursue growth at all costs. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '08:50' - Tagged: results   cloud   software   digitaltransformation  

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Wednesday 24 April 2019

Just saying..

I seem to have been wrong (at least from an investor point of view)  in my support of profitable, cash-generative companies.

Lex in the FT on 22nd Apr 19 - US tech IPOs: viva loss vagueness - ends 'Public markets have given up caring [whether companies make profits]. On average, stock prices for a handful of profitable companies to list since 2010 have jumped 50%, according to data from PitchBook. Prices for unprofitable companies are up 120%. Expect plenty of appetite for more lossmakers.' 

There is, as our Anthony Miller keeps pointing out, a vast difference between what makes a great company and what makes a great stock!

Posted by Richard Holway at '08:35'

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Wednesday 24 April 2019

Mi-Pay results reveal continued improvement

mipayAIM listed, mobile payments provider Mi-Pay, has released its full-year results for the year ended 31 December 2018, showing a steady improvement on the previous twelve months.

Total revenues for 2018 grew by just under 6.5% to £3.3m, thanks largely to the introduction of new fraud services. Transaction services were down from £2.7m to £2.6m in 2018, whilst professional services revenues were stable at £0.4m. The new fraud services brought in £0.3m during 2018.

Mi-Pay reduced its operating loss to £0.2m from £0.6 m in 2017 having successfully cut its overheads, with administrative costs falling by £0.3m. The company indicated that it expects to continue to see the benefit of these beyond 2019. Mi-Pay made a gross profit of £2.1m, compared to £2m the previous year and increased its free cash to £3.5m from £2.9m at the end of 2017.

Mi-Pay made progress in 2018 and continues to improve the company’s overall operating position. The year end results confirm the positive direction of travel for the Bagshot based firm as previously reported (see: Mi Pay continues to progress). The marketplace is continuing to evolve and there are definitely opportunities and risks going forward, however it is good to see Mi-Pay working to "get fit” for the journey ahead.   

Posted by Jon C Davies at '08:14'

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Wednesday 24 April 2019

Innovation Partner: Service Robotics (Genie Connect)

Genie Connect LogoTIPP logoTIPP logoService Robotics was one of six companies shortlisted for the TechMarketView Innovation Partner Programme (TIPP) event held in March in association with Civica Innovation Partners. Civica’s aim was to find partners with innovative solutions in the areas of “machine intelligence”, including analytics, AI, Automation and Connected Devices.

In January 2018, the UK appointed its first Minister for Loneliness. Across the UK, 3.8m people live alone in their own homes or in purpose-built accommodation.  Loneliness is a major issue, one that impacts people’s ability to live independently, and is a contributor to the crisis in our health and social care system. Looking to find a solution to the problem, Rob Parkes and Tim Morgan, who had previously had successful careers in international telecoms, launched Service Robotics in August 2017.

Their solution is Genie Connect, a robot and AI companion service for older adults, designed to enable extended independence through information, connectivity and loneliness alleviation. The solution, delivered via a subscription service, has three pillars: Genie, the companion robot; Care Centre, which users can call via the robot for a range of personalised support; and RemindMeCare, AI for the deep personalisation of the service for older adult engagement. Service Robotics states that Genie will chat with you, answer your questions and play music/video, connect you by video to family, friends or the care centre, offer you stimulating personalised content, help with medication and appointment reminders, and provide health and wellness monitoring and alerting.

It is early days for Service Robotics and Genie Connect. The company has just completed the development of its Minimal Viable Product (MVP), and it is about to launch a pilot, for up to 150 users, with pilot partners in several local authorities and social landlords around the UK. The pilot will include software from RemindMecare, the UKs foremost developer of software for the personalised engagement of older adults.

Service Robotics has already attracted >£400k of funding from a variety of sources: investment (from Britbots, investor in UK-based robotics, AI and automation businesses); grants; and a crowd funding campaign. More will be needed to pursue the feature roadmap, which includes the addition of functionality like next generation sensors to detect compounds related to certain cancers or UTIs, or to detect changes in physical movement patterns to flag deterioration, and even to predict and prevent incidents such as falls. With a social care funding crisis and difficulty providing adequate human interaction, Service Robotics believes that technology holds the answer for the older generation. In the future, it also sees the potential to use the technology to help younger adults with physical and cognitive impairment. 

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '08:00' - Tagged: startup   socialcare   innovation   robotics   SME's   local+government   tipp  

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Wednesday 24 April 2019

*NEW RESEARCH* BJSS: Putting relationships at its heart

BJSS logoIf you were away over the Easter holiday period, you have have missed our new research note looking at privately-owned IT and business consultancy BJSS.

Recently, the company has grabbed our attention for several reasons: its continuing financial strength; its evident success on the UK Government’s Digital Marketplace, and the re-evaluation and re-launch of its mission, values and purpose since the appointment of long-time BJSS’er, Stuart Bullock, to the position of Managing Director towards the end of 2018.

BJSS was founded in 1993 in Leeds, West Yorkshire. Since then, the company has achieved consistent organic growth, citing a compound annual revenue growth rate since its inception of 10-15%.

In this latest PublicSectorViews research note, we analyse the company’s recent performance and business growth, look at the company’s secrets to impressive growth, put a spotlight on its long-term client relationship with NHS Digital, and consider the outlook for this fast-growing UK success story.

TechMarketView subscribers can download the research note – BJSS: Putting relationships at its heart – now. I you are not yet a subscriber and would like to find out more, please get in touch with Deb Seth.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '08:00'

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Wednesday 24 April 2019

Nationwide launches £3m Open Banking for Good challenge

NationwideBritain’s largest building society, Nationwide, has launched a new programme that will see it working with FinTechs to promote services that support vulnerable people in society. Nationwide has selected seven startups to participate in its Open Banking for Good challenge. The participants will have access to a share of a £3 million development fund and also benefit from working with technology and financial services experts from the Nationwide and the wider industry.

Nationwide revealed that it had received more than 50 applications to take part in the challenge. The society ultimately chose seven participants from three categories, “income and expenditure”, “income smoothing” and “money management and help”. The successful candidates were Ducit.ai, Flow, Openwrks, Squad, Toucan, Trezeo and Tully.

The challenge will see the seven participants working with Nationwide and other financial services bodies, such as the Money Advice Trust, in order to develop app-based services. There will be an initial “explore and develop”' stage, followed by a six-month accelerator stage, in partnership with Accenture, before the services are tested across Nationwide's membership.

Nationwide has a long history of supporting good causes, and like many financial services providers, has also been actively embracing the latest technologies that enhance the customer experience (see: Nationwide to roll out Watson powered bot and Nationwide invests in 10x with new core in mind). It is good to see Open Banking and the vibrant FinTech space being the crucible for this sort of altruistic endeavour. As evidenced by yesterday’s news (see: Lloyds embraces Be My Eyes to support visually impaired customers) new technology can significantly help to support people facing everyday challenges.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '07:45' - Tagged: banking   FinTech   OpenBanking  

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Wednesday 24 April 2019

SERIES A GROWTH CHALLENGE CLOSES TODAY!

Don't miss the chance to become the next Great British Scaleup!

logoSince the launch of our Great British Scaleup programme, 40 high-potential UK tech SMEs have elected to share their business plans with TechMarketView research directors and entrepreneurs from our partners, ScaleUp Group, to help them improve the chances of getting growth funding.

We’ve achieved our best success with Series A funding prospects, so we are dedicating our sixth Great British Scaleup event to those UK tech SMEs that envisage needing Series A funding within the next 3-18 months.

Here’s how it works.

You need to apply to attend a Pre-Qualification Session. This is a 90-minute, in-depth confidential review with TechMarketView and ScaleUp Group. We’ll ask you to take us through your business plan to understand why you believe you can rise to the “Series A Growth Challenge”. The most promising candidates will be invited by ScaleUp Group for further discussion with a view to mapping out a path to funding.

We will be holding Pre-Qualification Sessions at the offices of industry association techUK in London on 22nd May 2019.

What’s in it for me?

You’ll get the benefit of an independent, constructive critique of your business plan by some of the UK’s most respected market analysts and successful entrepreneurs absolutely free. Time and again we are told by Great British Scaleup candidates that this is insight ‘money can’t buy’. Indeed, our advice has often become an integral part of the company’s strategy. You can see plaudits from previous Great British Scaleup candidates on our website.

In addition, every company selected to attend a Pre-Qualification Session will get coverage by TechMarketView in UKHotViews, arguably the most influential daily commentary on the UK tech scene, and also through our social media channels. UKHotViews reaches thousands of executives, professionals, investors and entrepreneurs in the tech sector every working day, as well as Government, commercial enterprises and the media. Time and again we are told that coverage by TechMarketView ‘starts the phones ringing’.

Who is eligible?

You must be a fast-growing, privately-held UK-headquartered tech SME with recurring revenues of circa £1m p.a., growing by more than 30% p.a. The company Founder/CEO/MD and at least one other member of the executive team must be available to attend the Pre-Qualification Session if selected. Companies not meeting the criteria are welcome to apply for consideration in future programmes.

How do I apply?

You need to complete our online application form here. Entries at close of play TODAY, Wednesday 24th April. Successful applicants will be notified by Wednesday 8th May. There is no fee required.

Apply now for the Great British Scaleup Series A Growth Challenge and turn your business plan into a growth opportunity!

For further information and FAQ, please see our website here.

About ScaleUp Group

logoScaleUp Group was formed by experienced entrepreneurs to “Grow Global Champions” by offering unrivalled knowledge, insights and connections to technology companies who have the ambition to scale up. Founded by experienced entrepreneur John O’Connell, ScaleUp Group members include award-winning Fintech entrepreneur Lisa Powis, software entrepreneur Martin Fincham, prolific tech investor Nick Kingsbury, and serial fintech entrepreneur Duane Jackson, among many others. ScaleUp Group members have been involved in successful exits totalling over £4bn and can call upon a network of over 100 UK and international investors to find the ‘right fit’ for a scaleup business. Contact: Paul Excell, paul@scaleupgroup.co

About techUK

logo`techUK represents the companies and technologies that are defining today the world that we will live in tomorrow. More than 900 companies are members of techUK. Collectively they employ approximately 700,000 people, about half of all tech sector jobs in the UK. These companies range from leading FTSE 100 companies to new innovative start-ups. The majority of our members are small and medium-sized businesses. techUK is a proud supporter of the TechMarketView Great British Scaleup programme.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '00:00'

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Tuesday 23 April 2019

Latest TechMarketView Research

Make sure you haven’t missed any of our latest research! 

QRS

If you’re a TechMarketView subscription client the titles below take you straight to the in-depth article or report, or click the image to browse our most recent Quarterly Research Summary:

If you don’t currently subscribe to one of our research streams and you’d like details of our 2019 subscription packages email Deb Seth to learn more.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '17:04'

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Tuesday 23 April 2019

Twitter rewarded for starting to take its obligations seriously

TwitterAs the Q1 reporting season gets into full stride, we’ve just had Twitter reporting before the markets opened - rather than after which is the norm. And very pleasing the results were too. Revenues were up 18% at $787m - ahead of expectations as were EPS. Profts rose from $61m in Q1 2018 to $191m in the latest quarter. After several quarters in the doldrums, Twitter added 8m new users in the quarter. 134m now access Twitter daily - up from 120m in Q1 2018. Ad revenues in the US were up 26% mainly boosted by Twitters new video ads. Strong performance was forecast in Q2 which has led to a 10% bounce in their share price in early trading.

Twitter’s user decline was as a result of it clearing out fake accounts and ‘bots’. Twitter now needs a valid telephone number or email to verify you are a real user. It also actively censors abusive tweets and allows users more control to block such abuse.

Give Twitter credit where credit is due. it really has started to take its moral obligations seriously. This should be a lesson to others - notably Facebook - who have still to learn that users are getting sick of being taken for a ride, milked for every last cent, sick of their data being shared with all and sundry without their knowledge, sick of a slapdash attitude towards confidentiality. I could go on...

Footnote - Twitter ended the day up 16%.

Posted by Richard Holway at '15:21'

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Tuesday 23 April 2019

IFS Awakening

logoIFS was upbeat in January when it released selected FY18 highlights that included a 23% increase in revenue to $606m as its expanded leadership team settled in. That expanded leadership team includes former Sage MD Alan Laing who was appointed IFS UK/Ireland MD last November and based on a quick update with him, there is a lot to come from this challenger enterprise software company.

Despite a good growth profile that its careful vertical industry focus and applications like industry ERP and service & asset management have a lot to do with, IFS lacks visibility. And there are things it could be doing better such as accelerating its cloud journey. But it’s clear the company is firing up on multiple fronts – people, product (including SaaS developments) and partnerships.

On the product front it is ramping up the release cycle with incremental releases; investing in a fresh UI; in ‘Evergreen’ software which essentially means ensuring customers are up to date; and focussing on the cloud, integration via an API layer, plus security within its product suite. IFS Applications is in tune with other key development trends, in that it is designed to be highly configurable to enable customers to take full advantage of its functionality.

All this points to a company determined to update itself. The industries IFS targets tend to be conservative and slow to adopt new technologies. IFS has tended to operate to their timescales but customer need and technology advances highlight the need to increase the pace. As Laing pointed out, this is not a turnaround – IFS is doing well – but it is an awakening.

Part of that awakening includes the partner channel where it is looking to take on different types of partners, from resellers, to industry experts and large SIs. It has had a partnership based around service management with Accenture since 2016. Expanding the channel can be tricky for software suppliers who want to bring in new types of partners; IFS will be on a learning curve. And it is a two-way process – IFS has to prove its value to prospective partners.

Posted by Angela Eager at '15:15' - Tagged: cloud   software   digitaltransformation  

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Tuesday 23 April 2019

PA puts on a spurt

LogoGenerating revenue of £456m for the twelve months to 31st December, mid-sized management consultancy PA Consultants grew by 14% yoy in 2018. This compares very favourably with not only the UK SITS consulting market, which we estimate expanded by 5.6% last year (see here), but also its larger competitors including EY, Deloitte and PwC none of which saw their top lines in this country improve by more than c.5% in the last FY.

Growth, which saw staff numbers increase by 10% to 2600 in 2018, was both organic and acquisitive. Between May and December last year PA purchased three creative design business  - We are Friday and Sparkler in the UK and Essential Design in the US. The management consultancy is also opening a digital development centre in Belfast, which will be developed over the next five years. The initial focus of the centre will be on Digital Engineering and it will create 400 new jobs. 40 people have already been recruited including 25 digital specialists.

Following a difficult period post the financial crisis, PA has made good progress since Carlyle, the global alternative asset manager, took a 51% stake in the firm in 2015 (see here). Facilitated by substantial growth in PA's revenue and profitability over the last three years, Carlyle is believed to have launched a £350m debt refinancing initiative. First reported by Sky News last November, the move is set to deliver cash windfalls to more than 1,000 employee shareholders.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '09:52' - Tagged: results   consulting  

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Tuesday 23 April 2019

Microsoft buys in IoT OS

Microsoft acquires IoT device OSMicrosoft’s acquisition of real time operating system (RTOS) developer Express Logic gives the company a ready-made piece of code ideal for integration into the billions of small, low power devices predicted to form the Internet of Things (IoT) in future years.

Founded in 1996 Express Logic boasts over 6.2bn deployments of its ThreadX RTOS worldwide, having been embedded in devices including light bulbs, temperature gauges, air conditioners, medical devices and network appliances.

Terms of the deal were undisclosed, but Microsoft is not holding back on IoT investment. It pledged to spend US$5bn building out its IoT proposition last year, having established partnerships with the likes of DJI, SAP, PTC, Qualcomm and Carnegie Mellon University for IoT and edge app development.

Express Logic represents another link in the end to end IoT service chain that Microsoft wants to build all the way from the on-device micro controller back to its Azure cloud data hosting and processing platform. In doing so it is better able to provide an all-in-one IoT solution for enterprise customers in multiple verticals – notably healthcare, manufacturing, retail, logistics, smart cities and transport – though competition from rival suppliers developing similar propositions (including Google, IBM, Vodafone and others) is likely to be fierce.

TechMarketView subscribers can read our analysis of the burgeoning market for IoT-related products and services and the broader supplier landscape in our reports IoT: Network Providers Push to Supplant IT Services Players and IoT: Time for IT Services firms to accelerate their strategies here).

Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:33' - Tagged: iot   ExpressLogic   RTOS  

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Tuesday 23 April 2019

NHS Identity piloted by London Ambulance Service

NHS Digital logoThe London Ambulance Service has begun piloting a new system designed to allow its medics to access Summary Care Record (SCR) data on mobile devices.

The 16-week pilot, which has been developed by NHS Digital, is based at Camden Ambulance Station. Approximately 60 medics will have access to patient SCR data and additional information via iPads. SCRs are a digital record of important patient information, which are created from GP medical records, and contain details such as long-term medical conditions, current medication and known allergies.

The system utilises the new NHS Identity platform, a cloud-based system that provides digital identity and access management services. This will remove the need for staff to authenticate over an N3 (HSCN) connection using a Smartcard (see UK Public Sector SITS Market Trends & Forecasts 2018 for further discussion about HSCN).

It is hoped the system will cut the time medics need to spend with each patient and reduce A&E admissions. Following the pilot, the expectation is for the system to be rolled-out to ambulance stations across London.

The next steps for the project, include increasing the functionality of the Mobile SCR application, expanding availability to a wider range of mobile devices, and exploring pilots in other care settings. The project aligns with many of the priorities highlighted in the NHS Long Term Plan, particularly improving access to mobile digital services and relieving the pressure on A&E (see NHS Long Term Plan: What does it mean for tech?). 

Posted by Dale Peters at '08:59' - Tagged: nhs   healthcare   mobile   data  

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Tuesday 23 April 2019

Smart logistics start-up aims to spread its Weengs

WeengsWeengs, a London-based ‘smart logistics’ start-up has raised £6.5m in Series A funding led by Oxford Capital with participation from existing investors Local GlobeCherry Ventures and Venture Friends

Weengs was set up in 2015 and raised £2.2m seed funding back in October 2016 initially focusing on the London market, claiming to have signed up some 400 retailers as customers and fulfilled some half a million orders to date.

The Weengs proposition is geared to SMEs lacking the economies of scale advantage of larger competitors. Outsourcing their logistics allows smaller retailers to focus their efforts on the bits of the business that provide true differentiation such as customer experience and a personal service. Weengs collects orders daily from the retailer and packs them at a central warehouse before shipping to customers via the usual set of couriers (DPD, DHL etc.) with which it partners.

The £6.5m will be used to scale the business further, aiming to fulfil more than 15,000 orders per day and expand its coverage outside the M25 to the rest of the UK.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '08:26' - Tagged: funding   logistics  

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Tuesday 23 April 2019

Torstone expands post-trade services with Percentile

TorstoneUK based, post-trade processing provider, Torstone Technology, has announced that it is set to acquire Percentile, a London based provider of real-time risk and compliance technology to capital markets firms. As a result of the deal, Percentile’s cloud based, risk management offering will become a component of Torstone’s platform, thus expanding the range of services provided and increasing the company’s client base. The amount of the deal was not disclosed.

Percentile’s flagship product, RiskMine, helps capital markets firms to align trading desks and risk management, in order to improve transparency and governance. Torstone itself was formed in 2011, having been spun off from KBC Financial Products in an MBO led by Torstone CEO, Brian Collings, that included KBC's Inferno platform. The system is relied on by a number of major global institutions, for post-trade processing of derivatives and securities. In addition to its London office, the company also has operations in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Tokyo.

As highlighted in UK Financial Service Supplier Prospects 2019 there is an increasing focus on the modernisation of processes and mechanisms within the capital markets space and the implementation of technology to support post-trade processes. In March, global technology giant, Cognizant, announced the acquisition of Meritsoft a provider of post-trade processing automation, for cash flow, commissions, fees and taxes. (see: Cognizant acquires post-trade specialist Meritsoft).

Posted by Jon C Davies at '08:12' - Tagged: acquisition   CapitalMarkets  

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Tuesday 23 April 2019

*UKHotViewsExtra* CX improvement driving ‘non-tech’ businesses to software company acquisitions

logoEvery company is a software company. Every company is a technology company. Every company is a data company. These well used phrases are employed by companies, and about companies, who would not conventionally be described as technology providers.

There is an element of ‘tech-washing (merely using tech within a company does not make a tech company). Others are enabled or even reliant on technology (e.g. Facebook, Uber, Spotify, Netflix) but tech is not their raison d'être. However, more and more businesses whose foundations are in non-technical areas are not just buying and relying on software, they are acquiring software and services companies to improve customer experience in both the physical and digital worlds.

logoIn UKHotViewsExtra we examine the moves by fast food provider McDonalds and food delivery service Just Eat to acquire software startups Dynamic Yield and Practi respectively, and the implications for software and service providers. TechMarketView subscribers - including UKHotViews Premium subscribers: click to read the ‘CX improvement driving non-tech businesses into software company acquisition’ analysis. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '07:07' - Tagged: acquisition   software   customerexperience   machinelearning   digitaltransformation  

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Tuesday 23 April 2019

Lloyds embraces Be My Eyes to support visually impaired customers

LBGLeading UK high street bank, Lloyds, has announced that it is embracing technology from, Be My Eyes to help its blind and partially sighted customers. The award winning, app-based service, launched in 2015, connects visually impaired users, who need assistance completing everyday tasks, with sighted volunteers. Globally, Be My Eyes has already connected 125,000 blind and poorly-sighted individuals with more than 2.1 million volunteers. In the UK, Be My Eyes currently has around 100,000 volunteer assistants and 6,000 visually impaired users.

Lloyds Banking Group, which includes the Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland brands, is adopting the Specialized Help platform for businesses, from Be My Eyes. As a result of the partnership, bank staff will be available via the app, to assist customers with simple tasks such as, requesting a statement, explaining payment amounts or confirming branch opening hours. The support provided will be restricted to general queries and will not include any confidential financial information relating to customer accounts.

Like many of the traditional UK banks, Lloyds is in the throes of overhauling it front end services and has adopted a number of new technologies as part of this. The bank recently expanded its Open Banking service providing customers with access to accounts information with other banks. Be My Eyes is a great example of technology being used for altruistic purposes. Whilst the practical support provided by the app is highly valued by many of the users, the interactions between individuals that it facilitates, also have the potential to address the isolating effect of visual impairment.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '07:00' - Tagged: banking  

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Tuesday 23 April 2019

SERIES A GROWTH CHALLENGE CLOSES TOMORROW!

Apply now and you could be the next Great British Scaleup!

logoSince the launch of our Great British Scaleup programme, 40 high-potential UK tech SMEs have elected to share their business plans with TechMarketView research directors and entrepreneurs from our partners, ScaleUp Group, to help them improve the chances of getting growth funding.

We’ve achieved our best success with Series A funding prospects, so we are dedicating our sixth Great British Scaleup event to those UK tech SMEs that envisage needing Series A funding within the next 3-18 months.

Here’s how it works.

You need to apply to attend a Pre-Qualification Session. This is a 90-minute, in-depth confidential review with TechMarketView and ScaleUp Group. We’ll ask you to take us through your business plan to understand why you believe you can rise to the “Series A Growth Challenge”. The most promising candidates will be invited by ScaleUp Group for further discussion with a view to mapping out a path to funding.

We will be holding Pre-Qualification Sessions at the offices of industry association techUK in London on 22nd May 2019.

What’s in it for me?

You’ll get the benefit of an independent, constructive critique of your business plan by some of the UK’s most respected market analysts and successful entrepreneurs absolutely free. Time and again we are told by Great British Scaleup candidates that this is insight ‘money can’t buy’. Indeed, our advice has often become an integral part of the company’s strategy. You can see plaudits from previous Great British Scaleup candidates on our website.

In addition, every company selected to attend a Pre-Qualification Session will get coverage by TechMarketView in UKHotViews, arguably the most influential daily commentary on the UK tech scene, and also through our social media channels. UKHotViews reaches thousands of executives, professionals, investors and entrepreneurs in the tech sector every working day, as well as Government, commercial enterprises and the media. Time and again we are told that coverage by TechMarketView ‘starts the phones ringing’.

Who is eligible?

You must be a fast-growing, privately-held UK-headquartered tech SME with recurring revenues of circa £1m p.a., growing by more than 30% p.a. The company Founder/CEO/MD and at least one other member of the executive team must be available to attend the Pre-Qualification Session if selected. Companies not meeting the criteria are welcome to apply for consideration in future programmes.

How do I apply?

You need to complete our online application form here. Entries close TOMORROW, Wednesday 24th April. Successful applicants will be notified by Wednesday 8th May. There is no fee required.

Apply now for the Great British Scaleup Series A Growth Challenge and turn your business plan into a growth opportunity!

For further information and FAQ, please see our website here.

About ScaleUp Group

logoScaleUp Group was formed by experienced entrepreneurs to “Grow Global Champions” by offering unrivalled knowledge, insights and connections to technology companies who have the ambition to scale up. Founded by experienced entrepreneur John O’Connell, ScaleUp Group members include award-winning Fintech entrepreneur Lisa Powis, software entrepreneur Martin Fincham, prolific tech investor Nick Kingsbury, and serial fintech entrepreneur Duane Jackson, among many others. ScaleUp Group members have been involved in successful exits totalling over £4bn and can call upon a network of over 100 UK and international investors to find the ‘right fit’ for a scaleup business. Contact: Paul Excell, paul@scaleupgroup.co

About techUK

logo`techUK represents the companies and technologies that are defining today the world that we will live in tomorrow. More than 900 companies are members of techUK. Collectively they employ approximately 700,000 people, about half of all tech sector jobs in the UK. These companies range from leading FTSE 100 companies to new innovative start-ups. The majority of our members are small and medium-sized businesses. techUK is a proud supporter of the TechMarketView Great British Scaleup programme.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '00:00'

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Tuesday 23 April 2019

Seven days left to book your Early Bird Tickets - Don't miss out!

TechMarketView LogoLess than two weeks to go until our Early Bird ticket sales close for our 2019 'An Evening with TechMarketView', on 12th September 2019 at RIBA, London. We don't want you to miss out! So, secure your place now or be sure to book by 30 April. 

If you are a TMV client or subscribe to UKHotViewsPremium or if you're one of our Little British BattlersGreat British Scaleups or Innovation Partner Programme companies you will be eligible for TMV event rates.

More than 200 of UK tech’s ‘great & good’ are expected to attend the evening event which has become a popular fixture in the tech calendar and has been described by attendees as “the best networking event in the industry”. Registration commences from 6:30pm with our drinks reception sponsored by InterSystems, this will be followed by the speaker sessions and a first-class silver servce dinner. 

TMVE2018 Photo

With our theme for the year 'The Year of the Relationship', what better way to network with your peers and gain expert insight on the latest tech trends. 

Early Bird Rates: Book by 30 April 2019

Early Bird rates for a table of 10 and individual tickets are available and you can book here or contact our event management partner, tx2events on T: 020 3137 2541. For more information please click here.

The TechMarketView Evening is proudly sponsored by:

InterSystems Logo Aqilla Logo Kimble App Logo

Posted by HotViews Editor at '00:00'

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Monday 22 April 2019

A tale of two tech IPOs

PinterestZoomAs I said on 1st Apr 19, ‘Lyft’s IPO heralded the end of the drought and the start of a veritable monsoon of tech IPOs’. I also warned of the dangers of investing in loss-making tech IPOs. Indeed Lyft is now down some 19% on its IPO price in just three weeks. We still await the GrandDaddy of tech IPOs - UBER, which last week ‘warned it might NEVER turn a profit’

But, on a brighter note, Thursday saw the next two tech IPOs do really well in early trading.

Pinterest is yet another loss-making company that is still burning cash. It came to the market with a valuation of $10b and still saw its shares close their first day up 28%.

Zoom Video Communications is actually profitable and, believe it or not, is cash generative. It came to market with a valuation of $9b which equates to roughly 28x annual sales! But their shares still managed to pop 72% on the first trading day - up from $36 to $62. That values Zoom at roughly $16b!

Pinterest and Zoom are very different companies in very different markets. Pinterest is for consumers who want to share interior design ideas. I must admit this is ‘not my scene’ but I can see why it might be appealing to consumers and advertisers alike.

Zoom sells video conferencing technology to the business community. It currently has 50,000 companies as customers - mainly large corporates. Investors liked the subscription model (as, indeed, do we here at TMV!) It is growing really fast - revenues increased 5x yoy in 2018. They are profitable, cash-generative and have $64m in cash pre-IPO. The kind of profile that Olde Holway has preached about for many years!

However, I am still a bit perplexed. Back in the 1980s I remember reading forecasts that video conferencing was a big market for the future. It was a forecast well ahead of its time and, bluntly, wrong! It needed fast internet connectivity to make it ubiquitous. And by the time that arrived everyone wanted it for free. Indeed the public (ie ME) get great video conferencing using Facebook and the like. But when I go into swanky offices in the City, the video conferencing experience is frankly terrible. Zoom claims to have solved that problem. Which I guess means that you don’t always have to be searching for the ‘Next Big Thing’ - just take a very old problem and solve it/do it better.  

Posted by Richard Holway at '16:30'

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Monday 22 April 2019

Setbacks

In the last month I have shared my excitement with you on HotViews about two developments. Unfortunately both have suffered major setbacks in the last week.

Crew DragonSpaceX Crew Dragon suffers ‘anomaly’

On 1st March 19, Elon Musk’s SpaceX successfully launched Crew Dragon atop their Falcon 9 rocket. It not only successfully docked with the ISS but also returned safely to earth. See Mission Accomplished and work back. It seemed that it was ‘All Systems Go’ for a manned mission in the summer. But then yesterday, the Crew Dragon capsule suffered an ‘anomaly’ during a routine test firing. Images emerged of smoke coming from the capsule which appeared to have exploded. Nobody was injured. But this must be a significant setback for a manned mission.

Note - Photo from @astronaut099.

Foldable smartphones

SamsungOn 25th Feb 19 I reported enthusiastically as Samsung and Huawei launched foldable smartphones. Indeed I ended the report with the words ‘I really can see the foldable 5G smartphone-come-tablet being a major winner and a reason, at last, to upgrade. So where is the Apple iPhone Fold?’

This week reviewers finally got their hands on the new phones and the reports were pretty awful - mainly because the screens broke at the fold after only a few hours use. Samsung has now delayed the public launch. Given that these smartphones cost £1500+, you could see buyers being pretty angry.

I still think the genre has merit but reliability is key. At best this is a Beta model. Quite how long it will take to produce a foldable phone that can withstand the rough treatment that we all seem to give to our tech products, is anyone’s guess. Not soon, seems to be the considered opinion.

So I guess I’ll have to stick with carrying my iPhone + iPad when I go on journeys

Posted by Richard Holway at '15:45'

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Thursday 18 April 2019

Insurtech Cytora secures £25m Series B funding

CytoraCambridge University Insurtech spin-out Cytora has raised £25m in Series B funding led by EQT Ventures, with participation from Cambridge Innovation CapitalParkwalk and a number of unnamed angel investors.

Cytora was founded in 2014 going on to raise £6.8m in funding (see here & here), eventually focusing on the insurance sector. It has developed an underwriting platform that applies AI to commercial insurance combining public and proprietary data.

The first product launched in 2016 targeting large Insurance clients now including QBEAXA XLMS Amlin, and Starr and combines external data on things like property construction, company financials and local weather with the insurance company’s own internal risk data. Cytora’s USP is about speed, claiming to be able to distil a seven-day underwriting process down to 30 seconds via its API.

In addition, insurers have been able to build quotation applications on top of Cytora’s APIs, enabling business owners to buy policies online, requiring only a business name and postcode to issue a quote.

Cytora generates revenue by charging a yearly license fee, which increases based on usage and per line of business. The company intends to use the funding to expand the product suite further expand overseas.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '09:54' - Tagged: funding   insuretech   insurtech  

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Thursday 18 April 2019

Credit Kudos secures £2.2m in funding

credLondon-based challenger credit bureau, Credit Kudos, has secured £2.2m through a funding round led by Ascension Ventures.

The round was conducted through Ascension’s Fair by Design fund, which aims to provide backing to start-ups providing products and services to help “end the extra costs of being poor”.

In the case of Credit Kudos, the purpose of the technology is to provide a much more comprehensive view of a borrower’s creditworthiness – and enable financial services providers to make lending decisions based on a more fair representation of an individual’s position. Credit Kudos argues that “traditional credit scoring is broken…”.

Credit Kudos pulls together and interprets customer consented data for use by lenders, brokers, and financial institutions, and presents the findings in an easy-to-use way. The firm is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, and integrated with some of the largest lenders in Europe.

Open Banking reforms are enabling the emergence of services such as those provided by Credit Kudos. In Financial Services Predictions 2019, Jon Davies explains how Open Banking will increasingly impact the market and competitive landscape.

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '09:45' - Tagged: data   Lending  

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Thursday 18 April 2019

'An Evening with TechMarketView' Early Bird ticket sales close in less than two weeks

TechMarketView LogoLess than two weeks to go until our Early Bird ticket sales close for our 2019 'An Evening with TechMarketView', on 12th September 2019 at RIBA, London. We don't want you to miss out! So, secure your place now or be sure to book by 30 April. 

If you are a TMV client or subscribe to UKHotViewsPremium or if you're one of our Little British BattlersGreat British Scaleups or Innovation Partner Programme companies you will be eligible for TMV event rates.

More than 200 of UK tech’s ‘great & good’ are expected to attend the evening event which has become a popular fixture in the tech calendar and has been described by attendees as “the best networking event in the industry”. Registration commences from 6:30pm with our drinks reception sponsored by InterSystems, this will be followed by the speaker sessions and a first-class silver servce dinner. 

TMVE2018 Photo

With our theme for the year 'The Year of the Relationship', what better way to network with your peers and gain expert insight on the latest tech trends. 

Early Bird Rates: Book by 30 April 2019

Early Bird rates for a table of 10 and individual tickets are available and you can book here or contact our event management partner, tx2events on T: 020 3137 2541. For more information please click here.

The TechMarketView Evening is proudly sponsored by:

InterSystems Logo Aqilla Logo Kimble App Logo

Posted by HotViews Editor at '09:16'

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Thursday 18 April 2019

*NEW RESEARCH* BJSS: Putting relationships at its heart

BJSS logoRecently, privately-owned IT and business consultancy BJSS has grabbed our attention for several reasons: its continuing financial strength; its evident success on the UK Government’s Digital Marketplace, and the re-evaluation and re-launch of its mission, values and purpose since the appointment of long-time BJSS’er, Stuart Bullock, to the position of Managing Director towards the end of 2018.

BJSS was founded in 1993 in Leeds, West Yorkshire. Since then, the company has achieved consistent organic growth, citing a compound annual revenue growth rate since its inception of 10-15%.

In this latest PublicSectorViews research note, we analyse the company’s recent performance and business growth, look at the company’s secrets to impressive growth, put a spotlight on its long-term client relationship with NHS Digital, and consider the outlook for this fast-growing UK success story.

TechMarketView subscribers can download the research note – BJSS: Putting relationships at its heart – now. I you are not yet a subscriber and would like to find out more, please get in touch with Deb Seth.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '09:15' - Tagged: health   public+sector   strategy  

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Thursday 18 April 2019

Funding Circle highlights strong revenue growth

FCInnovative, P2P finance provider, Funding Circle, has released its Q1 financial highlights, reflecting strong business growth, year on year. The results, for the three months ending 31 March 2019, show that loans under management were up 44% on Q1 2018, to £3.4bn. Meanwhile the value of new loans issued, rose by 23% to £644m in the first three months of this year, compared to £525m in Q1 2018. Funding Circle reported overall revenue growth of approximately 40% year on year, as a result of the burgeoning loan book and an improved yield on transactions, in part due to policy changes in the US.

Funding Circle, which facilitates loans to SMEs funded directly by its investors, has also announced two new institutional investor products. Later this year, private direct lending funds will be launched in Europe and ABS bond products will be launched in the US and UK. Across all territories, Funding Circle loans are expected to deliver net returns to investors of between 5% and 8.5% in 2019 compared to 4.5% and 8.4% for 2018. Meanwhile, projections for the overall proportion of bad debts, remain healthy. These are in the range of 2.1% to 4% in the UK and reflect an improving picture across all territories since 2017.

Funding Circle remains bullish about its prospects and highlighted commitments by the European Investment Bank to lend €100m to SMEs over the next two years. The company also revealed the completion of a £187m securitisation of its UK loan book by Pollen Street Capital. Funding Circle did not however provide any updated guidance on its profitability. The latest selected highlights reflect the strength of the company’s business model and encouraging performance overall. As previously discussed, the one missing link appears to be a large positive number in the profits column (see: Funding Circle still not getting the "profit thing").

Posted by Jon C Davies at '08:54' - Tagged: p2p  

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Thursday 18 April 2019

*UKHotViewsExtra* Agilisys triumphant at States of Guernsey

Agilisys logoThe procurement process has been ongoing for more than two years. But, finally, the States of Guernsey has announced the preferred bidder for its Future Digital Services contract.

At the final hurdle, the bidders were Fujitsu and Agilisys (DXC had also been involved in the bidding at an earlier stage; the States had also considered an inhouse alternative model). It was a battle between a Japanese-headquartered global IT services firm and a UK-headquartered, and UK-focused, mid-sized IT services firm.

The latter - Agilisys - has come out on top, securing preferred supplier status for the ten-year contract. Preparatory work is already underway, with full delivery to commence in August. Details of the financial aspects of the programme are expected to be disclosed formally in early May when a Policy Letter is formally lodged with States Deputies, but reports suggest a value of c£200m over ten years.

UKHotViewsPremium LogoIn UKHotViewsExtra: Agilisys triumphant at States of Guernsey, we take a detailed look at the make-up of the deal, the way Agilisys sought to differentiate from the competition, how it is drawing on the portfolio of the wider Blenheim Chalcot Group, and how its approach to shaping a proposition for States of Guernsey has perfectly embodied TechMarketView’s research theme for 2019: The Year of the Relationship.

TechMarketView subscribers (including UKHotViews Premium subscribers) can read the analysis now. If you are not yet a subscriber, please contact Deb Seth to get access.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '08:39' - Tagged: public+sector   contract   IToutsourcing   local+government   digital+transformation  

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Thursday 18 April 2019

Digital shipbroker Zencargo Raises $20m

ZencargoZencargo, a London-based “digital freight forwarder” has raised $20m in Series A funding led by HV Holtzbrinck Ventures with participation from Tom Stafford, managing partner at DST GlobalPentland VenturesSamosLocalGlobe and Picus Capital.

Shipping is a multi-billion-dollar global industry but remains staunchly traditional and a laggard when it comes to technology and digital adoption. The industry still relies on shipbrokers to ‘fix’ companies who need to move freight with ship owners willing and able to move the goods. The ship broking sector (still heavily concentrated in London) in the main remains a ‘old school City’ type service, relationship-based and inherently inefficient.

Zencargo was founded in 2017 to address this inefficiency and provide the shipping industry with a platform to help users book and manage freight while using data and analytics to improve route optimisation and better manage supply chains. This insight then allows businesses to make informed decisions that can shorten lead times, increase supply chain agility and reduce working capital.

Shipping has been crying out for this type of disruption, but given the sector's traditonal nature will likely take time to work its way through to the mainstream.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '08:39' - Tagged: funding   shipping  

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Thursday 18 April 2019

Mindtree hits $1 billion

LogoA strong Q4 took Bangalore-based mid-tier Indian pure-play Mindtree (just) past the billion dollar revenue mark in a financial year for the first time. During the twelve months to 31st March 2019 the company’s turnover increased by 18.2% yoy to $1.001b. Operating margin (in our model) for the quarter improved by a further 40 bps to bring the FY19 number up to 13.1% compared to 10.2% in the prior year.

Mindtree's US business was the key growth engine. Sales in this geography rose by c.25% yoy to over $730m and accounted for almost three-quarters of firm-wide revenue. Europe, conversely, proved much heavier going for the company with turnover increasing by just 4.6% yoy. Q419 sequential growth of 3.1% generated a top line of $48.5m indicating that, after a mid-year dip (see here), the pace is beginning to pick up again in the region. This territory, however, starts the new financial year at the same quarterly revenue run rate on which it ended Q119.

In a move one assumes not unrelated to the current hostile bid for the company by LTI, Mindtree’s board also announced that it was recommending to shareholders the payment of  a special dividend of 200%. This, together with the interim dividend of 30% and a proposed final dividend of 40%, will set the company back over £70m if approved at the forthcoming AGM.

LTI’s parent company, Indian industrial conglomerate Larsen & Toubro (L&T), has already acquired the 20.3% stake in Mindtree paying Rs980 per share. It has also issued an order to purchase up to a further 15% of Mindtree stock at the same price or lower, along with an open offer to purchase up to an additional 31% of Mindtree’s stock on the same terms. The latter closes on 27th May. Mindtree’s management is clearly trying hard to make its case for continued independence. It won’t be too much longer before we know whether they have been successful in doing so.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '08:32' - Tagged: results   offshore  

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Wednesday 17 April 2019

*UKHotViewsExtra* Advanced boosts app mod potential with Modern Systems acquisition

Advanced logoAdvanced has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire application modernisation specialists Modern Systems (ModSys International). Advanced will acquire all outstanding shares in the business. The value of the acquisition has not been disclosed. The deal should see Advanced grow its application modernisation business by approximately one third, taking its revenues to in excess of £30m.

Modern Systems logoModern Systems provides a full end-to-end solution for the migration of mainframe applications and workloads to modern platforms, including the transformation of legacy COBOL to modern languages such as Java and C#. Although it’s an Israeli corporation its headquarters are in Dallas, Texas.

Advanced’s application modernisation business, which has grown out of its acquisition of Transoft in 2013, focuses on the modernisation of VME and VMS systems. Its largest contract to date is with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to help it migrate away from VME mainframe technology (see Advanced secures significant DWP contracts).

The acquisition of Modern Systems brings specialism in the IBM mainframe market to Advanced, helping it to broaden its proposition and bolstering its position in the US market.

The deal compliments last year’s acquisition of Information Balance (see Advanced opens new doors with Information Balance) and its recently announced partnership with GT Solutions. Through these deals, and the acquisition of Modern Systems, Advanced is in a strong position to support organisations regardless of where they are on their application modernisation journey. It follows Advanced’s acquisition of Kirona earlier this month (see Advanced: Kirona acquisition strategic on several fronts).

UKHotViews Premium logoThere is significant opportunity in the application modernisation arena, particularly in financial services and the public sector. The acquisition of Modern Systems should allow Advanced to extend both its geographical and technological reach in this market. Perhaps more importantly, it should also enhance Advanced’s attractiveness as an application modernisation partner to the larger players.

Subscribers can read more about the Advanced’s acquisition of Modern Systems here.

Not a TechMarketView subscription research client? Then why not subscribe to our low-cost UKHotViews Premium service to access all of our UKHotViews and UKHotView Extra posts?

Posted by Dale Peters at '10:12' - Tagged: acquisition   software   legacy   application  

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Wednesday 17 April 2019

IBM’s Q1 marks third quarter of consecutive decline

IBMIBM’s Q1 showed patterns that we have become accustomed to. In all, quarterly revenue was down almost 1% at $18.2bn, making the period IBM’s third consecutive quarter of declining revenue y-o-y.

Margins have improved in Services, due to a focus on rebalancing the portfolio and improving productivity and operational efficiencies. Cloud grew 12% (at constant currency) and consulting was up 9%.

Helping customers with their “digital reinventions” was a prime driver of GBS (+4%) growth. In GTS (-3%), hybrid and multi-cloud implementations are where the growth is, but exiting lower-value deals is putting pressure on the top line (but helping to improve the bottom line at the same time).

We have seen a continuation of trends that have been in place for some time, with lots of activity in digital and cloud areas. For example, this year you will have seen us write about Nationwide’s new virtual assistant (using machine learning from IBM Watson) to help first-time buyers. And IBM’s partnership with Sandvik to combine analytics from IBM Watson IoT and equipment/application data from disparate sources so mining firms can analyse patterns and improve safety, maintenance, and productivity. Notably, IBM also announced a very large Cloud deal with BNP Paribas.

At the same time, IBM continues to shrink parts of the business that do not support its strategic growth areas – for example by selling off more parts of its software business.

There is without doubt progress in the right areas with the right actions being taken. However, Big Blue is an enormous oil tanker, and turning it around is no small job.

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '09:55' - Tagged: cloud   AI   Watson  

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Wednesday 17 April 2019

Breezy HR acquisition for LTG

logoThe shape of the Learning Technologies Group (LTG) business has changed following several acquisitions, not least the successful PeopleFluent purchase of 2018  that enabled the company to extend into the buzzing talent management area from its existing digital learning base. It is investing in the talent sector once again with the acquisition of US HQ’d Breezy HR which brings talent acquisition in the form of recruitment software to optimise the recruitment process.

Breezy HR’s SME footprint takes LTG into the SME market from its enterprise base, and with its US base and presence in 72 countries it also plays to LTG’s geographic expansion aims.

With cash and bank facilities to hand, LTG paid $12m cash for the company; potential performance based payments could take the total to a maximum of $18m. For the year to 31 December 2018 Breezy HR reported revenue of $3.6m (vs. $1.3m) with EBIT of $280k (vs. $826k loss) as it scaled the business, where 80% of revenue is recurring.

This is a multi-purpose acquisition because in addition to further talent management capability, taking LTG into the SME market and contributing to expansion in the US and beyond, LTG says the acquisition will support its strategic goal of reaching a run-rate EBIT of at least £55m by the end of 2021. 

Breezy HR will operate as a business within PeopleFluent, part of the growing software and platforms part of the LTG business that comprises 64% of the overall business and delivered 9% organic growth in FY18 (see LTG FY18: confidently building the business).

Organisations are increasingly recognising the value of their people and investing in attracting, retaining and developing them, a trend LTG is determinedly tapping into. Combine this with the financial means to acquire and previous statements that it has a pipeline of prospects and we would expect further acquisitions in due course. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:10' - Tagged: acquisition   software  

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Wednesday 17 April 2019

Universe overcomes setback to deliver

UniverseThis time last year we outlined how British financial tech company Universe Group was looking to better times as 2017 contract delays would likely turn into 2018 deliveries and revenue.

Full year 2018 results out today, confirm this and show the business overcoming the set back of the demise of Conviviality (and associated £2m order) at the start of the year to deliver a positive set of results. Total revenue rose to £19.9m (2017 £19.6m) with adjusted EBITDA up to £2.7m (2017 £2.4m)

Southampton-based Universe provides point of sale, payments and loyalty systems to some 5,700 retail sites across the UK through its trading arm, HTEC Limited. The company is particularly strong in the petrol forecourt market boosted by the roll out of its Gempay 3 system having now installed approaching 3,000 devices.

Operational highlights for the year include signing up Euro Garages for payment processing services rolling out across 370 UK forecourts with 540 Gempay 3 terminals. The company also launched partnerships with P97and Ubamarket in the fields of mobile and in-car marketing and payment solutions and in-store scan-and-go applications.

Post year-end on 3rdApril, Universe acquired Dublin based Camden Technology (trading as Celtech) for just under £5m, an acquisition that allows the company to offer clients cloud-based retail and wholesale management (RMS) technologies and crucially extends the Group’s reach into Ireland.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '09:00' - Tagged: results   retail   payments  

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Wednesday 17 April 2019

Hack casts a cloud over Wipro results

LogoPresenting the company’s FY19 results yesterday, Wipro senior management confirmed a story posted by cybersecurity investigation website KrebsOnSecurity of multi-month phishing campaign which breached the company’s corporate email system to launch attacks on around a dozen of the firm’s customers. Neither the names of affected clients nor details of the damage caused were reported, but Wipro has hired an independent forensic firm to assist with its investigations. Remedial actions have also been taken to limit and mitigate potential impacts.

As for FY19 itself, Wipro delivered a solid - if not spectacular - set of results. Adjusted constant currency IT Services revenue for the twelve months to 31st March was up 5.4% to $8.12b and operating margin improved by 180bps to a respectable 17.9%.

Despite further good progress on its rotation to “new” (digital, cloud and cybersecurity) services, which we estimate now account for c.25% of world-wide sales, Wipro continues to struggle to keep pace with its peers. Infosys and TCS delivered 9% and 11.4% increases in FY19 constant currency revenue respectively. On its current growth trajectory HCL, which will soon report its 2019 results, is set to overtake Wipro and bag the number four position in the Indian offshore services rankings.

From a regional perspective, the Americas, which represents 57% of the company's global business, was the star performer growing by nearly 10% against FY18. Europe, conversely, proved far more challenging for Wipro. FY19 turnover here was up by only 2.6% against the prior year and Q4 revenues fell by around 3% both sequentially and yoy.

Looking forward, Wipro is not anticipating a fast start to its new financial year. Sequential Q1 20 top line growth is expected to land in the -1.0% - 1.0% range, excluding the impact of the divestment of its Workday and Conerstone On Demand business (see here) concluded at the end of March. For now, however, dealing with the fall-out from the hack will be at the top of the firm’s agenda.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '08:54' - Tagged: results   offshore   cybersecurity  

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Wednesday 17 April 2019

r8 raises $5m and plots an early IPO

UK FinTech, r8, has announced a new cash injection of $5m. The additional capital was provided by existing shareholders and a number of new investors. r8 was formed in 2017, having initially been part of Redwood Bank, the "challenger" set up by property developer and former Conservative party treasurer, David "Spotty" Rowland, and his son Jonathan. Jonathan Rowland is now the Chairman of r8.

r8r8’s core project is ‘Mode’, a financial services ecosystem that aims to become a fully regulated, UK-based institution, providing banking and financial services to holders of both traditional and crypto-assets. In 2018, r8 launched JGOO, a mobile payments platform providing access to the Chinese market, connecting UK and European brands to Chinese consumers. JGOO has secured partnerships with Tencent for WeChat and Alibaba for AliPay.

The latest cash injection will be used to help r8 expand its operations and prepare for its planned LSE listing. London based, r8, intends to launch an initial public offering as early as July. Meanwhile, r8 has announced the appointment of Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter to the position of non-executive director. Stone, is also an investor in r8 and has previously backed a number of other tech startups.

The flow of investment into the FinTech space shows no real sign of slowing, despite the maturity of the economic cycle. There has however been something of a "flight to quality" of late, with an increased focus on more mature companies and a reduction in the overall proportion of startup funding (see: FinTech funding continues to grow). r8 meanwhile, is bullish about its prospects and the proposed IPO also looks ambitious, coming so early on in the company's development. It will be interesting to see whether the market shares r8's confidence in its fledgling offerings and business prospects

Posted by Jon C Davies at '07:55' - Tagged: funding   cryptocurrency  

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Wednesday 17 April 2019

NETFLIX shares down as it faces increased competition

NetflixI only cover Netflix as it’s the ‘N’ in FAANGs - the rest of which are of great interest to us.

Last night NETFLIX posted some pretty good Q1 figures as international subscribers rose to 88.1m - more than expected. Revenues rose 22% to $4.5b and profits were up 19% at $290m.

All sounds very good until you come to the outlook for Q2 which pointed to slower growth and lower than expected profits - causing NETFLIX’s share price to fall 5% in after-hours trading.

The ‘problem’ is that NETFLIX faces mounting competition. We already know that both Disney and Apple will add paid-for streaming services soon. Added to that is the upcoming BBC/ITV/Ch4 BritBox service. The problem in our household is that all these services involve more and more to be paid out on subscriptions to add to the BBC Licence fee, Netflix, Amazon Prime and Sky - which already cost us over £1000 pa. Most households couldn’t (or maybe ‘shouldn’t’) afford that. Then it all comes down to content - which does make one realise what incredible value for money we get from the BBC!

Posted by Richard Holway at '07:53'

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Wednesday 17 April 2019

DON'T MISS OUT ON THE SERIES A GROWTH CHALLENGE!

Just ONE week left to see if you could be the next Great British Scaleup!

logoSince the launch of our Great British Scaleup programme, 40 high-potential UK tech SMEs have elected to share their business plans with TechMarketView research directors and entrepreneurs from our partners, ScaleUp Group, to help them improve the chances of getting growth funding.

We’ve achieved our best success with Series A funding prospects, so we are dedicating our sixth Great British Scaleup event to those UK tech SMEs that envisage needing Series A funding within the next 3-18 months.

Here’s how it works.

You need to apply to attend a Pre-Qualification Session. This is a 90-minute, in-depth confidential review with TechMarketView and ScaleUp Group. We’ll ask you to take us through your business plan to understand why you believe you can rise to the “Series A Growth Challenge”. The most promising candidates will be invited by ScaleUp Group for further discussion with a view to mapping out a path to funding.

We will be holding Pre-Qualification Sessions at the offices of industry association techUK in London on 22nd May 2019.

What’s in it for me?

You’ll get the benefit of an independent, constructive critique of your business plan by some of the UK’s most respected market analysts and successful entrepreneurs absolutely free. Time and again we are told by Great British Scaleup candidates that this is insight ‘money can’t buy’. Indeed, our advice has often become an integral part of the company’s strategy. You can see plaudits from previous Great British Scaleup candidates on our website.

In addition, every company selected to attend a Pre-Qualification Session will get coverage by TechMarketView in UKHotViews, arguably the most influential daily commentary on the UK tech scene, and also through our social media channels. UKHotViews reaches thousands of executives, professionals, investors and entrepreneurs in the tech sector every working day, as well as Government, commercial enterprises and the media. Time and again we are told that coverage by TechMarketView ‘starts the phones ringing’.

Who is eligible?

You must be a fast-growing, privately-held UK-headquartered tech SME with recurring revenues of circa £1m p.a., growing by more than 30% p.a. The company Founder/CEO/MD and at least one other member of the executive team must be available to attend the Pre-Qualification Session if selected. Companies not meeting the criteria are welcome to apply for consideration in future programmes.

How do I apply?

You need to complete our online application form here. Entries close on Wednesday 24th April. Successful applicants will be notified by Wednesday 8th May. There is no fee required.

Apply now for the Great British Scaleup Series A Growth Challenge and turn your business plan into a growth opportunity!

For further information and FAQ, please see our website here.

About ScaleUp Group

logoScaleUp Group was formed by experienced entrepreneurs to “Grow Global Champions” by offering unrivalled knowledge, insights and connections to technology companies who have the ambition to scale up. Founded by experienced entrepreneur John O’Connell, ScaleUp Group members include award-winning Fintech entrepreneur Lisa Powis, software entrepreneur Martin Fincham, prolific tech investor Nick Kingsbury, and serial fintech entrepreneur Duane Jackson, among many others. ScaleUp Group members have been involved in successful exits totalling over £4bn and can call upon a network of over 100 UK and international investors to find the ‘right fit’ for a scaleup business. Contact: Paul Excell, paul@scaleupgroup.co

About techUK

logo`techUK represents the companies and technologies that are defining today the world that we will live in tomorrow. More than 900 companies are members of techUK. Collectively they employ approximately 700,000 people, about half of all tech sector jobs in the UK. These companies range from leading FTSE 100 companies to new innovative start-ups. The majority of our members are small and medium-sized businesses. techUK is a proud supporter of the TechMarketView Great British Scaleup programme.

Posted by HotViews Editor at '00:00' - 1 comment

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