HotViews Archive

Skip Navigation Links.
Collapse 2019 (42)2019 (42)
Collapse May (42)May (42)
Encouraging signs from Sage in H119
17 May 2019
Moneysupermarket backs £11m Flagstone cash injection
17 May 2019
Investors show foresight backing Glasgow's Synaptec
17 May 2019
BrandHouse raises €4m to ply Asian trade
17 May 2019
Celebrating UK LawTech
17 May 2019
Maistro to blur out AIM listing
17 May 2019
Fujitsu takes action to return UK to growth
17 May 2019
Amazon Primes Deliveroo
17 May 2019
*UKHotViewsExtra* Expleo builds on its heritage
17 May 2019
*New Research*: Digital Enablement via Low Code Platforms
16 May 2019
LTI’s Syncordis strikes strategic partnership with Temenos
16 May 2019
LawTech networking event
16 May 2019
Important 'firsts' for Xero in FY19
16 May 2019
Sophos posts double digit FY19 revenue growth
16 May 2019
Probation services to be renationalised
16 May 2019
Police ICT Company halts £500m ICT partner contract
16 May 2019
New MD for Dynama
16 May 2019
Totvs finds hardware and software don’t mix – finally
16 May 2019
NEST seeks pensions admin partner for next phase
15 May 2019
Experian boosted by growth in North America
15 May 2019
Sanderson confirms strong H1
15 May 2019
Backers authenticate Authenticate’s supply chain platform
15 May 2019
NHS 111 Online hits one million
15 May 2019
Investors improve Urban’s wellness with extra dosh
15 May 2019
Capita puts workers on the board
15 May 2019
UK a hotbed for tech innovation and scaleups
15 May 2019
Advance of the robots
15 May 2019
Considered a career in teaching?
15 May 2019
Vodafone cuts investor dividends on €7.6bn loss
14 May 2019
Closed Loop Medicine gains £2.1m in pre-Series A funds
14 May 2019
Finastra's blockchain initiative looks to transform syndicated loans
14 May 2019
Ocado delivers funding for Karakuri’s fast-food robot
14 May 2019
Mimecast FY19 revenue up 32% yoy
14 May 2019
1Spatial maps out path to growth
14 May 2019
Ideagen to make it ten in a row
14 May 2019
*UKHotViewsExtra* AWS Summit London: public sector to the fore
14 May 2019
Eckoh enjoys strong momentum
14 May 2019
Backers chip in $5m for Agile Analog
14 May 2019
The ID Co looks to verify its credentials with £2m boost
14 May 2019
Latest TechMarketView research
13 May 2019
CentralNic doubles in size
13 May 2019
Ion's Acuris ambitions highlight rising fortunes
13 May 2019

UKHotViews©

 

Friday 17 May 2019

Encouraging signs from Sage in H119

logoSage Group CEO Steve Hare said he was “encouraged by the strong start to FY19” as the company released interim results for the six months to 31 March 2019 that delivered a 6.2% increase in organic revenue to £941m and a 10.2% increase to £779m in the important area of organic recurring revenue growth. It follows signs of improved performance in the second half of FY18. However, the share price dropped during early trading, suggesting investors wanted more.

Guidance for the year is encouraging. Previously disclosed full year total revenue growth expectations were in the 8%-9% range. Sage is expecting revenue growth to be at the top end or exceed the range. The driver seems to be recurring revenue growth resurgence. However, Software and Software Related Services (SSRS) and Processing revenue are expected to be at the lower end or below guidance of flat to mid-single digit percentage decline, which reflects the transition to SaaS and subscriptions.

With organic revenue of £197m, 4% growth, the performance of UK/Ireland lagged the group as a whole, however the troublesome area of recurring revenue showed a distinct improvement with 14% growth, largely from cloud connected products and subscriptions. The region benefitted from the Making Tax Digital deadline too, which also helped challenger Xero (see Important ‘firsts’ for Xero in FY19).

Sage is deep in its ongoing battle to make the shift to a SaaS company, via its current strategy that focusses on customers, colleagues and innovation and it was able to demonstrate execution examples during H1. In terms of the innovation play, it is working on the internationalisation of SaaS Intacct and plans releases in the UK and Australia later this year. A lot is riding on Intacct – and the SaaS experts that came with the acquisition – so Sage has to ensure it doesn’t become overly reliant on it. Investment in Sage Business Cloud, cloud native and cloud connected applications is continuing, with additions to Sage Enterprise Management, Sage Payroll cloud and Sage cloud connected accounts solutions.

The technology and commercial model shift is vital of course, but so is the having the right people. To reinforce its focus on innovation and SaaS, Sage has been building up the executive committee from the ranks of its internal and ’acquired’ execs (see Sage rejigs leadership team). Now it has looked outside its walls for additional input and has announced that John Bates, CEO of AI/machine learning leaning software testing provider Eggplant, is to join the board as a NED. Bates has a background rich in tech innovation that Sage will be hoping to benefit from as its tries once more to accellerate its SaaS transition.

Posted by Angela Eager at '10:06' - Tagged: results   cloud   software   leadership  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Friday 17 May 2019

Moneysupermarket backs £11m Flagstone cash injection

FlagstoneUK-based Flagstone, a provider of an innovative cash deposit platform, has raised £11m in growth funding from a number of investors including Moneysupermarket.com. The cash injection was also backed by Kindred Capital and VentureFounders as well as a number of individual investors.

Flagstone was founded in 2013, by the firm’s Managing Partner, Andrew Thatcher, who previously had a 15-year career in banking and hedge funds with the likes of Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and MAN Group. Flagstone's online technology provides access to hundreds of deposit accounts from 30 banks through a single application enabling users to take advantage of the most favourable rates and terms.

Flagstone has an interesting proposition that appears to sit somewhere between the aggregators, price comparison sites and treasury management. The firm is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the minimum deposit required to open an account is £250k. Clients currently include wealth management firms such as, St. James’s Place, Quilter Cheviot and Tilney Group. Flagstone is looking to use the new funds to help support its growth ambitions. As well as the wealth management industry, the firm is looking to expand its presence amongst corporates, charities and wealthy individuals.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '09:33' - Tagged: funding   startups  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Friday 17 May 2019

Investors show foresight backing Glasgow's Synaptec

logoLondon-headquartered, infrastructure-focused private equity firm Foresight Group has been backing a number of interesting startups recently. Late last year, Foresight backed North Wales-based cabling software developer Cimteq (see Cabling software developer Cimteq connects to funding). And, keeping with the cabling theme, Foresight has recently invested £2m through the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund, as part of a £2.9m raise for Glasgow-based energy tech startup, Synaptec.

Other backers included the newly created Foresight Scottish Growth Fund, which invested £100k, and existing shareholders, including The Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, Equity Gap and the University of Strathclyde, from which Synaptec spun out, which invested £800k. The Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund was formed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering, the technology and engineering services business of Formula 1 racing team Williams Group.

Founded in 2015, Synaptec’s USP is that it can measure voltage, current, temperature, and vibration in a complex electricity power grid over long distances, at multiple locations, without power supplies, and using only a single standard optical fibre.

Sounds exciting.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '09:28' - Tagged: funding   startup  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Friday 17 May 2019

BrandHouse raises €4m to ply Asian trade

logoIt looks to me like the nominal London headquarters of ecommerce platform developer BrandHouse Holding Ltd is really just a front for a China-based international set of ‘trade-enabling’ businesses that cover the whole gamut from logistics, ecommerce and licencing.

Indeed BrandHouse’s recently announced €4m Series A funding round was led by China Renaissance Capital Investment, along with investors in China, America, Europe, Singapore and Australia and existing backers.

It’s very unclear what BrandHouse does, how it does it and who it does it with.

‘Nuff said.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:55' - Tagged: funding   startup  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Friday 17 May 2019

Celebrating UK LawTech

networkingMany thanks to everyone who attended last night’s LawTech adoption networking drinks, it was great to see so many people there from both the tech sector and the legal profession really engaged in what is an extremely vibrant area. The UK’s LawTech cluster truly is a world leader in so many areas.

ConduentTechMarketView would like to express particular appreciation to Conduent for the sponsorship of this event. Conduent has been engaged, responsive, easy to work with and truly supportive. We thank you.

Last year The Law Society commissioned TechMarketView to undertake a major review of the UK’s lawtech market, looking at barriers and drivers to adoption, the maturity of the market by legal segment and the implications for the future of the law. We ran through some of the key findings at the event. 

The output of the research was published by the Law Society back in February and its available to everyone to download in full or summary format from its website – for access to a copy please click here.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '08:50' - Tagged: networking   event   lawtech  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Friday 17 May 2019

Maistro to blur out AIM listing

logoIt really does look like the end is finally drawing nigh for deeply troubled Exeter-based B2B services and product marketplace, Maistro (the erstwhile blur Group). Maistro is to delist from AIM at the end of June.

After reporting an inglorious set of numbers in March (see The worrying truth in Maistro’s numbers), Maistro was awarded the Holway Wooden Spoon for the worst performing share of the month (see Share indices for March 2019).

As we said at the time, ‘new brand, same problems’.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:24' - Tagged: delisting  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Friday 17 May 2019

Fujitsu takes action to return UK to growth

fujFujitsu’s FY18 results were recently announced, showing a 3.6% decline in headline revenue to 3,952.4bn Yen (including the impact of restructuring in the PC and mobile phone businesses). The firm’s IT services business grew well in Japan, although Fujitsu is currently forecasting this revenue performance to be flat in FY19.

Indeed, it’s the German business where Fujitsu holds its highest expectations for growth in the current year, with particular target areas including cloud services in “niche markets”.

In the UK, which is Fujitsu’s largest business outside of Japan, our initial estimates suggest Services revenue has slipped into a decline from a flat performance in FY17. An important set of activities is currently being undertaken to strengthen the footings of the business, including operational changes to significantly swing the attention of the EMEIA leadership team to the UK – see Fujitsu seeks to accelerate UK business.

In mid-April (i.e. after the close of Fujitsu’s financial year) the States of Guernsey announced Agilisys as the preferred bidder for its Future Digital Services, beating off Fujitsu in the final stages (DXC had also been involved in the bidding at an earlier stage). This would’ve been a real disappointment for the Fujitsu team, but there have been successes elsewhere in the Public Sector and wins at the Department for Education and the Northern Ireland Driver & Vehicle Agency highlight that Fujitsu remains committed to Public Sector and is finding its digital groove in the market. The company’s win at Lowell was also notable (see Fast moving Lowell signs broad-ranging deal with Fujitsu) and another demonstration that clients increasingly understand Fujitsu’s potential to initiate and drive digital change.

The firm also saw growth in strategically important areas, including cyber security where it has been increasing its capability.

We’ll be catching up with UK management in due course to understand more about plans for the current year.

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '08:20' - Tagged: results   publicsector  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Friday 17 May 2019

Amazon Primes Deliveroo

logoIt has just been announced that Amazon is set to be the largest investor in UK-headquartered but very much international food delivery service Deliveroo's $575m Series G funding round. Existing investors T. Rowe Price, Fidelity Management and Research Company, and Greenoaks are also in the mix, which takes the startup’s funding to date to $1.53b. The investment is expected to complete in coming months. Amazon closed down its own London-based food delivery service, Amazon Restaurants, late last year.

So now the race in the UK comes down to homegrown,and once again profitable Just Eat (see Just Eat back to black as rivals lift the stakes), heavily loss-making – but now Amazon-primed – Deliveroo (see Deliveroo's divergent top and bottom lines), and also loss-making Uber Eats (see Uber warns it might never turn a profit). Then there’s the ‘fifth-column’ entry of Uber’s ex-CEO Travis Kalanick, who acquired London-based ‘dark kitchen’ startup Foodstars early last year to extend his CloudKitchens venture into the UK (see Kalanick’s UK ‘dark kitchens’ see the light of day (and night)).

Amazon’s investment in Deliveroo has clearly lifted the stakes in the UK (and international) food delivery market. The move will surely unsettle Just Eat’s investors, with the implied threat that Amazon will literally eat their lunch.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:00' - Tagged: funding   startup  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Friday 17 May 2019

*UKHotViewsExtra* Expleo builds on its heritage

ExpleoI caught up recently with the folks at quality assurance cum transformation specialist, Expleo, and spent some time with Head of Financial Services, Ross Hignett and his team at their Moorgate offices in London.

sqsExpleo as it is now, was formed in 2018 when Assystem Technologies acquired specialist, German quality assurance provider, SQS, (Software Quality Systems AG) (see: Assystem Technologies and SQS acquisition: bridging digital and physical). The company subsequently enhanced its transformation capabilities with the acquisition of management consulting firm, Moorhouse, (see: SQS gets physical with Moorhouse).

hvpTechMarketView clients, including UKHotViews Premium subscribers can learn more via, UKHotViewsExtra (see: Expleo builds on its heritage).

Posted by Jon C Davies at '07:00'

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Thursday 16 May 2019

*New Research*: Digital Enablement via Low Code Platforms

imageSuppliers and end user organisations looking for tools to provide practical assistance and accelerants around transformation change programmes should be exploring the low code development sector.

The TechMarketView report ‘Digital Enablement via Low Code Platforms: understanding the position, uncovering the prospects’ provides critical insight into this fast growing technology  area that will play a key part in making 2019 and beyond the age of digital activism it ought to be. The report explores the positions of leading providers like OutSystems, Mendix and Appian, UK participants like Netcall and specialist low code services providers such as Green Lemon Company, as well as the approach to low code taken by software providers, from Microsoft to Unit4.

For all the positives that stem from this declarative, model driven approach to application development – which include the ability to deal with continuous change, cope with filled-to-bursting software and process development pipelines, enablement of core system modernisation and addressing skills shortages – the low code movement also represents a threat to application services providers. As low code-using end user organisations are able to do more in terms of self-service development, to shorter timescales and with lower costs, they are using their knowledge to pressure suppliers into upping their game. Suppliers need to build low code capabilities for their own sakes as well as on behalf of clients.

Low code platforms are perceived as only being suitable for lightweight, mobile and web applications. While they aren’t the solution for every development task and should only form part of a broader development toolkit, they  can tackle sophisticated business critical application and process requirements. 

If you're interested in this report but don’t have a TechMarketView subscription, you can contact Deb Seth to find out how to access our research services.

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:51' - Tagged: cloud   software   digitaltransformation   development  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Thursday 16 May 2019

LTI’s Syncordis strikes strategic partnership with Temenos

SyncordisSyncordis, the Luxembourg based, banking technology consultancy, owned by Indian technology vendor, LTI, has announced a new strategic partnership with Swiss core banking specialist, Temenos. Syncordis, which was acquired by LTI in 2017, (see: LTI leaps ahead) is already an established Temenos specialist and will use the newly signed, strategic global alliance, to provide Temenos certified services to banks around the world.

Syncordis has established a reputation for delivering smooth and efficient implementations of Temenos solutions. The new alliance will boost its standing amongst Temenos clients, as a trusted partner for enhancements, platform upgrades, and end-to-end implementations.

LTI has been enhancing its financial services credentials of late. In February, the firm further strengthened its banking transformation capabilities, with the acquisition of another Temenos expert. German based, banking technology consultancy, Nielsen+Partner, for €28m, (see: LTI strengthens its banking credentials).

LTI has recognised the potential of working more closely with Temenos and the widespread transformation opportunities arising from the Swiss vendor’s installed base. LTI is also well positioned to benefit from the recent launch of Temenos’ cloud native, core banking solution T24 Transact which has established the vendor as a global leader in the space (see: Temenos addresses banking industry imperatives).

Posted by Jon C Davies at '09:45' - Tagged: partnerships   cloud+native   core+banking  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Thursday 16 May 2019

LawTech networking event

ConduentWe’re looking forward to welcoming our guests to our LawTech event, in London, this evening. The weather is set to be great and we’ll be taking full advantage of the venue’s beautiful garden terrace. 

NetworkingThere is a handful of spaces left for legal professionals and if you wish to be part of this networking event, please drop Deb Seth a line. We’d love to see you there.

Lawtech has seen a huge amount of start-up activity in the UK in recent years with law firms under increasing pressure to embrace new technologies but it remains less mature than other fields of digital disruption (such as Fintech) where there is more funding and regulatory alignment.

To help promote and celebrate the sector we are hosting (in conjunction with event sponsor Conduent) networking event – ‘Driving LawTech Adoption’. The event will offer fantastic networking opportunities amongst the legal/legal tech community and will be held on Tonight from 6:30pm in Central London.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '09:28' - Tagged: networking   legaltech   lawtech  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Thursday 16 May 2019

Important 'firsts' for Xero in FY19

logoWith strong FY19 results that delivered some important ‘firsts’, Xero continued to live up to its position as a challenger within the SME accounting software market. Those ‘firsts’ included maiden net profit, albeit of just $1.4m and in H2 only, and at $6.4m its first positive free cash inflow (vs. the $28.5m cash outflow of the prior year).

As TechMarketView highlighted in Xero scopes the transformation opportunity, the New Zealand founded company is going from strength to strength in a market segment where regulatory changes, such as the UK’s Making Tax Digital, and demand for easier to use, cloud based software are creating opportunities for technology providers. With 36% revenue growth to $552.8m in the year to 31 March 2019, Xero is taking full advantage of the environment.

While the company saw impressive growth in all the regions it operates in, the UK continues to be a major growth market. Boosted by the April 2019 Making Tax Digital deadline, UK revenue expanded 50% yoy to $120m and added 151k subscribers (a 48% yoy increase), taking the UK total to 463k. The worldwide subscriber number hit 1.82m, a 31% increase.

Xero is still a small company compared to those it is challenging - Sage, Intuit and even re- emerging UK provider Iris Software Group - which is a contributor to those high growth levels. And it is still in growth mode so the bottom line is not as comfortable as it is for the larger competitors. Although EBITDA improved (from $48.2, to $73.2m), Xero’s net loss deepened to $27.1m from $24.9m. The challenge will be growing on that slim $1.4m H2 profit to show it was not a blip.

FY19 saw some acquisitions – Hubdoc in the data capture area, and tax filing and compliance software provider Instafile in the UK – and these present further opportunities to build top and bottom lines. As does Xero’s platform ambition; with 128% platform revenue growth in FY19 this is a revenue line that is expanding, providing services with the scope to embed Xero deeper into the operational fabric of its customers. 

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:24' - Tagged: results   saas   cloud   software  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Thursday 16 May 2019

Sophos posts double digit FY19 revenue growth

Sophos posts double digit FY19 revenue growthWhen looked at from the perspective of turnover and operating profit, Sophos’ FY19 performance doesn’t look half bad.

The Abingdon-headquartered cyber security supplier grew its revenue 12% yoy in constant currency to US$711m and adjusted operating profit was up 87% to US$109m. Pre-tax profits too were healthy, reversing a US$41m loss a year ago into a US$54m gain this time around.

What Sophos isn’t too happy about is the flatlining of its billings growth, down 1% yoy to US$760m. The 35k net increase in Sophos’ SME customer numbers (the total client base now counts 382k) saw fewer larger deals signed while weaker network hardware billings were a result of extended refresh cycles. The company has now broken with the tradition of previous years by de-emphasising billings as a metric.

Billings calculates the value of products and services invoiced to customers following a purchase order, for which there is no right to a refund – nominally the guarantee of revenue not yet received. Sophos is gradually moving more of its products into cloud-hosted “as a service” subscriptions and adopting the role of managed security service provider (MSSP) for its customers. That transition - coupled with short term variations in renewal rates and the timing of product releases - renders billings “less indicative of the medium-term growth in our business” said management.

The alternative view of the its financial performance certainly makes for better reading from an investor perspective. Although any impact on the value of its shares was minimal at the time of writing – good news compared to the steep decline following publication of Sophos Q3 results.

We agree with Sophos that demand for cyber security solutions remains robust (read our Cyber Security Market Trends and Forecasts to 2021 here). The healthy FY19 revenue growth already seen from competitive suppliers including Fortinet, FireEye, Check Point and Palo Alto Networks (though not Symantec) appears to confirm that trend.

Competition is strong but with a strong portfolio of subscription security products now established backed by an army of resellers, Sophos has a good chance of gaining even more traction in the SME market in FY20.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:22' - Tagged: results   cybersecurity   Sophos  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Thursday 16 May 2019

Probation services to be renationalised

MoJToday’s announcement that the supervision of low and medium-risk offenders will return to the public sector was not unexpected (see here) and brings to an end one of the most ambitious examples of private sector public service delivery.

Private sector delivery of probation services was probably the highest risk outsourcing of government services undertaken by the coalition government. Realistically, with the benefit of 20:20 hindsight it probably required all the ‘stars to be aligned’ if it was ever going to deliver the financial benefits, drive down reoffending rates whilst at the same time maintaining public trust in what is a highly complex and stretched service.

It was also a complete commercial failure, where payment-by-results (outcome measures) yet again failed to deliver the financial returns once the theory was tested in the ‘real world’. This was yet another example of how HMG had been transferring too much risk to the private sector. Bringing the service back in house will of course be expensive, not only will staff have to be TUPE’d across but the MoJ will now likely have to invest in more staff and facilities.

There will still be a future (smaller) role for the private and voluntary sectors where they will be able to compete for work in services such as training, preparing offenders for work, and alcohol and drug treatment.

This contract is a good indicator and to some degree bellweather for how the public services market has changed over the last few years. However, it shouldn’t be forgotten that whilst the service has always been controversial and a ‘poster-boy’ for those who hate outsourcing, it intentions were good, being designed to assist the 40,000 offenders serving 12 months or less that prior to the reforms were being released with no supervision at all.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '09:18' - Tagged: outsourcing   insourcing  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Thursday 16 May 2019

Police ICT Company halts £500m ICT partner contract

Police ICT Company logoMuch has changed at the Police ICT Company since Ian Bell took the reins at the start of last year (see Ian Bell appointed new CEO of Police ICT Company). Further changes are now taking place, which has resulted in the organisation deciding to discontinue the procurement process for a Police ICT Partner.

The organisation was founded to “create a bridge between the policing, technological and commercial worlds”. In the past, whilst most suppliers thought the aims of the Company were sound, they had serious doubts about whether they were achievable. Things have certainly changed for the better over the last 18 months.

Bell, who was already known to police forces and suppliers through his role as Programme Director for the National Enabling Programmes, embarked on a re-set of the Company among its policing and supplier partners and the Government. The three pillars of the Company are now: 1) Helping set the direction for how policing and its partners can use technology; 2) Negotiating and managing contracts, achieving efficiencies and value for money; and 3) Assuring the delivery of the major national policing technology programmes.

It published its contract notice for a Police ICT Partner in November 2018. The intention was to appoint a supplier to establish, operate and manage a network of resellers, manufacturers and software vendors for policing. The contract was worth up to £500m and was set to run for 10 years. However, the Company published an update earlier this week to say that it was discontinuing the procurement process.

Speaking to TechMarketView, the Company said it had determined further work is needed to reflect on the large volume of change happening in policing and positive changes within the Company itself. It has now begun developing an alternative model, together with its policing and national partners.

Halting the procurement programme will obviously be a disappointment to interested suppliers, but it sounds like the new approach is being implemented for the right reasons and in a way that will allow policing to procure technology more efficiently.

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:07' - Tagged: contract   police   police   police   police   police  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Thursday 16 May 2019

New MD for Dynama

Dynama logoAllocate Software Group company Dynama has appointed Andrew Lloyd as Managing Director. The company provides workforce and resource management solutions primarily for the defence and maritime industries.

Andrew joins Dynama from Corero Network Security where he was President and Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing. Prior to that he was Chief Customer Officer for Workplace Systems and held senior positions at CA Technologies and Oracle. He replaces Andrew Carwardine at Dynama, who left the business in January this year.

Despite contributing a relatively small proportion of Allocate Software Group’s revenues compared its healthcare business, Dynama remains an important part of the Group. It has a loyal customer base in the defence and maritime industries and good potential for growth. Andrew is a solid addition to the business, bringing experience of leading companies in the workforce management sector.

Posted by Dale Peters at '08:28' - Tagged: software   appointment   workforce  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Thursday 16 May 2019

Totvs finds hardware and software don’t mix – finally

logoBrazilian ERP market leader Totvs (pronounce the ‘v’ as ‘u’) has finally backtracked on what has been labelled in the Brazilian media (with thanks to Angelica Mari at Brazil Tech) as “one of the wors(t) deals ever seen in the Brazilian IT sector”, selling off its retail industry POS hardware business Bematech for just R$25m (c.USD6.2m). Founding CEO Laércio Cosentino announced the acquisition of Bematech in August 2015 for R$550m (see Major POS acquisition for Brazilian Totvs).

I had always been extremely sceptical (moi?) about this deal (see Acquisitions Brazilian style) mainly on the basis that it’s hard to find a successful acquisition of a hardware player by a software firm anywhere in the world (you know the address to write to if you find one). I was also concerned about the distraction this would cause to both businesses and indeed my worries came to pass pretty much straight away when Bematech’s profits crashed (see Totvs: the cost of buying market share), followed a few months later by Totvs’ (see Bematech drags Totvs).

Current CEO Dennis Herszkowicz was philosophical about the decision to ditch Bematach: “We have a long history of successful M&As, with a lot of value created over the years, but clearly we did not get it right in 100% of the occasions – and the purchase of Bematech hardware was one such case.” Herszkowicz joined Totvs in November 2018 in a second attempt by Cosetino (now chairman) to hand over the reins of the business.

Cosetino’s first attempt was just months before the ill-fated Bematech acquisition, when he hired ex-IBM Brazil CEO Rodrigo Kede Lima as President and CEO-in-waiting (see New man at Totvs looks to upset Sage’s LatAm plans). Barely six months later Lima returned to IBM (see Kede goes back to Blue) where he is now General Manager - IBM Global Technology Services - North America (and some would say, destined for greater things). I had always assumed his impromptu departure from Totvs was on account of differences of opinion with Cosetino over the Bematech deal. Whether or not the case, this was clearly the wrong deal.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '07:58' - Tagged: disposal   brazil  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Wednesday 15 May 2019

NEST seeks pensions admin partner for next phase

NEST logoThere’s a big opportunity on the horizon for providers of pensions administration services. The National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), the national administrator for auto-enrolment processes, has issued a contract notice seeking a provider to step into the role currently undertaken by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

The initial contract is for a ten-year period. However, if all extension options are exercised, the contract could last as long as 18 years and be worth up to £1.5b.

TCS signed its outsourcing contract back in March 2010 and auto enrolment commenced in 2012. Following extension, TCS’ contract is due to end in 2023.

Any new provider will be expected to provide the full gamut of outsourced administration services: enrolments, pension contribution collection, account management, savings access provision, employer participation support and the passing of funds to the administrator. It is a large undertaking; NEST now has 8m members, 730K employees and £6b of assets under management.

What is clear is that NEST wants further digital enhancement of the service, allowing it to be a primarily digitally-delivered service; any provider will need to prove that it will keep pace with changes to the savings sector, to technology and to customer expectations by drawing on emerging technologies in areas like deep data analytics.

Anyone hoping to step into TCS’ shoes would do well to read TechMarketView’s report published last year: Life & Pensions BPS Strategies for Success. You will find an in-depth look at TCS’ approach to the contract and the achievements to date. What is clear is that it will be tough to take the delivery to the next level.

Over the last ten or so years, TCS, building on its BaNCs platform, has established an already incredibly lean operation. It has also already digitised many processes, with digital levers implemented across all channels. Understanding the long-term potential of NEST to expand its remit, TCS has taken a long-term view which has allowed NEST to invest ahead of the digital adoption curve.

 Naturally, NEST is looking to achieve value for money as it shapes its administration for the next decade or more; with the low-hanging fruit picked, bidders will need to think carefully about how easy it will be to implement more advanced digital tech for future success.

Posted by Georgina O'Toole at '10:05' - Tagged: public+sector   contract   bpo   pensions   administration   digitalservices   digital+transformation   financial+services  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Wednesday 15 May 2019

Experian boosted by growth in North America

ExperianDublin based, credit scoring and information services provider, Experian, has published preliminary full year results, underpinned by the company’s performance in North America. Total revenue for the period ending 31st March 2019 was $4.8bn, up 6% on the previous fiscal. Growth was strongest in North America, where full year revenues were up by 10% year on year. Meanwhile Experian’s UK and Ireland revenues increased by 4.3% to $819m. Global pre-tax profits for the year were $957m, up by 0.7%

Experian has made a number of recent investments in technology and innovation and the success of its big data platform, Ascend, has been a contributing factor to strong performance in the US. Meanwhile, in the UK and Ireland, where growth has been slowest, prospects appears to be steadily improving after recent declines at the company’s consumer service operations (see: Experian stabilises UK consumer services).

Experian’s operating margins are good and whilst profit growth was rather modest, the business is enjoying growth across all its major territories. Growth in the UK and Ireland appears to be more challenging than elsewhere and is not helped by obstacles to the company’s inorganic ambitions. Experian’s proposed acquisition of rival, UK credit rating agency, Clearscore (see: Experian to acquire UK FinTech Clearscore) was abandoned earlier this year, in the face of  opposition by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). However, the economic climate remains favourable to Experian’s business model and the company is continuing to perform well overall.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '09:47'

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Wednesday 15 May 2019

Sanderson confirms strong H1

logoSanderson Group confirmed the bright H1 performance indicated in its most recent trading update when releasing results for the six months to 31 March 2019: an 18% revenue increase to £17.2m (16% on a comparable basis, excluding  IFRS 15 impact), with operating profit rising 34% to £2.8m (20%+ excluding IFRS 15 impact).

The Digital Retail division contributed £5.98m revenue (vs. £5.91m pre IFRS 15 and £5.37m in 2018) and operating profit of £1.22m (£1.10 m pre IFRS 15 and £0.94m in 2018). This compares to Enterprise division revenue of £11.20m (pre IFRS 15 revenue of £11m) and £1.57m operating profit (£1.44m pre IFRS 15 and £1.14m in 2018); the division benefitted from contribution from the Anisa acquisition.

The important metrics of recurring revenue, cash generation and order intake are strong with both existing customers investing further (Richer Sounds, Office Holdings, NHS Blood and Transplant, Centrica), and new customers coming on board (Hawes & Curtis, Rhodes Freight Services).

The rate of revenue growth declined from the acquisition fueled 34% of the year ago period but with 11% organic growth in the previous year, the most recent growth rate appears to be closer. Looking forward, there is a lot to build on, including the launch of the "Lean Retailer" initiative. This is aimed at continually improving operational efficiency within retailers and Sanderson says it is generating a good level of early interest. These sorts of supplier initiatives, that help organisations with the ‘how’ of transformation, are important value offerings demonstrating the ability to think beyond the technology.

Elsewhere, the company continues to invest, particularly in mobile and ecommerce solutions and business intelligence across the retail, wholesale and supply chain logistics sector domains. Food and Drink processing is an up and coming sector for Sanderson and one where it is looking to further build its presence. It also sees opportunities to expand subscription, cloud and managed services revenue. With its retail division plus three segments within the Enterprise division, the company has several levers it can work to impact performance and balance risk and due to the growth within Digital Retail, is a better balanced business than it was a few years ago.

Posted by Angela Eager at '09:42' - Tagged: results   software  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Wednesday 15 May 2019

Backers authenticate Authenticate’s supply chain platform

logoThere are at least a couple things I like to know when I buy food at the supermarket: what it contains, and where it comes from. Harrogate-based foodtech startup Authenticate Information Systems aims mainly to answer the second question, with its supply chain mapping software that allows food businesses to track ingredients to source and ensure they meet required standards.

Founded in 2013, Authenticate has secured a new funding round of £2.3m, which includes £1.5 million from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and the remainder from existing shareholders including Summit Alpha.

Authenticate is already in use at the Coop and a large number of hospitality and food businesses. This all seems very sensible to me.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '09:21' - Tagged: funding   startup   foodtech  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Wednesday 15 May 2019

NHS 111 Online hits one million

NHS Digital logoAccording to data released by NHS Digital, NHS 111 Online has been used more than one million times since it was launched in December 2017.

The system, which is now available across England online and through the NHS App, completed its one millionth triage on 10 May 2019. It uses the NHS Pathways symptom checker to provide users with information about when and where to get help based on answers to a series of questions about their main symptom. A nurse will call the user for further information if required.

Pilots for possible solutions for the NHS 111 Online service were conducted across four areas in 2017. The NHS’s own Pathways-based solution was trialled in Leeds; Advanced and Sensely’s Ask NHS app in the West Midlands (see Advanced Health & Care: Opportunities and Potential for further information); Expert 24 in Suffolk; and Babylon in London.

NHS Digital took the decision in March 2018 to proceed with a phased rollout of its own NHS 111 Online system across the whole of England. Regions using the other services were given until the end of December 2018 to connect their 111 services to the national Pathways product.

There has been a strong drive towards online triage services to reduce the pressure on the NHS 111 telephone service and provide a more efficient route to the most effective treatment. Data published by NHS Digital shows 13% of all NHS 111 online journeys end with self-care advice, 48% direct users to primary care, and 25% to ring 999 or attend A&E.

As we have discussed previously (see here and here), we are seeing a rapid proliferation of digital triage tools in the NHS, largely targeting primary care settings, which is likely to lead to a more complex and fragmented ecosystem of healthcare tools.

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:03' - Tagged: nhs   healthcare   app  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Wednesday 15 May 2019

Investors improve Urban’s wellness with extra dosh

logoAs it happens, I had a dreadful night’s sleep last night as I was shifting some boxes around the house yesterday and must have twisted a muscle. Typically I’d go to my local physio; they charge £48 for a 30-minute pummelling and usually fix me up after a couple of sessions.

Or I could tap, tap, tap on my mobile and summon a therapist from London-headquartered but Lithuania-based ‘wellness’ startup Urban and only pay £49 for an hour. Actually, I’ll do neither as I’m a brave soldier (read ‘cheapskate’) and see how I go.

Founded in 2014 in a flat in Ealing (hi, neighbour!), Urban (then called Urban Massage – see Urban Massage de-stresses with $12m valuation) has just raised $10m in a Series B funding round led by Accelerated Digital Ventures. The raise includes $4.5m from a crowdfunding round, and prior backers Passion Capital and Felix Capital also joined in. The funds will be used to build out Urban’s R&D team in Vilnius and expand the scope of its ‘wellness’ services.

Home-based physio services are not a new idea (for example, there’s PhysioComesToYou, which does what it says on the tin). But it must be said that the Urban website looks sassier (I haven’t downloaded the app) and they aim to become the proverbial ‘one stop shop’ for ‘wellness’ services, which now include beauty treatments (too late for me).

The business model will likely look attractive to therapists working for a bricks-and-mortar therapy practices who may only get around 20% of the fee paid, whereas I would imagine they would only pay a similar level of commission if they get a gig from Urban and keep the 80%.  

Urban has significantly dropped its prices since the 2015 raise. Like most ‘on-demand’ services, success will really come down to marketing and of course getting the right price point.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:43' - Tagged: funding   startup  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Wednesday 15 May 2019

Capita puts workers on the board

CapitaCapita yesterday delivered on its promise to promote rank-and-file workers to its board, with the announcement that Lyndsay Browne and Joseph Murphy will join the board as employee directors from the 1st July. 

Browne has been with Capita since 2003 and currently works as a finance manager in Capita Insurance Services whilst Murphy joined in 2015 and is a project manager in the Real Estate and Infrastructure business. The pair beat competition from about 400 other internal candidates and will serve an initial appointment period of three and two years, respectively.

The appointments were a key commitment of CEO Jon Lewis and represent a shift in company culture towards a more people-centric business. The non-exec roles are designed to provide an employee’s perspective into strategic decision-making with the same level of authority as other directors.

Capita joins a select group of companies in putting workers on the board including the likes of First Group, the train and bus company, Sports Direct, the retailer and Mears Group, the outsourced council services provider.

The appointment should also act to soften Capita’s brand, once known for being ‘all about the numbers’. How it then goes on to impact levels of employee engagement within the business and associated Net Promoter Score (NPS) (now a key metric for the business) will be very interesting to watch.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '08:41' - Tagged: Capita   boardchanges  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Wednesday 15 May 2019

UK a hotbed for tech innovation and scaleups

pic“The truth is in the numbers”, as I always say. And the numbers just published in the latest report “UK Tech on the Global Stage” from Tech Nation, the UK network for tech entrepreneurs part funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, demonstrate that tech innovation is alive and well and thriving in the UK.

Here’s just a taster:

  • Total venture capital investment in UK tech in 2018 reached £6.3bn, more than any other European country, of which 80% went into high-value scaleups.
  • The recent growth rate for London tech scaleups at 56% makes the cluster first in the world for scaleup growth.
  • With £5bn of scaleup investment, the UK ranks fourth in the world, after the US, China and India.
  • Scaleup tech investment was 2.5x higher than expected based on the relative size of the UK economy.
  • 35% of Europe and Israel's 169 unicorn tech companies have been created in the UK.
  • Investment in AI grew almost six-fold from 2014 to 2018.

TechMarketView has been a long-time supporter of UK tech SMEs, from startups through scaleups to mature success stories. Next week we will be hosting six more high-potential SMEs at our sixth Great British Scaleup Programme with our partners ScaleUp Group, the network of successful tech entrepreneurs responsible for over £4bn of exits. Our new Innovation Partner Programme takes this initiative one step further, partnering innovative UK tech SMEs with enterprise tech companies to help them scale up even quicker.

You can read the Tech Nation report here. The UK has much to be proud of.

Posted by Anthony Miller at '07:57' - Tagged: funding   scaleup  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Wednesday 15 May 2019

Advance of the robots

I’ve long been intrigued by how automation changes the job market. Agriculture is a particular area of interest as so much more food can now be produced per person than a generation ago. See Automation in agriculture.  Last week I watched as cows walked themselves, when they liked, into an unmanned milking parlour, got milked, had  a snack and returned to the field. Yesterday, Anthony Miller wrote about the Karakuri fast food robot designed to produce customised meas at high volume. I’ve recently seen (albeit prototype) machines picking soft fruit - a task that was thought impossible only a few years ago. See Automating picking soft fruit. My neighbour’s grass is cut by six robot mowers which even return themselves to their charging points as required. See Say 'Goodbye' to mowing the lawn.

Amazon boxToday I read in The Times (they quoted their source as Reuters) about Amazon rolling out robots that can pack boxes. Amazon’s existing 100,000+ robots are mainly used to pick and transport stock - leaving the fiddly task of packing them into boxes to humans. Let’s face it this must be one of the most boring, repetitive jobs on earth. Amazon has addressed the issue by getting the robots to assess the item and then build a bespoke box to fit it. Amazon says these robots (built by Italian firm CMC Sri)  can pack 700 boxes an hour - at least 5x the rate of a human. The robots cost $1m each and are already in use in Manchester, Frankfurt and Milan with plans for another 55 Amazon sites. Amazon’s ultimate aim is ‘Lights Out’ warehouses.

One can have an interesting debate on whether this is ‘good’. Packing 2 or 3 boxes per minute must be one of the most boring, mindless jobs. But it is a job. Robots tend to create jobs for highly skilled people to both build and maintain them. Just think of the skills you need to be a BMW car mechanic nowadays.

There again, the more automation, the cheaper the product, the more people can afford to buy etc. Automation in the car industry didn’t destroy jobs overall as it created huge demand, for example, people working in filling stations.

Then, of course, with the current wave of concern about our planet, one might wish to reduce consumer demand - not increase it by making such items even more affordable.

Posted by Richard Holway at '07:34'

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link



Tuesday 14 May 2019

Vodafone cuts investor dividends on €7.6bn loss

Vodafone cuts investor dividends on €7.6bn lossThe value of Vodafone’s share price tumbled as the mobile operator cut its annual dividends for investors by 40% to help reduce €27bn of net debt after disappointing FY19 financial results.

Group revenue declined 6% to €43.7bn, with operating loss expanding to an eye watering €7.6bn compared to a net profit of €2.8bn in the previous financial year. The steep fall was largely due to costs associated with Vodafone India’s merger with Idea Cellular and changes from IAS18 to IFRS15 accounting standards.

5G spectrum auctions in Europe and difficult trading conditions also took their toll as Vodafone saw its global organic service revenue flatline at €39.2bn (down 5% in the UK). Fixed service turnover rose 3.8% due to growth in fixed, security and cloud services (up 5.3% in the UK due to the strong performance of consumer broadband and the business division). Mobile declined 1.3%, while 10% revenue growth in Internet of Things (IoT) was offset by significant declines in average revenue per user (ARPU).

The operator is undergoing some major restructuring in anticipation of the EU approving its €18bn Liberty Global cable broadband acquisition, which includes a proposed €2.1bn sales of its New Zealand arm after previously offloading its cloud services business to IBM in an eight-year managed services agreement.

We also note what looks like a renewed focus on core telecommunications connectivity, with network sharing agreements and greater automation within its infrastructure and customer service processes expected to underpin a simpler, more profitable operating model (net operating expenses are expected to fall by €400m in Europe alone during FY20).

Much now appears to rest on Vodafone’s imminent launch of commercial 5th generation (5G) mobile networks in the UK and Europe (see 5G: Opportunities in Next Generation Mobile Networks), closely allied to the growth of its IoT business (see Vodafone shines spotlight on IoT).

At such an early stage of the game it’s impossible to tell if 5G revenue will reap the expected rewards any time soon, but the short-term pain of cutting the investor dividend at least leaves Vodafone better placed to finance further spectrum purchases and network infrastructure rollouts in the near future.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '10:15' - Tagged: results   mobile   iot   Vodafone   5G   telecommunications  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Tuesday 14 May 2019

Closed Loop Medicine gains £2.1m in pre-Series A funds

CLM logoCambridge-based health tech startup Closed Loop Medicine (CLM) has raised £2.1m in pre-Series A funding. Investment in this latest funding round came from Longwall Venture Partners, IQ Capital and Martlet, alongside Cambridge Angels network investors, including Sherry Coutu.

CLM was founded in 2017 by Dr Paul Goldsmith, Dr Hakim Yadi, Dr David Cox and Dr Felicity Sartain. It secured seed funding from the Cambridge Angel network during that year and went on to raise further funding from Longwall Venture Partners, Martlet and Cambridge Angels last year.

The company combines drug treatments with digital therapeutics to create a “closed-loop model” of care. CLM is seeking to improve the current doctor and patient interaction, which it describes as a slow and imperfect feedback loop. By using digital therapeutics CLM are seeking to capture more real-time information so that changes to the treatment regimen can be made more rapidly and improve outcomes for patients.

CLM intends to use the funding to support the development of its “drug + digital” approach to treat and manage major health conditions and develop fully regulated, evidence-based solutions for the NHS and international healthcare providers. Its current development pipeline covers hypertension, sleep disturbance, chronic pain management and metabolic disease.

Posted by Dale Peters at '10:04' - Tagged: funding   startup   healthcare  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Tuesday 14 May 2019

Finastra's blockchain initiative looks to transform syndicated loans

finastraGlobal financial services technology provider, Finastra, has revealed that four major banks have just gone live on its blockchain based, Fusion LenderComm platform, following a successful pilot. The platform is built on R3’s open source, blockchain platform, Corda Enterprise. The system enables lenders to access credit agreement information, accrual balances and position data in real time, directly from the loan platforms of participating banks.

BNP Paribas, Natixis and Societe Generale were all part of Finastra’s pilot of Fusion LenderComm and were recently joined as participants by NatWest. The three founding banks have been collaborating in support of the initiative, in an effort to improve service quality, accelerate data flows and reduce costs associated with the lending process and the syndicated loan market in particular.

This is an interesting development and another example of the how the application of blockchain technology is helping to transform financial services business processes (see: HSBC selects CGI for trade finance transformation). In this case by facilitating information sharing between participants and optimising data flows in a secure environment. The initiative should help to provide greater transparency and operational efficiency to the syndicated loan market and thus benefit lenders and borrowers alike. Finastra's mission will now be to attract the wider banking community onto its platform.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '10:00' - Tagged: blockchain  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Tuesday 14 May 2019

Ocado delivers funding for Karakuri’s fast-food robot

logoIf you’re wondering how long it will be before the cooks behind the counter at your local fast-food restaurant are replaced by robots, the answer may be sooner rather than later (or not).

picLondon-based startup Karakuri (apparently means ‘mechanisms’ in Japanese, used to describe mechanized puppets and automata) has designed a robot which looks rather like a reject from Star Wars (see pic). DK-One (as the robot is called) is designed to produce customised meals at high volume and large scale. Karakuri claims that DK-One can assemble one meal every ten seconds “assuming an average of 5.6 ingredients per meal”, with each ingredient “plated to a specified location or aesthetic”. There’s a ‘mini-me’ version too called Marley (why?) which looks like a pick-and-mix candy station.

Founded just last year by a team including ex-Arm engineers, Karakuri recently raised £7m in a seed funding round led by online supermarket and purveyor of self-same software, Ocado (see Ocado can concentrate on being a global technology champion), along with Hoxton Ventures, firstminute capital and Taylor Brothers.

I am frankly surprised and impressed that the team at Karakuri have taken less than a year to develop their robots, the first of which are slated for delivery to Ocado late this year. I must say when I saw the picture of DK-One, I was for some reason reminded of the overhyped blood-testing machine developed by the now defunct Theranos (see Hoping that DeepMind is not ‘too good to be true’). In the excellent HBO TV expose The Inventor: Out For Blood In Silicon Valley, there were clips of their robot trying to undertake hundreds of blood tests at high speed and making a complete mess of it.

You can argue the case that Karakuri’s robots are simply a natural development of machines that have been in successful use by the manufacturing industry for many years. How well this technology can be adapted to assemble meals quicky, reliably and consistently from fresh ingredients that have a short shelf-life I think will be a somewhat greater challenge.

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

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Tuesday 14 May 2019

Mimecast FY19 revenue up 32% yoy

Mimecast FY19 revenue up 32% yoyStellar double digit revenue growth has become something of the norm for Mimecast in recent years, and FY19 is no different – the company’s revenue increased 32% yoy to US$340m on a constant currency basis. It's GAAP net loss fell to US$7m from US$12.4m with gross profit percentage stable at 73%.

Mimecast added 4,000 net customers during the year (the total is now 34.4k) and continues to benefit from its close integration with Microsoft – the number of customers using its SaaS security services in tandem with Office 365 in Q419 was 43%, up from 31% in Q418 and 41% in Q318.

A sharp increase in research and development spend (up 50% yoy to US$58m) reflect the continuing expansion of Mimecast’s portfolio, supplemented by a trio of acquisitions. 2018 saw the introduction of a new web security service and security training proposition, while the firm branched out into analytics with the launch of a quarterly Email Security Risk Assessment tool (SecureConnectViews subscribers can read more in our Cyber Security Supplier Prospects 2019 and Beyond report).

The company should reap the benefits of further product launches in FY20, including the Threat Center threat intelligence service introduced in March and the Supervision Solution compliance toolset released earlier this month. Exchange rate fluctuations are expected to have a negative impact though. Guidance is forecasting FY20 revenue growth of 23-27% in constant currency for the year.

That would be mightily impressive by anybody else’s standards, but is comparatively low for Mimecast when viewed alongside the FY18 and FY17 numbers. Demand for its core email and archiving solutions is likely to remain undiminished in the short term, but it will be interesting to see how the company's broader cyber resilience services fare and whether it can make further inroads into the SME market via the channel.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '09:11' - Tagged: results   saas   cloud   cybersecurity   Office365   Mimecast   FY19  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Tuesday 14 May 2019

1Spatial maps out path to growth

1SpatialFull year results out today from 1Spatial, the Cambridge-based geospatial software firm, show continued steady progress, the reward for focusing the business on what it does best.

Having divested its loss making cloud division Enables IT in March 2018 1Spatial has been gathering positive momentum (See here) in its transition for a while now. In 2018 1Spatial saw revenue grow 4.1% to £17.6m (2018: £16.9m) whilst adjusted EBITDA grew £0.8m to £1.2m ahead of market expectations (2018: £0.4m profit).

In June 2018 1Spatial changed its licensing model from perpetual to subscription-based licencing, a move designed to have a positive impact on the visibility and predictability of revenues.

1Spatial has also been raising cash with £8m funding last year and another £3.1m announced just last week. Some of which has already been deployed with 1Spatial strengthening its European offer with the acquisition of French geospatial software provider Geomap-Imagis for €7m and a strategic agreement with GIS player Esri.

Its nearly two years since the company changed both its leadership and its strategy, sensibly focusing on its core geospatial business. Whilst there is still plenty to be done this does represent a solid set of results and continued progress, all heading in the right direction.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '09:04' - Tagged: results   geospatial  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Tuesday 14 May 2019

Ideagen to make it ten in a row

LogoAcquisitive AIM-listed risk management software specialist Ideagen PLC expects that its performance for the year to 30 April 2019 be marginally ahead of market expectations. This will represent the Group's tenth consecutive year of revenue and profit improvement.

The company’s latest trading for FY19 update anticipates that turnover will be up 29% yoy at approximately £46.7million and adjusted EBITDA up 30% at around £14.3 million. Underlying organic growth should hit 8%, maintaining the pace set in H1 (see here). Ideagen, which focuses on regulated industries, primarily transport, banking and finance, life sciences, healthcare and advanced manufacturing, reports that demand was once again robust across all key verticals last year.

The company also continued the transition from a perpetual licence to a SaaS based subscription model. The Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) book at 30 April 2019 was up 44% at approximately £36.4 million. This was driven in part by the three acquisitions made by Ideagen in FY19. These were audit management specialist Morgan Kai, quality inspection software supplier InspectionXpert and environmental health, safety and quality platform provider Scannell Solutions. Management now expects to generate 74% of revenues from recurring contracts by the end of 2020.

Looking ahead, Ideagen Chief Executive, Ben Dorks believes that the company’s increasing base of recurring revenues, strong pipeline of business opportunities from new logos and expanding customer base bodes well for the rest 2019 and beyond. An eleventh consecutive year of top and bottom line growth would seem to be very much on the cards. Ideagen will publish its full year results on or around 17 July 2019.

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '08:55' - Tagged: saas   results.  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Tuesday 14 May 2019

*UKHotViewsExtra* AWS Summit London: public sector to the fore

AWS logoTechMarketView, along with approximately 14,000 people, attended the AWS Summit in London last week. The event brought technologists together to connect, collaborate, and learn about AWS’ cloud technology solutions.

As well as a strong focus on cloud migration, app modernisation, AI, machine learning, data and analytics, the event highlighted the importance of giving more people the skills to build, manage and benefit from these technologies.

UKHotViews Premium logoThe use of AWS technology in the UK public sector has been growing rapidly, particularly in central government. The Summit included strong representation from public sector customers, including presentations from the Ministry of Justice, DVLA, Met Office, universities and the NHS.

In UKHotViewsExtra: AWS Summit London: public sector to the fore we take a look at some of the public sector organisations using AWS technology, review the presentations from the day and discuss the conversations we had about transforming public services through the application of cloud technologies at the Summit. TechMarketView subscribers (including UKHotViews Premium subscribers) can read more about the AWS Summit now. If you are not yet a subscriber, please contact Deb Seth to gain access.

Posted by Dale Peters at '08:47' - Tagged: public+sector   cloud   conference  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Tuesday 14 May 2019

Eckoh enjoys strong momentum

eckohAIM-listed provider of contact centre and secure payment solutions, Eckoh, has issued a trading statement highlighting a strong close to its fiscal year. Eckoh’s board confirmed that the company had enjoyed double digit sales growth in both the UK and US during the second half and had closed out the year in line with expectations, following a very strong H1.

Eckoh's US Secure Payments operation saw new business grow by 47% to $13.7m during FY2019. Sales were boosted by wins in a number of sectors including, insurance, healthcare and telecoms and consisted of both cloud and on-premise deals. The company also performed well in the UK, with overall business doubling year on year, in terms of TCV, helped by its ongoing relationship with Capita.

Eckoh has been performing very strongly recently (see: Eckoh’s new business booms) and the latest news indicates that the company’s impressive run of success has continued. The recent re-organisation of Eckoh’s UK sales function appears to have paid dividends. Eckoh’s fortunes are in part tied to its corporate partnerships and its relationships with both Capita and BT appear to be providing opportunities for the company once again. Eckoh will report its audited full year results on Wednesday 12 June 2019.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '08:19' - Tagged: results   payments  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Tuesday 14 May 2019

Backers chip in $5m for Agile Analog

logoAs we all go increasingly digital, it is easy to forget that the real world (especially people) is still very much analogue. Hence the need for electronics to connect the digital world to the analogue world, which is where Cambridge-based chip design startup Agile Analog has pitched its tent.

Founded in 2017 by ex-Arm engineers, Agile Analog has developed software which is claimed to automate the currently manually-intensive analogue chip design process. Agile Analog has just closed a $5m Pre-Series funding round backed by Delin Ventures, firstminute Capital and MMC Ventures.

The UK has a rich heritage in microchip innovation, much of which (Arm, Imagination, CSR, Wolfson) has been sold off to foreign buyers (see Goodbye Imagination). We’ve still got Bristol-based Graphcore, though, which raised a further $200m last December following a $50m raise in November 2017 (see 'AI chipper' Graphcore secures another $50m). The recent round valued Graphcore at some $1.7bn.

Agile Analog holds much promise. Is it too much to hope that the promise can be fulfilled here in the UK?

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:05' - Tagged: funding   startup  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Tuesday 14 May 2019

The ID Co looks to verify its credentials with £2m boost

idcoScottish vendor, The ID Co., has secured $2m in funding from a group of investors including Amadeus Capital, SixThirty and others. The Edinburgh based FinTech, supports the onboarding process by using Open Banking standards to verify personal information. The approach helps clients to improve the efficiency of onboarding customers and employees, by accelerating the process and helping to reduce fraud and other related risks.

The ID Co. was founded by James Varga in 2010. The company is an FCA authorised AISP (Account Information Service Provider) in the UK and currently has around 30 companies using its tools, including Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks. Customers are mainly (but not exclusively) financial service providers, such as retail banks and online lenders. The company has two main offerings built around the Open Banking standards, DirectID Insights and Income Verification. As well as verifying account information, the products assess the affordability of credit.

The investment is the first commitment from Amadeus Capital’s new “Early Stage” fund and was led by prolific technology investor, Nick Kingsbury, who joined the partnership last year. The ID Co. is an interesting proposition and the company hopes to capitalise on the drive to improve the overall customer experience in financial services. The ID verification space has seen a fair bit of activity of late (see: id verifier Onfido verifies another $50m funding round) and it will be interesting to see whether the latest cash injection will enable the ID Co. to successfully build scale against its rivals in this competitive sector.

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

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Monday 13 May 2019

Latest TechMarketView research

The TechMarketView analyst team has been busy over the last couple of weeks publishing a range of reports and in-depth articles. Take a moment to catch up and make sure you haven’t missed any of our latest research! 

If you’re a TechMarketView subscription client the titles below take you straight to the in-depth article or report:

report coversAdvanced Health & Care: Opportunities and Potential

Government Digital Service enters a new phase

Digital Employee Experience and The Future of Work

LBB ‘CentraStage’ continues to prosper at Datto

IndustryViews Corporate Activity

IndustryViews Quoted Sector

Digital Enablement via Low Code Platforms: understanding the position, uncovering the prospects

Another Year Another $1Billion – the SI Creative Agency Spending Spree Continues

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

Posted by HotViews Editor at '09:46'

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Monday 13 May 2019

CentralNic doubles in size

CentralNicLondon-based CentralNic Group, the AIM-listed provider of internet domains doubled revenues in 2018 to £42.7m (2017 £21.4m) as it integrated the KeyDrive acquisition. The expanded business also improved profitability with Gross Profit up 69% to £19.7m (2017: £11.6m) and adjusted EBITDA up 66% to £7m (2017: £4.2m).

Three significant acquisitions have contributed to 2018’s growth. CentralNic acquired KeyDrive in July 2018 principally looking to improve its market share by doubling its customer numbers overnight. There is also a pretty significant overlap in services between the business that should yield cost synergies.

CentralNic is looking to build a global business and access growth markets, acquiring SK-NIC in 2017 which manages the top level domain .sk (like .UK) for Slovakia whilst also buying Romanian and Brazil-focused registrar and domain hosting provider GlobeHosting last September. 

The acquisitions have provided much greater scale for the Group with its own platforms now supporting some 14m domain names. Through these acquisitions, CentralNic has doubled headcount, with additional staff in Germany (housed in a purpose-built engineering headquarters near Saarbrh the), the USA, Luxembourg, Slovakia and Romania.

The Group targets three customer types of Resellers, Small Businesses, and Corporates and sells each subscription-based products and services that has seen the company achieve 90% recurring revenue and near 100% cash conversion that puts the business in very good shape for 2019.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '09:05' - Tagged: results   domainservices  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link


Monday 13 May 2019

Ion's Acuris ambitions highlight rising fortunes

According to reports, Irish, financial services software and information provider, Ionion, is set to make another major acquisition. The Financial Times has revealed that, Dublin-based Ion, is looking to acquire, Acuris, the owner of UK financial services information provider, Mergermarket, in a deal worth more than £1bn. Acuris is currently in the hands of private equity group, BC Partners, who are said to be in talks to sell the company to Ion for around £1.35bn.

Ion, itself is backed by US private equity group, Carlyle. The company has been highly acquisitive of late and has spent around £7bn since 2005 adding 20 companies to its portfolio. In 2018, Ion acquired banking technology provider, Fidessa, for £1.5bn, having seen off a rival bid from Swiss core banking provider Temenos (see: All iond out as Fidessa joins dearly departed).

If completed, the acquisition of Acuris, will help to extend Ion’s breadth of offerings and strengthen its data and analytics proposition in the capital markets space. Acuris made a pre-tax profit of £23m in 2017 and looks to be a pretty reasonable addition to the Ion stable. Meanwhile, BC Partners originally bought Acuris, in 2013, from the Pearson Group for £382m and has therefore turned a healthy profit on the deal. Highlighting the industry appetite for such services and the rising fortunes of providers in this segment.

Posted by Jon C Davies at '08:29' - Tagged: acquisiiton   M&A  

Add a comment Add a comment Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link




© TechMarketView LLP 2007-2019: Unauthorised reproduction prohibited see full Terms and Conditions.