Foreword from our Executive Chairman, John O’Connell:
It is normal to reflect on the year positively and wish everyone seasonal greetings and then indulgently roll out our successes in the last 12 months. The last bit, no problem, but even the most blinkered of us in our tech bubble cannot ignore the mayhem now being threatened by Omicron, as I write this.
People of a certain generation remember the bonanza to the tech of Y2K when some marketing genius decided that the world may come to an end if all businesses did not upgrade their IT systems to avoid the Armageddon of holding dates as only two digits which could mean they thought it was 1900 rather than 2000.
It might be argued that what turned out to be false panic buying of overpriced Enterprise Software (crocodile tears here btw) did no permanent harm (other than to the imploding dreams of overnight multimillionaires seeing their paper fortunes disappear in the subsequent crash) simply bringing forward purchases.
However, this Covid is something else. Yes, the whole of Cloud Computing has been adopted en masse, with valuations going through the roof (no pun intended) but the impact on ‘real people’ cannot be ignored.
So with great humility, I sincerely hope you and your nearest and dearest have not and are not being severely harmed by Omicron – who would have thought viruses would copy the upgrade bad habits of bygone tech? I do hope and believe that tech has helped to mitigate its impact in certain areas.
Optimistically I believe there is still more us in tech can do and make the world a better place – and of course, reap some rewards for so doing.
So I do wish all of the readers the very best for Xmas & New Year, thanking you for your continued interest in what ScaleUp Group is doing to ‘help growing Global Champions’.
Successful Fund Raise for our Client, Clue
Proud to have helped our Client, Clue to secure growth funding of £5.2m – funded by Frog Capital – in November. Leading Clue is the sister-brother duo, CEO Clare Elford and COO Thomas Drohan, continuing their father’s legacy in developing a cloud-based investigation case management and intelligence SaaS platform. The funding will enable Clue to expand its business in the UK and internationally.
Successful Fund Raise for our Client, IMMJ Systems
We began the year with the completion of the first tranche of a fund raise of £3.9m for IMMJ Systems, co-funded by ScaleUp Group (SUG) Partners. IMMJ provides scalable, intelligent EDMS that delivers improved critical patient care. CEO Michael van der Weg and his team have been growing the business from strength to strength in what has been a challenging year for hospitals especially and we are delighted to be supporting their progress in such uncertain times.
SUG Client, ActiveOps IPO-ed
ActiveOps became the first of our Clients to complete an IPO – in March of this year – for £160m. Their Chairman is SUG Partner, Sean Finnan, who stepped into the shoes of ‘Founding Chairman’, our very own John O’Connell, after 4 years, both of whom had co-invested in their earlier Series A fundraise of £5.3m alongside lead investor, Calculus Capital. Great leadership from CEO and co-founder of ActiveOps Richard Jeffrey, who was determined to keep the company independent.
SUG Client, Cloudtrade Sold to Advanced
Another first for ScaleUp Group after only 3 years was the successful sale of Client Cloudtrade to Advanced, delivering a sizeable return to all shareholders, including numerous SUG Partners. Originally introduced by our TechMarketView friend and fellow Partner Anthony Miller, the sale process was led by another SUG Partner and Managing Partner at Silverpeak, Paddy MccGwire and enabled the CEO David Cocks to meet his goal of retiring this year, mission accomplished! Well done, David.
SUG Client, Armour Comms Received Queen’s Award
SUG Client, Armour Communications crowned their list of prestigious industry awards with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2021 – one of only 100 organisations nationally to be recognised with this honour.
Armour, led by CEO David Holman, are a leading specialist in secure communications, providing collaboration solutions and consultancy services that enable people to communicate securely from any network-enabled location, using their everyday devices. Well done David and team!
Global Champions Newsletter
Expanding our communications channels, this year we launched a monthly newsletter series. With 20 issues behind us, we hope you have found them insightful and informative especially in the field of Series A to which we plan to add more value every month.
Series A Webinar Series
This time last year we sent out invitations to our first ever webinar. Fast forward 12 months and we have now delivered 6 events of the ‘Series A Series’ discussing the requirements and process of fund raising. We have looked at the specific areas of Customer Success; building a Board; dove into the topic of female leadership, as well as the ‘Current Dynamics of HealthTech’.
We are delighted to have welcomed incredible speakers on our panel, including from Funds, Industry Experts and Entrepreneurs and hosted attendees from across the technology sector.
CEO Forums Continued
After a successful launch of our flagship client CEO Forum in the depths of the first Covid lockdown in March 2020, we have continued our sessions every month in 2021 with our CEOs in a confidential peer group setting, covering burning topics, selected by them, including:
- Preparing for an Exit
- Customer Success and Building a CS Team
- Marketing and Lead Generation
- Product-led Growth
- Hiring and Onboarding Salespeople
- Board Structure
- Home-working and Employee Experience
- Follow-on Funding
- Staff Retention, Progression and Culture
To date, we have delivered 21 CEO Forums and 2 CFO Forums – with many more to come.
130 Pages of Expertise
The CEO Handbook is the essence of the combined knowledge of our 29 Partners; an exclusive document complimentary to all of our Clients. Not only have we republished it as an eBook this year, it has also grown from 80 to 130 pages with more chapters being added each month.
Welcomed Five New Clients
We are delighted that more businesses were chosen for us to be their advisors in 2021. Clue, Millennium Consulting, TrustPortal, Ethelcare and most recently, IE Hub joined the distinguished group of tech companies in our ecosystem, typically seeking growth funding at seed and Series A levels, 5 fund raises in 2021 having been the result.
29 ScaleUp Group Partners
The latest addition to our expert group of Partners is Richard Mill, co-founder and CEO of Business Systems (UK), which became a leader in enterprise communications solutions, being consistently profitable and growing to £12 million in revenue, eventually sold to August Equity in 2020.
In John O’Connell’s words: “Richard typifies the calibre of our partnership whose knowledge, experience and connections are available to our Clients who are entrepreneurs themselves, aiming to attain similar heights.”
Investment Specialist, Shaun Scoon
In February of this year, we welcomed a new team member, Shaun Scoon as our Associate Director – Investments. Shaun brought a wealth of experience from his previous role at Accenture, a legal background as a qualified Barrister, combined with a Master’s in International Finance and an MBA with a focus on Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital.
Shaun has been invaluable to our success this year and has tremendously supported our efforts for our Clients to achieve their full potential.
SUG on Board
Many SUG Partners continue to take on board roles including Adam Hale, Sean Finnan, Mike Tobin and Martin Fincham as examples of the added value our Partners bring to the table.
10th Anniversary of the Enterprise Awards
Lastly, looking forward, now in its 10th year, the 2022 Enterprise Awards is open for entries, in 8 categories.
In honour of the occasion, the Awards Dinner will be hosted on the 6th of April 2022 at the prestigious Goldsmiths’ Hall in the City of London.