Alastair Mills Kerv

Foehn and DoubleEdge merge with Metaphor IT on £30 million deal creating Kerv backed by LDC

 Alastair Mills and Mike Ing, in partnership with LDC, have brought together DoubleEdge Professional Services, Foehn, and Metaphor IT in ambitious invest and grow strategy

July 27, 2020

LONDON–Kerv, a next-generation ‘customer-first, cloud-first’ managed services provider has launched in the UK today, created to help mid-market customers achieve successful business outcomes in a new digital era.

Leading mid-market private equity house, LDC, has provided funding to enable the £30 million merger of three highly complementary, cloud-based managed services businesses to form Kerv: DoubleEdge Professional Services (UC, voice, data, mobility and compliance); Foehn (R&D team, Cloud UC and Contact Centre provider) and Metaphor IT (Cloud Services, Digital Workspaces, and IT Managed Services).

All three businesses are delivering double-digit growth rates in their own right and the new business will drive further organic growth, as well as identify further complementary acquisitions, supported by follow-on funding from LDC.

The group has been brought together by Alastair Mills, Six Degrees Group founder and former CEO, and also Mike Ing, former COO at Six Degrees Group.

Kerv comes to the market with current revenues approaching £20 million and a team of 100 across offices in central London; Richmond, Greater London and Vigo, Spain. It will offer business outcome focussed solutions, initially comprising converged IT managed services, unified communications, contact centre, security and compliance applications, all delivered in a way that will set the industry benchmark for excellent customer experience.

The leadership team at Kerv will consist of Alastair Mills as Executive Chairman; Mike Ing, Managing Director and Andrew Marshall, group CFO. The management team of each of the three businesses all stay with Kerv and join the senior team.

Kerv’s proposition puts the customer front and centre – helping to solve business problems and navigate a successful path into a more digital-led future. Through organic growth, acquisition and partnership Kerv is setting out to establish itself as a highly differentiated IT partner with a longer-term customer value proposition than the current norm. The explosion of high quality cloud solutions and the pace of innovation have changed the landscape for managed service providers and the array of options for mid-market customers.

Kerv is setting out to differentiate by delivering exceptional customer experience (CX) and a ‘cloud-first’ strategy. An in-house development team, based in Spain, will seamlessly integrate proprietary and third party cloud applications with a rich user interface.

As enterprise solutions are increasingly delivered by a combination of various cloud-based applications, software development and integration are essential skills for delivering tailored, end-to-end solutions.

Alastair Mills, Executive Chairman, Kerv says: “Customers want to buy a wider range of integrated solutions from a trusted partner whilst leveraging the power of cloud technologies. But they will only do so if those providers can continue to deliver excellent customer experience in this rapidly changing market. As we focus on organic growth, supplemented by carefully targeted acquisitions, we will not lose sight of our customer-first strategy.”

Underpinning the Kerv strategy is a multi-million pound investment in the future. Kerv is developing a next generation, cloud-centric operating platform specifically designed to make it easy, quick and efficient to deliver a diverse and extensive range of future-proofed services. The platform will be a crucial component in providing the best possible customer experience.

Alastair Mills continues“Our goal is not to chase short-term profit gains through aggressive cost cutting as we acquire complementary businesses. Instead, with the support of LDC, we plan to invest in great companies and accelerate organic growth through a relentless focus on CX. In a technology market that continues to consolidate rapidly through M&A, we feel that now is the right time for a change in focus and culture.”

Commenting on the impact of the current Coronavirus pandemic and the timing of the company launch, Mike Ing, Managing Director, Kerv adds: “Since we sketched out our CX-focussed investment plan towards the end of 2019, we’ve seen a dramatic shift to cloud-based remote working at an unprecedented scale. With the increasing availability of rapidly innovating cloud based applications, IT managed service providers should no longer need to be asset heavy, or rely on long term infrastructure investments, their job will be to integrate best of breed capabilities to deliver solutions for their customers.

“As a cloud-first, customer-first business we have the combined capabilities to help UK businesses navigate a new way of working as they adapt to an agile, technology-led environment post the pandemic.”

The transaction was led by Head of LDC in London Yann Souillard, Investment Director Aylesh Patel and Investment Manager Lewis Winston. Yann comments: “We’ve been working with Alastair and Mike for some time and we’re all equally excited about the growth potential of Kerv. The combination of customer-focused cloud-based solutions, along with Alastair and Mike’s track record and our approach to long-term partnership all stand the business in good stead to become a market leader.”

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Notes to editors

DoubleEdge Professional Services www.edge-edge.co.uk

DoubleEdge Professional Services launched in 2008 and is based in the City of London, led by Steve Burges and Alex James. They bring excellent relationships with leading corporates delivering and managing solutions across UC, voice, data, mobility and innovative compliance products. DoubleEdge has an impressive client base based upon providing an unparalleled service, the client base includes, Harrods, TP ICAP, Investec and Waterstones.

Foehn www.foehn.co.uk

Foehn is a Cloud UC and Contact Centre provider based in Richmond, Surrey. Founded in 2000 by Managing Director James Passingham, Foehn has developed its own award winning cloud UCaaS and CCaaS products in Voxivo and VoxivoCX as well as being a Genesys Gold Partner and the Genesys EMEA Cloud Partner of the Year. Foehn has over 300 customers in both the public and private sectors, including Kiwi.com, The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), See Tickets and The Local Government Ombudsman.

Metaphor IT www.metaphor-IT.com

Metaphor IT is a leading managed services business based in the City of London. The business focuses on three core solution offerings; Cloud Services, Digital Workspaces, and IT Managed Services, all of which are encompassed by the business’ “Secure By Design” principles. Metaphor IT focuses on the clients’ business needs, understanding and designing technical solutions to meet the ever-changing demands of the end users.

About LDC www.ldc.co.uk/pressrelease

  1. LDC is the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
  2. LDC has committed to invest £1.2bn in UK mid-market businesses over the next three years. 
  3. LDC has a portfolio of 90 businesses across the UK, across a broad range of sectors including Construction & Property, Financial Services, Healthcare, Industrials, Retail & Consumer, TMT, Travel & Leisure and Support Services.
  4. LDC has a nationwide network of regional offices to provide a local presence to the businesses and communities it supports.

Contacts

Lisa Boustead
[email protected]
07720 711102

Manoj Ranaweera

Manoj has founded, failed and successfully exited from a number of technology product companies as well as support organisations since 2004. Among them, Northern Tech Awards and edocr.com were acquired by GP Bullhound and Accusoft, Inc respectively. Today, Manoj is building a trusted support network for technology companies. He is working with founding teams to help them accelerate including raising investment and M&A.