CloudCoCo has seen its acquisition strategy deliver growth and is far from finished when it comes to expanding the bottom line.
The managed service player hit the headlines earlier this month when it shared numbers for the year to 30 September 2022, which included a 198% increase in revenues from £8.1m to £24.2m. Managed services accounted for 70% of revenues, with 95% of that relating to recurring contracted services.
The firm sealed four acquisitions during its last fiscal year, including IDE Group Connect and Nimoveri, with all of those contributing to its growth and supporting the firm’s decision to focus on four main areas: connectivity, multicloud, collaboration and cyber security.
There are ambitions to keep revenue growing, which could well include more M&A activity in 2023, according to Mark Halpin, CEO of CloudCoCo.
“When I started CloudCoCo in April 2018, the premise around it was to provide something that was asset-light, and listening to customers and bringing together the right partners and the right technology to fit the clients’ requirements,” he recalled.
“I felt that there was a missing piece in the industry from a lot of what are now competitors, where finding the answer with clients or prospects always tended to be on the assets they’d spent loads of money investing in. Our model was asset-light, listening and answering solutions with our ecosystem,” he added.
Five years on from its launch, the firm now has a platform serving more than 1,000 clients and turning over £25m.
“We’ve built a platform that’s got huge potential within it. We’ve really got the ambition to drive forward to the £100m turnover that I’ve stated in the results,” he said, adding that increasing profitability was also crucial and that would also increase over the next few years.
Halpin has a three-pronged strategy to deliver growth over the next few years, relying on its scale, maturity and customer acquisition.
“We’ll continue with our new business expertise, being agile and responsive. Our competition with some of those methodologies has proven very successful for us. We’ve built this base-level platform and we’ll be able to compete on larger deals with a bigger train set that we’ve acquired with the acquisitions in terms of capability,” he said.
“Part of closing that £8.4m gap will be to organically sell, not only to acquire new customers, but to sell the greater train set into more of our 1,000 customers,” he added.
“I think there’s more profitability to get out the current platform, whether we sold to another client or we acquired another business or not. You’ve also got the two other strands of that strategy, which are to buy more companies along the next four or five years and to continue the acceleration of sales,” he added.
Those sales should come from focusing on several specific areas: the consultancy division, the CloudCoCo platform, connectivity in multicloud, security and collaboration.
The firm has a lot of pieces in place, including a dark fibre ring connecting 35 of the UK’s datacentres together, a solid relationship with Fortinet as a security partner, plus deep experience in cloud and connectivity.
As investments in the strategy continue, M&A activity could well turn in headlines associated with CloudCoCo, but Halpin is keen to build on the work the business has already put in over the past five years.
“We’ve now got the platform to give us the credibility to compete. I think this next five years behind the vision that I’ve put forward to the team we’re now going to accelerate even faster because we’re able to build the pipeline with more encompassing sight, more sizable contracts, with more credibility to execute because we’ve got the five years behind us in the client reference ability that if you that give you that social proof when you’re going to work with companies to build solutions for them,” he said.
As it continues to move towards its £100m revenue target, the firm garners more customers, acquisitions, and underlines the initial belief that Halpin had around a gap in the market was correct.
“The reason it was called CloudCoCo is because my former organisation called me ‘cloud cuckoo’. They thought it was a stupid idea to not own any assets, have it in relationships with a partner community to go out and listen to clients and find them the right answers,” he said, adding that the results so far have proven those doubters wrong – and he will continue to do so.