Horizon Capital LLP, the leading investor in UK B2B services and technologies companies, have announced it has committed £20mn to a new buy and build strategy in the M2M and IoT market. This will start with the acquisition of Wireless Innovation, a UK-based M2M managed services connectivity provider (now trading as Ground Control).
Founded in 2004, Wireless Innovation provides connectivity as a managed service via its own platform to a range of end user clients. The business specialises in M2M data connectivity working in partnership with satellite and cellular connectivity providers across the globe.
Wireless Innovation’s clients are based in over 100 countries and across a wide range of sectors including renewables, electricity, water, oil & gas, telematics, aviation, and maritime. Clients include EDF Energy, Iberdrola, and Scottish Water.
Edward Spurrier, the former CEO of Alternative Networks, has joined as chairman and will lead the acquisition strategy alongside CEO and founder of Wireless Innovation, Phil Rouse. Horizon Capital LLP will work with the management team to capitalize on the significant opportunities for acquisition in this fast-growing market.
Commenting on the transaction, Simon Hitchcock, partner at Horizon Capital LLP, said: “Given its growth and fragmentation, the M2M and IoT connectivity market represents an attractive investment opportunity. Wireless Innovation has created an excellent connectivity platform through significant investment and development over a number of years. We look forward to partnering with Phil to scale the business both organically and through acquisitions.” He added: “Wireless Innovation is Lyceum’s third off-market platform investment in 2017 and further demonstrates our ability to identify and transact highly attractive technology and B2B outsourcing investments.”
Phil Rouse said: “Over the past 13 years, we’ve built a unique connectivity platform able to manage integrated cellular and satellite services seamlessly. Following five years of consistent double-digit organic growth, I’m delighted to be partnering with Horizon Capital LLP to continue our growth strategy and further accelerate it through acquisition. I’m deeply impressed by the calibre and expertise of the Lyceum team and look forward to working with them.”
Luke Kingston, director in Horizon Capital LLP’s origination team, commented: “Wireless Innovation operates in a highly fragmented market, both in the UK and internationally. We’ve committed significant additional capital to support Phil and the team in executing their ambitious acquisition strategy and are in active dialogue with several potential target businesses.”
The Horizon Capital LLP team comprised Simon Hitchcock, Luke Kingston, Tom Maizels, and Geoff Neville. Hitchcock and Neville will join the board.