NorthEdge backs global cloud specialist in first investment from SME Fund
7th August 2018. NorthEdge Capital has announced the first investment from its recently closed NorthEdge Capital SME Fund I, backing award-winning cloud services specialist iPortalis with a multi-million pound growth capital investment to support its global expansion.
As organisations increasingly move to the cloud, iPortalis helps international businesses aggregate their diverse solutions so that all technology purchasing, deployment and license & asset management functions can be handled by IT teams via a single pane of glass.
At the heart of the iPortalis service is the iPortalis Control Portal (iCP). This cloud software portal enables IT teams to purchase, deploy and manage over 30 popular applications from Microsoft, Cisco, Citrix, Symantec, VMware, Acronis and other leading suppliers. It also provides a powerful billing service that allows IT people in multi-nationals to re-invoice out monthly/quarterly IT costs to each of their global operating subsidiaries on one local bill in their language and currency of choice. The iCP supports 22 languages and any currency. It was recently named Most Innovative Enterprise Product at the UK Cloud Awards 2018.
iPortalis delivers huge savings for finance departments in relation to admin, collections, cashflow, withholding tax mitigation and helping procurement economies of scale and scope. Its real-time reporting and dashboards of service consumption organisation-wide, show which services are being used and by whom. iPortalis helps enterprises and channel partners to quantify usage, save costs, operate efficiently, and improve multi-vendor cloud service utilisation through a single self-service portal, specialist consultancy and powerful utility based billing service.
iPortalis employs a team of cloud technology experts across its offices in the UK, Europe and USA, is vendor-agnostic and has a strong portfolio of global clients from multinational enterprises to many of the world’s largest hosted service providers and telcos.
NorthEdge’s investment supports the existing management team led by founders Neil May, CEO, and Eric Hanig, CTO, and sees NorthEdge take a significant minority stake in the company. The investment will be used to drive further expansion of its client base, continue to strengthen its market leading technology and triple headcount to 60 staff across the globe. John Hawkins, an experienced Chairman who has consistently driven growth in the technology sector, will join the business as Non-Executive Chairman.
The investment, led by NorthEdge’s John Rastrick and James Marshall, follows the close of the firm’s £120m SME Fund I in July this year. This new Fund targets businesses across all industry sectors in the North of England and Midlands regions, investing between £2m and £10m in growth and development capital, management buy-outs, equity release and buy-and-build opportunities.
Neil May, CEO at iPortalis, said: “The pressure is on global organisations to move their cloud strategies to the next level by creating greater value from their investments and using cloud as a key marketplace differentiator. It’s a challenge that calls for a new mindset in the way that ICT services are purchased, deployed, measured and managed.
“Partnering with NorthEdge Capital will turbo charge our platform and services development, whilst adding significant global resources to expand the iPortalis sales, marketing, customer services and support teams. We’ve been hugely impressed with NorthEdge’s understanding of our business, the marketplace opportunities we have, and their ability to react at a strong pace with investment decisions and process. We are very excited to be partnering with them on the next phase of our journey.”
James Marshall, Investment Manager at NorthEdge Capital, said: “iPortalis is led by an expert management team in Neil and Eric, who have demonstrated a track record of success in the tech sector. The drive towards consumerisation of IT within large, complex global enterprises has created a number of pain points that are addressed by the iPortalis value proposition. We look forward to supporting the team on its continued international expansion plans.”
John Rastrick, Partner and Head of Yorkshire and the North East at NorthEdge Capital, said: “We are also pleased that such an exciting opportunity marks the first investment from our maiden SME Fund. This Fund gives us much more flexibility to tap in to the strong appetite for investment at the regional lower-mid market. iPortalis represents another investment in the tech space for us following on from Sumo Digital, Utiligroup, CTS and Cubic Motion and evidences our ability to support the region’s best high growth tech businesses.”
Recent investments made by NorthEdge’s Leeds office include the MBOs of Cleckheaton-based engineering tooling supplier, Cutwel Limited, Keighley-based international stairlift designer, manufacturer, Platinum Stairlifts and Sunderland-based soft drinks manufacturing company, Clearly Drinks.
NorthEdge was advised by Richard Goldsack and Dan Rosinke of Grant Thornton (corporate and financial due diligence), Paul Mann and Craig Pettit of Squire Patton Boggs (legal), Roland Berger (commercial) and Intechnica (technical). iPortalis was advised by Oakley Advisory (corporate finance) and Hitesh Tailor and Sarah Harrison of Clarion (legal).
Jack Davies, MC2
0161 236 1352
Notes to Editors:
About NorthEdge Capital
NorthEdge Capital LLP (www.northedgecapital.com)
NorthEdge Capital manages over £650m of private equity funds aimed at the North of England and Midlands regions targeting buy-out and development capital transactions. The private equity firm closed its maiden Fund at £225m March 2013, Fund II at £315m in March 2016 and SME Fund I at £120m in July 2018.
NorthEdge Capital focuses on companies seeking equity investment to support MBOs, development capital and equity release transactions. NorthEdge invests between £2-£45m, focusing on established businesses, typically with a turnover greater than £5m and profits greater than £0.5m and is currently investing from both Fund II and SME Fund I.
Based in Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester (Head Office) the firm has made 27 investments in Abbey Logistics, Accrol Papers, Arthouse, Belfield Furnishings Group, Bridge Farm Group, Clearly Drinks, Cloud Technology Solutions, Cubic Motion, Cutwel, Direct Healthcare Group, DW3, East Coast Concepts, Fine Industries, FPE Global, Future Industrial Services, Help-Link, iPortalis, ITC Luxury Travel, Jigsaw24, Platinum Stairlifts, Prohire, Ramsdens, Roberts Jackson, Sumo Digital, TKC, Total Fitness and Utiligroup.
The senior team at NorthEdge has over 150 years’ experience in structuring and financing private equity transactions. The firm takes a management-orientated approach with a culture of delivery where smart, opportunistic thinking supported by meaningful due diligence and sound perspectives are valued. It focuses on value creation and capital return to the benefit of all stakeholders.