UKFast chief executive Lawrence Jones has told CRN he sees "long-term synergies" with Outsourcery after investing £1m in the firm.
Outsourcery announced this morning that Jones has acquired a 10.52 per cent stake in the Microsoft cloud specialist, making him the largest shareholder behind its co-CEOs Piers Linney (pictured, bottom) and Simon Newton.
The news came as Outsourcery announced a growth in sales and narrower losses in its interim results for the period ending 30 June.
Founded in 1999 by Jones, UKFast specialises in hosting and colocation services, with 2014 revenues of £28.9m. Outsourcery, meanwhile, specialises in the provision of cloud-based unified communications, working closely with Microsoft, boasting revenues last year of £7.4m. Both firms are headquartered in Manchester.
Jones (pictured, above) told CRN that Outsourcery and hosting specialist UKFast could link arms in the near future.
"They are a business with huge potential and I see long-term synergies and immediate potential partnerships," he said.
"A good investment has to have multiple upsides and this is one of those."
In a statement, Ken Olisa, non-executive chairman of Outsourcery, added: "We welcome this investment by Lawrence, who is a highly successful entrepreneur and acknowledged expert in our sector.
"This commitment, following Vodafone's provision of debt facilities announced in July, further strengthens our company as we pursue our plans to lead in the provision of Microsoft's Cloud-based unified communications solutions."
Outsourcery claimed it does not compete directly with UKFast and that it stands to benefit from "potential partnership" with the firm, despite the fact that Jones is investing in a personal capacity.
Jones now owns a 10.52 per cent stake in Outsourcery after buying 5,555,556 new ordinary shares issued at a price of 18 pence.
For the six months to 30 June, Outsourcery – which recently took the decision to focus on the Skype for Business and infrastructure-as-a-service markets – saw adjusted EBITDA losses narrow from £2.8m to £2.1m year on year. Its revenues rose from £3.4m to £4.1m on the same basis.
Olisa said the improvement had been driven by cost reductions and a change in go-to-market strategy that sees it relying less on partners.
"Our principal route to market – the third-party channel – has continued to increase its effectiveness, albeit at a slower than ideal rate," he said. "As a result we have initiated some targeted direct sales activities which are showing early signs of bearing fruit."
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