In August 2018 Connection Capital completed an £8.1m investment to support the MBO of Espria (formerly known as Mode Solutions). The transaction saw the management team reinvesting alongside Connection Capital’s clients. Espria branched out into unified communications in December 2019 following its acquisition of Nix Communications. Debt facilities are provided by Cordet Capital.
Espria (Mode) is an IT managed services provider focused on delivering high levels of service across IT, Communications and Document Management.
With over 25 years history, Mode began as a leading provider of Managed Print Services (‘MPS’), which is the provision of hardware, software, and remote and onsite support for all printing and document management needs, to SMEs across London and the South East of England. Mode transformed its approach to market, investing in a market leading sales function, based on an academy model taking leavers from school and training them in house.
Its business plan centred on diversification into additional services that are mission critical to its customers, building on a solid foundation of print revenue.
Espria (Mode) had a sophisticated sales function which was delivering impressive organic growth, teamed with strong customer retention and a highly profitable business model. Its service levels were market-leading, for example, engineers were on customers' sites within 90 minutes of a helpdesk call being raised and its first time fix rate was over 99%.
The company evidenced a robust business model, which was capable of being the platform for a 'buy-and-build strategy' in a fragmented market, ripe for consolidation.
Progress since investment
Connection Capital has supported the company’s development to c£20m revenue by:
- enhancing the management team with the recruitment of a new CEO and CFO
- investing in and appraising digital marketing and CRM systems, alongside operational and process improvements capable of scaling the business
- strategically targeting growth in new industries
- M&A support, including the acquisition of Nix Communications Ltd
Espria is a market leading, customer-focused organisation providing vital business services. It offers an excellent platform for a buy and build strategy in this fragmented sector.
Mark Snaith, Investment Director, Connection Capital
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