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Business UK ISP Onecom Secures £100m Funding to Boost Growth

Monday, July 22nd, 2019 (9:32 am) - Score 735
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Business broadband ISP Onecom, which only recently secured a five-year funding deal worth £30 million from HSBC UK (here), has now managed to attract a £100m funding package from LDC and Ares Management Corporation to accelerate their “organic and inorganic growth ambitions.”

At present Onecom has around 100,000 customers, with a workforce of c.400 people across 10 regional offices, and they’ve been able to double their revenues over the past 5 years. Only last month they also secured a new 5 year partnership agreement with Vodafone that aims to deliver more than £100m in annual revenue from mobile, fixed line, broadband and IT services (i.e. a total of up to £600m is forecast).

Onecom says it has developed a new investment strategy that will aim to take advantage of new opportunities in the sector, which includes a particular reference to the rollout of 5G mobile and superfast broadband networks. The company’s CEO, Ben Dowd, has also said that the “market is ripe for consolidation” (i.e. expect them to buy up a few rival ISPs over the next couple of years).

Over the next three to five years, Onecome said they also expect to “increase the workforce substantially, invest in systems and processes that ready the business for scale.”

Ben Dowd, Onecom CEO, said:

“I am delighted that LDC have backed the Onecom management team to pursue our growth strategy over the next few years. We have worked very closely with LDC over the last few months and they share the same level of ambition as we do.

This investment will help accelerate Onecom’s growth organically and inorganically. I am delighted that Darren will stay in the business as Non-Executive Director. His experience of Onecom and the market will be invaluable to me.

The opportunities that exist for Onecom are significant both from a partnership and an acquisitive perspective. Onecom has a proven track record of delivering growth and this approach will now be super charged. The market is ripe for consolidation and Onecom can play a big role in this across mobile and fixed solutions where there is a huge number of resellers.

I am very excited to work with LDC, Darren, Mark and of course my management team to deliver this growth over the next 3-5 years.”

The provider believes that their planned growth will help to “reinforce our position as Britain’s largest independent business telecommunications provider,” although there are arguably a few other providers that could lay claim to such a statement. Much may depend upon which aspect of the business you define as “independent” (e.g. the network or the service etc.).

Elsewhere Onecom recently appointed Mark Thompson, the former boss of MDNX (Easynet), to be its new Chairman and Darren Ridge, who founded the firm in 2002, becomes a non-executive director.

We note that Onecom has won several awards this year including ‘Best Customer Service Award’ at the Mobile News Awards in March; Best Unified Comms Dealer 2019 at the Mobile Industry Awards, and it has been named Vodafone Total Communications Partner of the Year for the 5th consecutive year.

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