BGF continued its investment in the next generation of the UK’s IT & Technology sector by backing Skyscape Cloud Services, the leading provider of cloud infrastructure services to the UK public sector, with a £4m investment in May 2014.
BGF’s capital is being used to further develop Skyscape’s channel partnerships as well as continue investment into direct sales, alongside expanding into the wider UK Public Sector, including healthcare, local government, research and higher education.
Since BGF’s investment, Skyscape has experienced rapid growth, increasing revenues from £3.7m in 2014 to £16.2m in 2015. Employee numbers have doubled in line with this growth and the company has won a number of industry awards including ‘One to Watch in Cloudex 20:20, Gartner ‘Cool Vendor’ and Cloud Provider Innovation of the Year award at the UK IT Industry Awards 2014.
Skyscape was founded in May 2011 by successful entrepreneur Jeff Thomas (Chairman) and two experienced businessmen Phil Dawson (CEO) and Simon Hansford (CTO). The company’s head office is in Farnborough, Hampshire.
The business has achieved great success to date, winning a number of high-profile contracts directly with public sector organisations, including the Cabinet Office, Home Office, HMRC and MOD. Skyscape also provides cloud services to other central government departments as well as a growing number of local authorities and independent government organisations.
Capitalising on the government shift to cloud computing which forms a key part of government ICT strategy, Skyscape is a market leader in the provision of assured cloud solutions to the UK public sector and has made significant investment in designing a cloud platform that is specifically tailored to meet the needs of this market. The business is currently focused mainly on central government departments, supporting more than 70 projects, across 38 customer organisations engaging through over 100 partners.
Skyscape focuses on providing assured cloud services in a more agile, secure and cost-effective manner. Its customers are able to eliminate the need for costly hardware or managed hosting services as well as benefit from simple hourly pricing and no initial set-up fees. This genuine pay-by-the-hour service delivers significant cost savings for Skyscape’s customers, who are able to turn servers off during evenings and weekends, or alternatively, rapidly scale services at times of peak demand.
Greg joined BGF in 2013 and is based on the south coast, covering Southampton, Reading and the surrounding areas. His role is focused on sourcing and completing investments, as well as working with the board of existing investments to achieve their growth plans. Greg works with the boards of Abbey Pharma, Benefex, Bullitt Group, and Skyscape cloud services.
Prior to BGF, Greg was a director in the Structured Finance division of RBS. Based in Reading, he focused on the origination and execution of private equity backed and corporate transactions across multiple sectors, with a focus on TMT. Prior to this, he spent three years in the bank’s Large Corporate Banking teams in both Southampton and Gatwick.
Greg graduated in biochemistry from the University of Southampton in 2002 before joining NatWest as a graduate in its retail banking business. A keen skier and snowboarder, Greg also enjoys rugby, yacht sailing, and the repair and maintenance of a growing collection of cars and motorbikes.
“BGF’s proposition means we can offer an exciting alternative to growing companies, which means I very much enjoy spending my time meeting entrepreneurs and helping them take advantage of the array of opportunities in front of them.”
- Abbey Pharma (Board Observer)
- Skyscape (Board Observer)
- Bullitt Group (Board Observer)
- Benefex (Board Observer)
Edwin joined BGF in 2012 and is based in Bristol. His main role is to source and execute investments, whilst also supporting the boards of certain portfolio companies. He has been involved in a number of BGF investments to date in the South West, Thames Valley and Wales and is a board observer for APSU, Ecovision and SHS.
Edwin has over eight years’ experience of investing in, advising and working with SMEs and his previous experience was gained at PwC in London and Grant Thornton in Bristol.
Edwin gained a first class degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Nottingham and is a qualified ACA. In his spare time he enjoys skiing and playing football, golf and tennis.
- BFF Nonwovens
- BVG Airflo Group
- APSU (Board Observer)
- Ecovision (Board Observer)
- Sub10 Systems
- SHS Integrated Services (Board Observer)
James joined BGF’s South West team in December 2011. He is responsible for the origination and execution of investments in Wales and South West England, with a focus on Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire and Dorset. He will also sit on the boards of certain investee companies.
After qualifying as a chartered accountant in Glasgow, James specialised in corporate finance transactions surrounding privately owned companies, typically in the SME space. He has worked in the South and South West of England for more than 10 years including as a Director in the RBS Structured Finance Southern team and latterly as an Investment Director in LDC, the Lloyds Banking Group owned private equity house.
He has experience of a broad range of sectors and transaction types but always with a bias towards growth companies and with a particular interest in businesses that have the ability to scale rapidly and the qualities of the management teams that are required to support them.
James enjoys golf, rugby and most sports but is usually diverted by three small children and two large dogs.
- Adestra (Board Director)
- Abbey Pharma (Board Director)
- Skyscape (Board Director)
- Bullitt (Board Director)
- Primrose (Board Director)
- Vysiion (Board Director)