Reading based Bullitt Group Ltd provides complete go-to-market solutions for global brands who are looking to extend into mobile or audio products.
Following initial success with JCB, Bullitt is now the worldwide licensee of Caterpillar Inc. producing rugged, android based, mobile phones, as well as audio devices for Ted Baker and the recently launched Ministry of Sound range.
In December 2012, BGF invested £3.5m of growth capital in the company to enable Bullitt to accelerate its portfolio of products and brands, as well as supporting the company’s expansion into more international markets. BGF holds a minority stake in the business.
Bullitt owns a commanding position in a rapidly expanding ‘rugged’ device category and is quickly emerging as a market leader in the design and manufacture of high quality, high durability mobile phones for both the consumer and industrial sectors. An example of Bullitt’s collaboration with Cat® can be seen in the following video for the Cat® B15 Smartphone, with the updated S40 and S50 handsets launched in 2015.
Bullitt operates a fully integrated model for the brands it works with, from product conception, through to distribution and marketing of the products. Its channel partners and customers include the world’s leading cellular distributors and telecoms carriers, who in turn sell Bullitt’s products to end users in 50 countries. Bullitt outsources manufacture to a highly regarded Tier 1 supply chain that includes the largest electronic design manufacturers in the industry, such as Compal in Taiwan, a Fortune 2000 company.
Bullitt has been able to pair with significant global brands, such as Cat®, is the 58th most valued brand in the world (according to Interbrand), and Ministry of Sound, the winner of IDMA ‘World’s Best Sound System’ award four years in a row, where Bullitt now produce their headphones and Bluetooth speakers.
This is testament to the unique approach and benefit Bullitt offers to extending brands into the mobile sector.
Bullitt was founded in 2009 by David Floyd, Colin Batt (both previously held senior positions in Motorola); and Richard Wharton, an experienced sales and marketing executive with a background in media and consumer electronics. Operating globally and now employing 72 people, Bullitt has recently opened larger offices in Reading, as well as presence in Shenzhen in China, and the US.
broadbandchoices.co.uk, owned by Decision Technologies Limited (DTL), is an award-winning price comparison company with over 40 staff based in central London. Founded in March 2005, its broadband, home phone, digital TV and mobile phone comparison services are fully accredited by industry regulator Ofcom and its portfolio of websites attracts over 1.8 million visitors per month. broadbandchoices.co.uk has grown to be one of the leading brands in the home communications comparison sector. Visitors to the broadbandchoices.co.uk website can save themselves over £400 from their annual broadband, home phone and digital TV bill.
In addition to providing comparison and switching services directly to consumers via broadbandchoices.co.uk, DTL also operates a cutting edge partnership platform through which it powers the home communication comparison services of over 40 white label partners including Confused.com and GoCompare.com.
The management team, led by managing director Michael Phillips and chief operating officer Jon Ingram, has extensive experience in the online price comparison space. In May 2012 the company was ranked as the 35th fastest growing technology company in Europe by the GP Bullhound Media Momentum Awards, and in September 2012 it was named 58th fastest growing technology business in the UK in the Tech Track 100 Awards.
Since BGF’s investment, DTL has established a European footprint through Comparaiso.es (Spain) and Schlaubi.de (Germany). The funding has been also used to accelerate broadbandchoices.co.uk’s ambitions in becoming the UK’s leading brand for customers looking to save money on broadband, digital TV and home phone services through two TV campaigns. DTL has invested in upgrading its technology platform and acquired a mobile phone price comparison capability.
BGF acquired a minority stake in the business and Mark Nunny sits on the board on behalf of BGF.
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Established in March 2009, SkyDox is a provider of cloud-enabled document collaboration software for the enterprise sector and enables business users to keep large quantities of sensitive information secure, to share files and collaborate efficiently on content while reducing the cost of electronic storage and network traffic. The company regularly handles thousands of file collaborations per week on behalf of significant blue chip customers including the NHS, PwC and the European Court of Human Rights.
In September 2012, Scottish Equity Partners (SEP), the UK’s leading growth equity and venture capital investor for innovative companies, and BGF co-invested £20m of growth capital in SkyDox alongside management and other employee shareholders. SEP led the transaction which enabled SkyDox to join forces with Workshare, a document comparison and policy management business, which has a strong position in the legal sector; and will fund growth of the combined business.
Workshare was founded in 1999 and is a strategic supplier to a broad range of professional services companies, particularly within information-centric vertical sectors. Handling millions of the world’s most sensitive documents, Workshare’s customer base spans 70 countries and includes more than 60% of Fortune 1000 companies.
The investment enabled the launch of the first policy-based document collaboration platform, under the Workshare brand, which allows business users to work across mobile, tablet and desktop devices via the cloud. Whilst maintaining its focus on the legal industry, the combined business has secured new customers in other professional service sectors and achieved broader viral adoption of the software for non-subscribing business users.
In November 2012, Workshare, acquired IdeaPlane, an enterprise social network built specifically for highly regulated industries.The deal provided Workshare customers with a complete collaboration and communication solution by integrating IdeaPlane’s easy-to-use, secure and compliant social networking features into Workshare’s collaboration platform.
The market for online content storage and collaboration software continues to grow strongly, driven by businesses seeking to enable knowledge-based employees to work securely and at their convenience from fixed and mobile devices and to reduce the costs of email traffic, storing and archiving.
GCI delivers telecommunications and services to businesses nationwide. Founded in 2000 by Wayne Martin, GCI has grown rapidly through a mixture of organic growth and strategic acquisitions.
Wayne – who is now Chairman of the company – has been involved in the communications industry for over 25 years having started his career at Cable & Wireless in the 1980s. GCI employs over 200 members of staff, across GCI office locations throughout the UK, and is one of the fastest growing managed communication providers in the UK.
GCIs recent acquisitions have seen its product range and specialties grow from strength to strength; now offering services in connectivity, communications, data safety, cloud computing and managed IT. The company equips customers with the network and infrastructure they need to become pioneers of technology and to gain an edge against competitors within their market. Whilst offering a reliable, flexible and scalable ICT solution, GCI aim to reduce business costs, reduce business risk, help free-up internal resources and improve business efficiency and effectiveness through the use of technology.