BGF invests £8.7million in KICK ICT to support its ongoing growth journey

Kick ICT's group sale director Alan Turnbull (left) and chief executive Tom O'Hara

HIGH growth IT group, Kick ICT, has secured an £8.7 million investment from BGF, the UK and Ireland’s most active investor, to support the Scottish firm’s ambitious growth plans, including further extending its reach and expertise across the UK. 

Kick ICT, which was founded in 2015 by entrepreneur Tom O’Hara alongside Alan Turnbull and David Chazan, provides a range of IT services, focusing on financial systems, data analytics, technical and cyber services, and communications solutions as well as ongoing managed services and support across its range of service offerings. The group is both a Microsoft Gold partner and one of the UK’s leading certified Infor partners to provide implementation and consulting services for Infor systems. 

Headquartered in Strathclyde Business Park, Kick ICT has enjoyed significant expansion in recent years through a combination of organic growth and a successful M&A strategy. The business has completed seven acquisitions to date with the most recent being Turnkey Business Software and Turnkey Infrastructure Solutions in August this year. These acquisitions were supported by HSBC, who will remain a key funding partner for the business. Revenue has grown to £18 million with a portfolio of over 900 customers spanning SMEs to larger organisations, across a variety of sectors.  

Alongside BGF’s investment, Geoff Neville has been appointed as Chairman. He has extensive experience as a senior executive, with a track record of driving market-leading growth across IT and business services organisations, including Admiral plc, Sx3 and Fujitsu Services. He is currently Chairman of several other technology businesses, including InvenioLSI, a global provider of SAP enterprise solutions and consultancy for the Public and Media sectors in which BGF is also an investor. Geoff’s appointment is the result of an introduction from BGF’s Talent Network, which is the UK’s largest pool of non-executive directors.  

CEO, Tom O’Hara, said: “This year has been a particularly positive and eventful one for the business. In addition to growth through acquisitions, we have experienced increased demand for services such as ERP, cyber security and network environment support as businesses embrace and plan for the future world of working.  

“Our focus is to continue to build on Kick ICT’s track record and integral to this was ensuring we have the right type of investment and input to underpin the next chapter of our growth journey. As a firm that shares our values for developing client trust and relationships, BGF is the perfect partner to support us with our ambitious vision for Kick ICT.”

Richard Pugh, investor at BGF who led the deal, said: “We have been following Kick ICT’s growth trajectory for some time and have been particularly impressed by the reach of its operations, the strong feedback from its customers and partners, and the experience of Tom and the wider management team. The IT services market continues to perform strongly and this, combined with our strong experience in the sector, means there is a real opportunity to further grow its capabilities, scale and presence both in Scotland and more widely across the UK.” 

BGF has a wealth of experience in the tech sector, having invested over £530 million in nearly 90 businesses in the last ten years. BGF typically backs companies with revenues from £1m to £100m+, across all sectors.  

This year alone, BGF has invested more than £33 million across 11 growth businesses in Scotland, including a cornerstone investment which marked BGF’s second investment in a Scottish IPO in 12 months. 

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