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BGF-backed Virtual1 Acquired by TalkTalk

BGF News 04.04.2022

BGF has announced the successful exit of its investment in Virtual1. The London-based cloud and connectivity service provider, which BGF backed in 2017 with a £10 million investment, has been acquired by TalkTalk Group.

Since entering the UK market in the early 2000s, TalkTalk has become the UK’s leading value-for-money connectivity provider.

Today, TalkTalk Group provides fibre, broadband, TV and landline services to over four million customers, and operates Britain’s biggest unbundled broadband network, covering 96% of the population.

Virtual1 is a leading provider of B2B connectivity to businesses around the UK. It delivers cloud and connectivity services exclusively to the wholesale market, aggregating its own cutting-edge London-based network with networks from other carriers onto a single scalable platform.

The acquisition by TalkTalk Group will enable Virtual1 to significantly increase its scale as a national provider of Ethernet solutions, and to mutually strengthen the capabilities and market position of both businesses.

As part of the deal, CEO Tom O’Hagan, who founded the business in 2007, will continue to lead Virtual1 as a standalone business. Channel partners will now be able to enjoy Virtual1’s market-leading capabilities in automation, sophisticated API solutions and leading-edge portal experiences, while also being able to offer highly compelling Cloud and Connectivity services to their customers across the UK.

Tristia Harrison, TalkTalk CEO, says: “Since taking the company private in December 2020, we’ve looked to invest in businesses that will help us realise our growth aspirations in the wholesale market.  As consumers and businesses continue to experience increasing demand for bandwidth, we see huge benefits in acquiring Virtual1 given our unrivalled national scale and their market-leading software capabilities. Tom O’Hagan, CEO, and his excellent team of 200 people will continue to lead the standalone business and we look forward to welcoming them to the TalkTalk family.”

Virtual1 has built an award-winning self-service portal and suite of APIs to enable businesses to virtually manage their networks with complete visibility of real-time bandwidth, reducing Partners manual intervention and cost, whilst improving the customer experience. We’re delighted to be able to expand the reach of our solutions and increase our scale as a network provider with TalkTalk.

Tom O’Hagan, Virtual1 Founder and CEO

Tom McDonnell, investor at BGF, added: “BGF has backed Virtual1 for the last five years with funding, enabling the company to invest in additional network infrastructure, and supporting its longer-term growth plans. During this period the business has achieved consistent growth and has hit a number of key milestones. The acquisition by TalkTalk Group is a fantastic achievement for the business and provides a natural home for the company as it moves to the next level. We wish Tom and the rest of the Virtual1 team all the best on the next exciting stage of growth.”