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Backing an innovative digital agency for growth after succession

Kagool

Kagool was founded in 1999 by Chris Short who, alongside his management team, built the business into one of the leading agencies in its space.

Over the last eight years, Chris has built a high-calibre management team allowing him to reduce his involvement in the business. In July 2020, BGF invested £6 million to support the new management team in continuing to grow the company. This included purchasing some shares from Chris, meaning he could realise some value without having to sell his business.

Kagool is recognised as an Econsultancy Top 100 Digital Agency and a Sitecore Platinum Partner

PLC experience

After an introduction by BGF, Kagool appointed Sally Tilleray, ex-group finance director for Huntsworth, a publicly listed agency network, as non-executive chair.

A leader in its space

Kagool is a highly regarded digital agency that supports medium and large businesses deliver their website strategies on the Sitecore Experience Platform. Its clients include the likes of Welsh Water, Barratt Homes and Park Dean Resorts. Enhancing the digital experience is a top priority for most business and Kagool’s services allow companies to achieve these ambitions, which are now becoming even more important given the Covid-19 pandemic.

BGF's investment has helped Kagool to...

Manage its leadership succession.

Acquire digital agency Delete.

Target the next phase of its growth.

Succession planning

Following a successful decade of growth, in 2012 Chris decided to begin planning his succession by recruiting Dan Berry as operations director, followed by Ali Saigar joining as finance director in 2013. Four years later Dan became CEO with Chris moving to chairman.

“I knew it was important to build a management team so the business could keep growing and to allow me to gradually reduce my involvement,” says Chris. “I was delighted to find Dan and Ali in quick succession and it quickly became apparent what a great decision it was to bring them onboard.”

The company continued to expand under Dan and Ali’s leadership and, in 2020, seeing that the business was in safe hands, Chris felt the time was right to take a step back from day-to-day involvement.

I knew it was important to build a management team so the business could keep growing and to allow me to gradually reduce my involvement.

Chris Short, founder of Kagool

£6m

Invested by BGF

A deal to buy Delete

Alongside its investment, BGF introduced the company to Sally Tilleray, who was appointed as non-executive chair to support the management team on their growth strategy. She brings extensive digital agency and M&A experience from her time at Huntsworth PLC.

Kagool made a great start to its growth plan having completed the acquisition of Delete, an award-winning digital experience agency, in October 2020. The enlarged business employs 160 people across London, Leeds, Manchester and Cardiff.

“We had many approaches for investment, but partnering with BGF was always about more than just the money,” says Dan Berry, chief executive. “Their extensive experience working with SMEs in a supportive rather than controlling way was really attractive alongside their M&A experience and vast network.”

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