How ‘buy and build’ helped an ambitious web hosting firm scale up at speed
To say that Miss Group founder Mattias Kaneteg has a passion for setting up and building businesses would be an understatement.
The Swedish serial entrepreneur, who established his first venture when he was 15, has either started, invested in, or acquired dozens of companies, including stock exchange-listed Getupdated Internet Marketing, Domain Invest, Online Group and Gamblingfy.
In 2013, after leaving a business in Scandinavia that he had founded, it was time for a new challenge. He set up Miss Group in Manchester to provide web hosting services to small and medium-sized businesses.
Since 2014, the business has opened more than 450,000 customer accounts and created more than 800,000 hosted websites.
After an introduction by BGF, Miss Group appointed Phil Male, ex-chief strategy officer at Cable & Wireless Worldwide, as non-executive chair.BGF Talent Network
Miss Group provides a range of services, including domain registration, site building, website hosting and email management. It has a reputation for high quality customer service, as shown by its “excellent” score on user review service TrustPilot.
“What’s unique about us is when we started the company we started from the marketing and sales side,” says Mattias. “We started with building an affiliate network, which went on to become one of the biggest affiliate networks in the world for hosting and domain name related products.”
From the start Mattias knew he wanted the business to expand through acquisition, not only through organic growth. Within four years of launching, Miss Group had acquired two businesses – one in the UK and one in the US – and established offices in Stockholm, Miami and Sofia.
BGF's investment helped Miss Group to...
Acquire seven companies.
Scale up its capacity.
Increase revenues from £8 million to £25 million.
BGF invested £6.4 million in Miss Group in 2018 to fund the next stage of its growth, by scaling up its capacity and providing finance for more acquisitions at home and abroad. Soon after the funding was announced, Miss Group completed the acquisition of Hemsida24, a website builder in Scandinavia, along with the sub-brand Heymo. Next came acquisitions of web hosting companies FS Data and ISPHuset.
Miss Group’s “buy and build” strategy was clearly proving effective. In 2019, BGF provided an additional £13 million of funding to provide more financial firepower for the growing business.
With BGF as a minority partner, Miss Group went on to acquire a total of seven businesses. In the process its revenues rose from £8 million to £25 million, and its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased more than four times over to £11 million. During the period, Miss Group moved its headquarters to Stockholm.
We’ve exceeded our own expectations and couldn’t be happier with the support and insight we’ve received through partnering with BGF.
Mattias Kaneteg, founder and chief executive of Miss Group
Total investment by BGF in two funding rounds.
High growth, founder-led
In 2020, BGF exited its investment in the business when private equity firm Perwyn acquired Miss Group. The buyer explained that the company “fits perfectly with Perwyn’s core investment thesis of backing high growth founder-led businesses pursuing international expansion and M&A”.
Mattias says BGF’s backing was essential to scaling up and internationalising Miss Group.
“When we initially did the deal with BGF we were looking at three years together, but with them the acquisition process was so successful that we hit our targets in one year,” he says.
Mattias now recommends BGF as a partner to other businesses he is involved with.
“I am non-executive director for ROI Media, which has now also secured funding from BGF. I wanted to introduce the business to the private equity world in the best way possible and from my experience I think that BGF will help them to do that.”
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