hedgehog lab receives investment from BGF

The tech business has secured a £6.3m equity deal to drive overseas growth, while announcing its acquisition of York-based digital product consultancy Netsells.

12 April 2023

Global technology consultancy hedgehog lab has secured a £6.3 million investment from BGF – one of the largest and most experienced growth capital investors in the UK and Ireland.

As part of the multi-million-pound deal, hedgehog lab has announced the acquisition of York-based digital product consultancy Netsells, in a move that will support the company’s ambitious growth plans.

Headquartered in Newcastle, and with operations in the US and Bulgaria, hedgehog lab works with a wide range of global brands, including AJ Bell, Aviva, Deliveroo and Tesco Bank. It provides businesses with cutting-edge mobile app and web development solutions and has grown rapidly since incorporating in 2007.

Netsells is a digital product consultancy working across web and mobile. It is ranked as one of the North’s fastest-growing tech businesses.

The two companies will come together under the hedgehog lab brand and will be headed up by hedgehog lab’s current CEO, Sarat Pediredla, alongside a new executive board that includes ex-Accenture Song managing director and Karmarama founder Ben Bilboul, who was appointed following an introduction by BGF’s Talent Network.

Operating in the fast-growth mobile and web development sector, BGF’s funding will enable the Group to further expand its service offering to enterprise clients and SMEs in both the UK and US.

Sarat Pediredla, CEO, hedgehog lab said: The acquisition of Netsells is a major milestone for us as a company. The combination of two firms with established and renowned capabilities will enhance our offering and growth prospects massively, by bringing together some of the best talent in the industry and facilitating our continued expansion into new international markets.”

The deal was led by John Healey and James Baker, investors in BGF’s Yorkshire & North East team.

BGF’s John Healey said: “We are delighted to be supporting hedgehog lab on the next stage of its growth journey. The company has already established itself as a leading global digital product consultancy and the acquisition of Netsells will combine the talent and capability of two great teams, unlocking more opportunities in this exciting sector and positioning the business as a credible player of scale in the global digital marketplace.”

Ben Bilboul, non-executive chair, said: “It’s great to be working with entrepreneurs again, especially those with the potential that Sarat and his talented team have. I’m looking forward to helping them on their growth journey as they look to scale in and beyond the UK. They also have a great backer in BGF – ambitious and management-friendly in equal measure – which was a big factor in my decision.”

hedgehog lab and Netsells were advised by Cowgills (Corporate Finance & Tax) and Hill Dickinson (Legal). BGF was advised by Weightmans (Legal).

The deal provides a full exit for hedgehog lab’s previous investor, Maven.

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