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Kagool secures £6m investment from BGF

BGF News 04.08.2020.

BGF has invested £6m in Kagool, the industry-leading digital agency and Sitecore specialist, to support its organic and acquisitive growth strategy.

With offices in Cardiff, Manchester and London, Kagool’s growing workforce of more than 70 digital experts has delivered a revenue increase of over 50% in the past three years. Beyond its core offering of design and build leveraging the Sitecore Experience Platform, Kagool offers extensive services across Customer Experience (CX), digital strategy, search marketing, CRO and more.

Kagool has grown organically under the management of founder Chris Short, who established the business in 1999 and stepped back from his role as CEO to chairman in 2016. Through the leadership of Dan Berry, who joined the business in 2012 and became CEO in 2016, Kagool has since been recognised as an Econsultancy Top 100 Digital Agency and a Sitecore Platinum Partner, whilst also becoming an employer of choice with best companies™  and Investors in People Gold certification.

Kagool is now embarking on an ambitious growth journey, continuing the momentum of success that has been achieved over recent years. This will include exploring strategic acquisition opportunities with the support of BGF’s financial backing and its M&A experience in the IT software and services industry.

BGF has recently announced the exits of web hosting company Miss Group, following a highly successful buy and build strategy, and Vsyiion Group, an IT services company. During BGF’s investment tenure, these companies generated a 340 percent and 100 percent increase in EBITDA respectively.

As part of the investment, Sally Tilleray has joined the board as non-executive chair, bringing extensive digital agency and M&A experience from her time at Huntsworth PLC.

Dan Berry, CEO of Kagool said: “We are extremely excited to be partnering with BGF through this investment. The Kagool team has a huge amount of energy for the next phase of growth, having excelled in recent years in our mission to be one of the best Sitecore agencies in the UK. BGF’s track record working with other technology entrepreneurs makes them the perfect match for the next phase of our journey.”

Chris Short, founder of Kagool said: “It is incredible to see the business I founded 21 years ago reach this stage where Kagool’s long-term strategy is backed by such solid investment from BGF. We received multiple offers from other investors but BGF was both flexible and innovative in their approach and were able to deliver on a deal that perfectly suited my own ambitions and those of Dan Berry and the team. Through this investment, we have in place a fantastic shareholder base, a strong board, and exciting times ahead.”

Daniel Tapson, an investor at BGF who will join the board of Kagool, said: “Kagool has demonstrated impressive growth in recent years, becoming a true industry leader through a proven track record of growth, customer satisfaction and well-deserved accolades.

“The firm’s services in enhancing the digital experience of their clients’ online presence is now ever more important for businesses amid the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The deal was led for BGF by Daniel Tapson, Hannah Waters and Alex Garfitt.

It continues a strong run for BGF’s regional team having completed three new investments and an excellent exit so far this year.

The advisors to the transaction were:

BGF: Geldards (Legal), WY Partners (Financial DD), O’Brien & Partners (Tax)

Kagool: Cowgills (Corporate Finance and Tax), Blake Morgan (Legal)