Three former RIG clients recognised in Times Tech Track 100
The eleventh annual Tech Track 100 league table supplement was published in The Sunday Times on 18 September 2011.
The 2011 Tech Track 100 ranked Britain’s private tech (TMT) companies with the fastest-growing sales over the latest three years, from 2007 to 2010, or 2008 to 2011. Growth ranged from 37% pa to 361% pa, with sales typically between £5m and £50m. Three former RIG clients were recognised on the list.
Toluna (#27) runs online surveys for market-research companies such as Ipsos and GfK. Chief executive Frederic-Charles Petit founded the business in 2000 with £2m from Eurovestech, a European investment fund. Toluna floated on the Alternative Investment Market five years later, but was taken private in April this year by the Belgian investment firm Verlinvest in a deal that valued the company at more than £160m, and with Invesco retaining a stake. Sales have climbed 81% a year from £12.5m in 2007 to £73.6m in 2010, boosted by a series of acquisitions that culminated in the £24m purchase of Microsoft’s online survey business in 2009. Its online community generates more than 1m votes a day.
Fourth Hospitality‘s (#48) software is used in 16 countries, including Russia, Germany and South Africa. Husband and wife Derek and Edwina Lilley founded Fourth Hospitality in 1999 after running several restaurants in northwest England. The company provides web-based planning software for restaurants and hotels to manage staffing, invoicing and stock control. An iPhone app was launched in April and is offered to customers so that tasks like checking rotas can be done remotely. Chief executive Ben Hood has overseen sales growth of 61% a year from £2.4m in 2007 to £9.9m in 2010, and in March ECI Partners invested an undisclosed sum for a majority stake.
Solar Communications (#87) has been transformed since 2007 when it was bought by its current chief executive Mark Colquhoun, who has run several businesses, including a game lodge in South Africa. It now specialises in unified communications, helping companies to integrate phone, text messaging and voicemail with more sophisticated telecoms. Typical clients have 200 to 3,000 employees and include Portman Travel, World First, and the College of Law. Sales at the Wiltshire company have grown 40% a year from £2.7m in 2007 to £7.5m in 2010, and it plans to release a mobile-phone application shortly, enabling its clients to dispense with their desk phones altogether.