Investment February 2018
Business ModelManaged IT Services
Why we invested
In 2018, ASK4 was looking for a new investor to support its expansion, particularly in European markets. “Our growth has been built on exceptional customer service and strong long-term partnerships. We wanted to work with an investor that supported our vision of delivering fantastic service as we expanded the business in the UK and internationally”, said founder Jonathan Burrows.
Accelerating in Europe requires a structured approach to address the different needs of each regional market. Bowmark was able to draw on its cross-border experience with companies such as automotive data provider Autodata, communications service provider CSL, and legal publishing company Law Business Research to help ASK4 develop and execute its expansion plans.
Number of customers
Working closely with management, Bowmark has supported ASK4 in establishing operations in Ireland, Spain and Germany, hiring key employees in each territory. These operations also act as a springboard for opportunities in other European markets including Poland, Portugal, Austria and The Netherlands. The number of customers served by ASK4 in continental Europe has increased ten-fold since Bowmark’s investment.
We also supported ASK4 in expanding its management team with a number of new senior appointments – all of whom have great experience in successful tech companies. In addition, ASK4 has invested in recruiting and training additional staff to underpin its first-class customer experience across its WiFi, broadband and internet services.
The business has moved into new verticals, focusing on the “build to rent” market serving young professionals, a rapidly expanding sector. It has undertaken carefully selected M&A, including acquiring BirchenallHowden, which adds a fully integrated end-to-end IT services offering for both new and existing customers. In 2022, ASK4 also acquired a small shareholding in Utopi, the ESG-focused Internet of Things and data platform provider, as part of a broad strategic partnership.
ASK4’s services have become even more essential since the Covid-19 pandemic, as accommodation operators and end-users such as students and homeworkers have shifted working patterns to rely increasingly on online services.