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Sussex firm Focus Group becomes a unicorn with new investment from Hg

16 April 2024
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Focus Group's Sussex HQ

Business technology provider Focus Group has secured a significant investment from Hg, an investor in software and services businesses, to support its growth across the UK.

Founded in 2003 in Brighton and Hove by Ralph Gilbert and Chris Goodman, Focus Group provides digital workplace solutions to around 30,000 SME customers.

This includes communications and software solutions, connectivity and value-added IT services.

Hg’s investment makes Focus Group a unicorn – placing its value at over USD$1 billion – and will support the group’s organic growth plan, M&A ambitions and product development initiatives.

Co-founder Chris said: “Having enjoyed four fantastic years with our previous investor Bowmark, we’re thrilled to now be partnering with Hg.

“Not only do they recognise the commercial opportunity that lies ahead and the capability of the team, but they also understand that it’s the culture we’ve built at Focus Group over the past 20 years that’s the foundation of our success.

“This is the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for the business and our incredible team.”

Fellow co-founder Ralph added: “Hg have demonstrated their ability to create value using their extensive experience in backing companies who sell business services to SMEs.

“They show a deep understanding of how to maximise and accelerate growth using data and AI.

“This has resonated with us as we already have sector leading data on which we’re excited to capitalise.

“Alongside this, we found that we have well-aligned views of the future of the ICT industry, both in terms of product and future M&A opportunities.

“We’re very excited as to what the future holds in partnership with Hg.”

Hg has backed more than a dozen businesses in the SME tech services sector over the past 20 years.

Nick Jordan and Joris Van Gool, Partners at Hg, added: “The long-term trends in small business technology adoption offers Focus Group a great opportunity to continue its impressive growth trajectory by offering a one-stop-shop for ICT for UK SMEs.

“In partnering with the Focus Group leadership and close to 1,000 exceptional colleagues, we’re excited about the opportunity to build a national champion in this industry.”

Focus Group and Bowmark were advised by Houlihan Lokey, Osborne Clarke and PwC. Hg was advised by Arma Partners, Linklaters and EY.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.


Born and raised in Berkshire, Dan fell into journalism after completing his bachelor’s degree in English at UCL.

Writing for The Business Magazine and local Biz News sites has given him the opportunity to chat with all manner of small business owners and share their success stories with a wider audience.

Outside of work, Dan enjoys live music, board games and quiz shows, and is making a slow but persistent effort to learn Spanish.

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