Primary Capital Partners LLP (Primary”) is pleased to announce an equity investment of up to £45 million in Maru Group Limited (“MARU Group”). MARU Group is a newly formed buy and build vehicle created to build a technology-enabled, professional services firm, delivering information and customer insight services globally. MARU Group’s strategy is to combine a technology driven approach with deep thinking and a focus on actionable outputs for clients.
Concurrent with Primary’s investment, MARU Group is pleased to announce its first acquisition, eDigitalResearch Ltd (“eDR”). Headquartered in Southampton, eDigitalResearch is a market leading Voice of Customer business with its own proprietary technology infrastructure, “HUB”. Founded by Michelle Fuller and Chris Russell in 1999, eDR has grown to around 150 insight professionals and developers working with a range of blue-chip organisations across markets and sectors and has developed a strong reputation for innovation and excellent account management. eDR’s core HUB technology platform will now become an integral part of MARU Group’s future developments, enabling it to deliver technology-focused insight and intelligence.
MARU Group is led by Ged Parton, who most recently held Global CEO roles at Synovate and Ipsos. eDR’s Chief Technical Officer, Shane Wright, will take on the position of MARU Group’s CTO. Both Ged and Shane will continue to work closely with eDR’s current board of directors, including Managing Director Steve Brockway.
Ged Parton, CEO of MARU Group, commented, “Our vision with MARU Group is to build a new kind of professional services firm with technology in its DNA. The acquisition of eDigitalResearch is an important step to achieve this vision. The company has an outstanding technology backbone which will become an integral part of the MARU Group technology ecosystem. We see tremendous potential in the deep talent in the eDR team and believe the combination of technology and advisory skills can deliver our client promise of fast and strategic customer feedback”.
Following on from the acquisition of eDR, MARU Group is also pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement to acquire the North American business of Vision Critical Research and Consulting (VCRC), the research and consulting division of Vision Critical Communications Inc. (“VCCI”). VCRC is a leading provider of research and consulting services to Fortune 500 companies in North America and following its spin-off from VCCI will become a strategic partner to VCCI. Once completed, VCRC’s combination with eDR will form the basis of Maru Group’s international growth strategy. The transaction is expected to close at the end of Q1 2016.
Graham Heddle, the Partner at Primary who led both transactions, commented “We are delighted to provide a significant investment in MARU Group to enable Ged and his team to achieve their ambitions to build a highly differentiated technology leader in the customer insight market. With operations in both Europe and North America, eDR and VCRC together represent a substantial platform in the industry for further acquisitions.”
Contact Neil Wallace for more information