Bill-paying platform acquired by student broadband specialists.
Fast-growth Birmingham utilities payments company Glide has been acquired by a group specialising in broadband, TV and telephony services for the student and landlord market.
Glide, which makes sharing bills simple for tenants and property businesses, delivering one monthly bill for all utilities and services, will become part of CableCom. The Somerset-based group serves more than 250,000 customers across Europe and the UK, providing internet services to high-density properties used by students.
Founded in 2006, by then Birmingham University students Sandeep Krishan and James Villarreal, Glide was the first company to offer multi-tenant billing in shared accommodation.
Based in Alpha Tower, Glide is now one of the London Stock Exchange’s 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain as well as a Fast Track 100 business. The company is set to turn over £20 million by December this year and has more than 70 staff. Co-founder Sandeep Krishan remains at Glide as a non-executive director.
James Villarreal, who will now also join the CableCom board, said the acquisition had the potential to revolutionise the student and shared housing market, by giving landlords and tenants a simpler, faster way to connect, communicate and manage bills.
“This deal represents two massively complimentary companies coming together to create a new way for landlords and letting agents to manage their tenant’s bills. For Glide, having that extended reach into the student property market thanks to CableCom, will reinforce us as the market leader with a truly different proposition, helping us make students lives easier and bring down admin costs for landlords and letting agents,” said Villarreal.
The deal will boost CableCom’s growth by widening their service offering and footprint in the UK’s house share market. Together the businesses will service more than 300,000 student homes. Student tenants who are Glide customers will also be able to gain access to CableCom’s award-winning broadband package.
Mark Burchfield, Managing Director of Somerset-based CableCom, said: “This acquisition means students can tap into a shared knowledge and expertise, making their life simple and allowing them to concentrate on the things that matter. It also allows landlords greater visibility of tenants’ bills.”
Cattaneo Corporate Finance, Irwin Mitchell and Parisi Tax advised the Glide shareholders on the sale. Charles Cattaneo, partner, said: “We’ve been working alongside Glide for many years having initially helped secure its first round of funding in 2007. So seeing Glide transition from innovative idea to successful business and now to being part of a larger complementary group is a very proud moment for us. We are delighted with the result the Glide team have achieved for the shareholders who have supported the proposition.”
Nick Dawson, corporate partner at Irwin Mitchell in Birmingham, said: “Glide is a great business and will go on to even greater things as part of CableCom. Helping to realise entrepreneurial ambition in this city is something that is close to our heart. We wish Glide the very best for the future.”
Osborne Clarke and Momentum acted as advisers to CableCom.