Conference call provider Powwownow has acquired a similar business in a bid to benefit from rapid expansion in its market.
The acquisition of Conference Genie was funded with a three-year bank loan of £2.5 million under the National Loan Guarantee Scheme, obtained from Barclays.
The scheme allows Powwownow to receive immediate cashback of £39,000, which it will use to bolster short-term marketing activity. The sum is calculated as a 1 percentage point discount on the loan price over the first five years, rather than receiving the same benefit spread over the lifetime of the loan.
Set up in 2003, Powwownow operates in 15 countries including the UK, US and major European markets. The company offers conference calling facilities where the customer only pays for the cost of their own call, which is added to their standard telecoms bill.
Conference Genie will continue to operate under its own brand, offering free conference calls, audio conferencing and telephone conference facilities and services. The acquired company has particular strength in the UK, and will enable Powwownow to grow its share of the domestic market.
Research firm Whitehouse forecasts that the European conference call provision market will double in size between 2010 and 2014, from 13 billion audio minutes to more than 27 billion.
Simon Curry, CEO of Powwownow comments, ‘We have been growing revenues at 30 per cent year on year so far this year, the acquisition of Conference Genie will help accelerate this further.’