Silicon Roundabout entrepreneurs sell Sazneo start-up and begin new venture

Software company Access Group has bought a Tech City start-up to bolster its efforts to integrate instant messaging into its offering.

Sazneo has been snapped up by Access Group for an undisclosed sum and will now be used as a bolt-on technology.

According to Access, its new purchase is similar to Chatter and Yammer and will accelerate the integration of persistent instant messaging services into its services by up to 18 months.

Earlier in February, Access launched its software-as-a-service platform Access aCloud and it is now hoped that the addition of Sazneo will help develop different activity streams such as support services, sales, product development or specific projects.

Explaining the decision to sell the business, Sazneo CEO Brett Davis says that if he had been asked three years ago what the future would hold he would not have known. In November 2010 the business raised $150,000 of angel funding and then topped that up with an additional $250,000 in July 2011.

He adds, ‘About halfway through 2012 we had a realisation Sazneo was both a product and a feature. Group messing makes so much sense but quite often people are reluctant to have another tool on their desktop.

‘Sazneo Embed was our response to this, enabling you to create a group messaging function within another application with little-to-no coding.’

Davis says it is this rationale that led to the business deciding to sell to Access. With the company’s new cloud platform, aCloud, Sazneo Embed will contribute the real-time messaging capability.

More on deals involving Access Group:

As part of the deal Davis and chief operating officer Mark Tayler will act as advisors to Access to help with the acquisition as well as starting up their own new venture, B2B Leads.

The duo’s new B2B Leads company will focus on supplying services relating to generating new business leads in a ‘cost effective and scalable way’. It will move away from cold calling and email marketing towards an approach involving LinkedIn

Chris Bayne, CEO of Access, comments, ‘Sazneo goes beyond the social media tools currently available, taking interactive dialogue to a whole new level.

‘This is Yammer for the enterprise, but for real-time discussion rather than status updates.’

The management team of Access Group closed a £50 million buy-out of the business in 2011 through a deal led by Bayne and backed by Lyceum Capital.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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