ESoft Global Wins $38m Funding

UK-based ASP hosting and Internet security business ESOFT Global has raised £25m ($38m) in a private placing, it announced Tuesday (Jul 11th).

The funding round included a £10m ($15m) contribution from leading European venture capital provider 3i Group plc, with the balance coming from Compaq Computer Corporation, CSFB Private Equity and Granville Baird Capital Partners.

Manchester, UK-based ESoft Global is to use the new funds to accelerate its growth strategy across the UK and Europe. The company said that acquisitions or joint ventures may play a part in its growth plans.

ESoft entered the ASP sector a year ago based on its expertise as one of Europe’s leading systems integrators for Windows terminal deployments. It provides ASP infrastructure and hosting services to independent software vendors, also acting as a sales and implementation channel for some of its ISV partners.

In February this year, it joined with Citrix, Compaq and Microsoft to launch Applications2Go, a fast-track scheme to help ISVs in Europe bring their applications to the ASP model.

“ESOFT Global has developed an ASP platform that is 9-12 months ahead of the global competition and we believe is the only robust and secure delivery mechanism for ASP”, said Charles Sharland, the company’s founder and managing director. “The fund raising is a significant step in our development.”

The company also provides managed security services to businesses, including firewall, VPN and anti-virus protection of networks. The offering is supported by strong relationships with network security vendor Check Point and network ISP UUNet. As well as Manchester its Oxford facilities in the UK, it has offices in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

“We see ESOFT Global as a future leader in the nascent European ASP market. It has all the qualities we look for in a company: an experienced and incentivised management team, early mover advantage, strong strategic alliances and a blue chip customer base,” said 3i investment director Matthew Mead.

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