Maven completes profitable exit from hedgehog lab

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Maven Investor Partners has realised its investment in mobile app and web development specialists, hedgehog lab, following the sale to BGF.

Published: Apr 18, 2023
Focus: North East Development Capital Fund, Private Equity

Headquartered in Newcastle, and with operations in the US and Bulgaria, hedgehog lab works with a wide range of global brands, including AJ Bell, Aviva, Deliveroo and Tesco Bank. It provides businesses with cutting-edge mobile app and web development solutions and has grown rapidly in recent years.

Maven originally invested in the business in 2017 and was the first investment made by the then newly formed North East team following the opening of offices in Newcastle and Durham. The business received further investment from the North East Development Capital Fund, which is managed by Maven, to help further grow its global footprint, especially in the US. 

A key part of Maven’s investment approach to drive value is through active portfolio management and this often involves using the expertise and sector knowledge of our extensive network of Executive and Non-executive Directors to complement the skills of the investee management team where needed. In hedgehog’s case we supported the appointment of investor Charles Andrews, an experienced technology senior executive, who was the former Sun Microsystems UK Sales Director. Chartered accountant, Martin Porton, also joined as Finance Director from RTC North, bringing over 20 years’ experience of working with high growth businesses. 

The sale to BGF will allow hedgehog to embark on its next phase of development by acquiring digital product consultancy Netsells, where the opportunity to combine resources and expertise will enable the enlarged business to bring new digital transformation services to the market. 

“It has been a rewarding journey working with hedgehog lab, and I’m delighted for Sarat and the team that we have been able to support them through a number of exciting milestones. Despite the serious challenges of the Covid pandemic, the business successfully scaled internationally with Maven’s help, and has emerged stronger than ever.

"This investment reinforces the message that optimum results are gained when companies work in partnership with their investors. Together we worked closely to pursue our shared ambition of building a world-class technology consultancy in the North East. We wish the team every success in the future.”

Michael Vassallo, Investment Director at Maven

“Michael and Maven backed us when we were a small regional business with global ambitions. With their support, we were able to rapidly scale internationally, invest in our US business and weather the storm of Covid to become a global business. We did this whilst quadrupling revenues and building a world-class management team. On a personal level, this time has helped hone my capabilities as a CEO and has been one of the best stages of my professional growth. I am delighted that we can provide an exit and repay Michael's trust in me all those years ago."

Sarat Pediredla, CEO of hedgehog lab 

“Maven North East actively supported hedgehog lab not only financially but also at a board level to set out the strategy and plans that laid some very solid foundations for the business: a great company culture across the technology, design and delivery teams; a talented and experienced leadership team; regional, national and international customers; and a strong brand voice in the market. I am very pleased to see the successful exit for Maven North East and also to have been part of the successful growth and development of hedgehog lab. The acquisition of Netsells and the investment from BGF will allow hedgehog lab to continue to grow and scale.”

Charles Andrews, Chairman of hedgehog lab

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