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Appnovation receives £6.8m in follow-on equity funding

By The Drum Network | Staff Writer

September 28, 2020 | 5 min read

Global digital consultancy Appnovation has received £6.8m in follow-on equity financing from a partnership between UK-based BGF, the Canadian Business Growth Fund (CBGF) and Export Development Canada (EDC).

With 15 offices across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, Appnovation will use the proceeds from this investment to continue its global expansion and growth strategy. This includes scaling teams in strategic global markets, particularly in the UK and across Europe, as well as potential acquisitions.

Both CBGF and BGF made initial investments in Appnovation in July 2019 totalling £8.8M. Since then, Appnovation has scaled up its EMEA operations, led from London, and achieved annual revenue growth of 28%, despite the global pandemic. EMEA represents a key region for Appnovation and under the leadership of general manager Andrew Dunbar, who joined the company in 2018, the team has grown from 55 to 70 employees over the last year.

Dunbar has successfully expanded the senior EMEA leadership team to offer clients a comprehensive six-pronged offering in the region: digital strategy, user experience and design, development and engineering, corporate agility and readiness, data and analytics and managed services and support. Key appointments include Jez Proctor as UK managing director (ex- R/GA), John Sutherby as head of technology EMEA (ex- GSK), Amanda Glasgow as head of experience EMEA (ex- Publicis Sapient) and Phil Gulliver as head of delivery (ex- Mirum).

Appnovation EMEA has also celebrated key client wins in the last year, including Admiral Insurance, a global pharmaceutical firm and credit ratings agency Fitch Ratings, as well as delivering cutting-edge work for plant-based food brand Alpro.

This strong growth trajectory has attracted a second round of investment.

“Over the past year, we’ve made strategic hires, deepened capabilities and accelerated international growth with the help of an initial round of investment funding. We will continue that global growth trajectory and look at expanding our footprint in strategic markets, like Europe, with this new injection of funding” said Arnold Leung, founder and chief executive officer of Appnovation. “CBGF, EDC and BGF are the ideal partners because they’re invested in our long-term success and share our vision for ambitious growth.”

“We’re delighted to be providing further investment and strengthening our relationship with Appnovation. This follow-on funding will help to bolster its international expansion plans which, despite the global set back of COVID-19, have been progressing at pace,” said Greg Norman, investor at BGF. “Appnovation is going from strength to strength and it is exactly the type of growth economy business that BGF seeks to support through our long-term investment and partnership.”

“CBGF is proud to have backed Arnold and the Appnovation team who have made tremendous progress since our initial investment,” explains George Rossolatos, chief executive of CBGF. “We believe there are excellent opportunities in front of the company to continue to grow into a leading international company. Our vision is to help companies scale and reach their full potential and Appnovation, with this follow-on, will have the opportunity to further accelerate their growth.”

While CBGF and BGF invested in Appnovation previously, EDC is a new investor in Appnovation. EDC’s attraction to Appnovation comes from its compelling business proposition, growth strategy and strong management team as well as attractive market dynamics.

“EDC is pleased to support Appnovation’s international expansion,” said Carl Burlock, EDC’s executive vice president and chief business officer “More than ever, digital sales strategies are key to succeeding in global business. Appnovation’s digital IT services will help companies enhance their online presence and remain competitive amid these challenging economic times. Appnovation is an example of the innovative Canadian companies that EDC is supporting through our investment Matching Program, whereby we work with both Canadian and international partners to provide capital investment and expertise on international markets.”

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Appnovation is a global full-service digital consultancy. We seamlessly integrate strategy, user experience, development, deployment, training and support, allowing clients to continuously innovate their digital services and touchpoints.

Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, we are a community of 350 people in 15 offices across five countries including Canada, the US, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and Hong Kong.

Appnovation. Inspiring Possibility.

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