Business

Investor puts millions towards Belfast telecoms growth plans

Connect Telecom founders celebrate the deal

TELECOMMUNICATIONS firm Connect Telecom is to double its workforce over the next year after being bought by investor Scott Ritchie.

Mr Ritchie has made a multi-million investment into the Belfast company and plans to increase staff numbers to 70.

The company was founded in 2007 and has offices in Belfast and Glasgow and provides 15,000 customers as the only Vodafone platinum partner based in the north.

Existing directors Matthew and Robin Brown will remain with the business.

The expansion by Mr Ritchie, who has been an executive director at the company for 18 months, is supported by Danske Bank.

The firm said its growth plan was based on increasing products and services in its core Northern Ireland and Scotland markets.

To support the plans, Connect Telecom last month bought a 49 per cent stake in Bee VM a Belfast based cloud solutions development company.

Mr Ritchie said: “Our customers can expect the same team delivering a complete telecoms solution through our Platinum Partnership with Vodafone. To that end I am delighted that Robin and Matthew have agreed to remain within the business.

“Under their direction the company has witnessed growth of 40 per cent year-on-year and have been recognised with industry awards and plaudits. Robin and Matthew will play a critical role as we build on that success.

“Innovation in business communications has always been at the core of Connect Telecom and the next 12 months will witness our team expand considerably through acquisitions and the introduction of pioneering new services.”

Matthew Brown added: "Progressing in line with Vodafone’s plans to be more than a mobile network but a complete unified communications platform, Connect Telecom will pioneer the delivery of a cloud based portal to customers across the UK using the Bee VM technology.

“Assisting the business community integrate cloud computing into their organisations is a principal strand of our strategy.

“We’ve known Scott for some time and are looking forward to working closely with him as he oversees the next chapter in the evolution of Connect Telecom.”

Danske Bank's business acquisition manager Ian Beatty said the firm was "a great example of a locally owned company that is striving to be the best in its field and which has demonstrated its ambitions to grow not just in Northern Ireland but also in Great Britain".

"Connect is a prime example of the types of trading businesses we at Danske are keen to support in their growth journey. The company has a strong track record of working with some of the biggest names in the telecoms sector and we were ready to support the growth plans presented to us by Scott and the management team. Connect are in a very competitive sector but they have an experienced and ambitious management team that we’re confident will lead the company to continued expansion.”

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