MARU Group was formed as a buy and build vehicle to create a technology-enabled, professional services firm, delivering information and customer insight services globally. MARU Group is led by Ged Parton, who most recently held Global CEO roles at Synovate and Ipsos.
Primary was approached to provide funding to MARU Group to acquire a number of businesses identified by the MARU Group management team. MARU Group made its first acquisition, eDigitalResearch Ltd (“eDR”), in February 2016. Headquartered in Southampton, eDR is a market leading Voice of Customer business with its own proprietary technology infrastructure, “HUB”. Founded by Michelle Fuller and Chris Russell in 1999, eDR has now grown to around 150 insight professionals and developers working with a range of blue-chip organisations across markets and sectors and has developed a strong reputation for innovation and excellent account management.
The Big Idea
With eDR’s HUB technology backbone at its core, MARU’s aim is to acquire a number of businesses with complementary capabilities in different geographies which together can deliver technology-focused insight and intelligence to customers on a global basis. MARU Group’s strategy is to combine a technology driven approach with deep thinking and a focus on actionable outputs for clients.
The Grand Plan
Shortly after completing the acquisition of eDR, MARU Group also acquired the North American business of Vision Critical Research and Consulting (VCRC), the research and consulting division of Vision Critical Communications Inc. (“VCCI”). VCRC is a leading provider of research and consulting services to Fortune 500 companies in North America and following its spin-off from VCCI became a strategic partner to VCCI, the market leader in the provision of technology for insight communities and panels. In January 2017, Maru completed the acquisition of Usurv, an agile survey platform which provides immediate access to respondents from a network of third party partner websites and sample providers.
The Bottom Line
Our vision with MARU Group is to build a new kind of professional services firm with technology in its DNA. The acquisitions of eDR and VCRC are important first steps to achieving this vision. The company has an outstanding technology backbone which will become an integral part of the MARU Group technology ecosystem.
Date of investment: February 2016
Deal status: Current
Company website: http://www.marugroup.net/
For more information talk to: Graham Heddle or Neil Wallace