Vodafone answer VC’s call

3i, InvestCorp and Kennet Partners have sold their shares in Aspective, a UK application service provider (ASP), to Vodafone UK. Financial details have not been disclosed

A company formed in the dot.com days, Aspective was created with the backing Kennet, which specialises in technology companies, and which committed €3m of venture funding in December 1999. The London headquartered firm identified a need in the market at the time for an ASP that could provide front office and e-commerce solutions.

The business was created by merging two divisions of Ives Group, a US headquartered IT business, with Kennet has invested a total of £2 million in the transaction, with additional funding of £1 million from 3i, who originally invested in Ives Group in 1989, as well as a number of private investors.

Kennet Capital identified an opportunity in the market for an ASP that could deliver front office and e-commerce applications to customers requiring rapid access to market leading applications, such as BroadVision, Siebel and Lotus Notes. Kennet sought to establish a business that could deliver that offering. In an innovative transaction Aspective was created through the reconfiguration of two divisions of Ives Group, an established IT solutions company, which will provide the core technical and consultancy expertise of Aspective. Kennet has invested its €3m alongside €1.5m from 3i, who originally invested in Ives Group in 1989, as well as a number of private investors. The business raised a further €60m in June 2000 in a funding round led by Investcorp.

Kennet director and Aspective board member Maximilian Bleyleben, said: “Aspective has been leading the market since its foundation, initially as one of the first European application service providers for front-office solutions, and later in implementing some of the largest mobile field applications in the market. We are delighted that Aspective has found a good match for its ambitions within Vodafone.”