Virtualstock, the provider of technology solutions for 6 of the top 10 UK retailers and a number of leading NHS Trusts, today announces the appointment of René Schuster as Chairman with immediate effect. The Company also announces the completion of an Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) fundraising round of £3.42 million.
René has a strong track record in growing global telecommunications and technology businesses. He is most renowned for his achievements as CEO of Telefonica Deutschland, in which he led the Company through the largest IPO in Europe and most successful DAX IPO in 2012, raising €1.6 billion for Telefonica Group. He grew Telefonica Deutschland from a €3 billion market capitalisation company into a €14 billion market capitalisation organisation and into one of the largest telecommunications operators in Europe and established 02 as the number one consumer brand in Germany.
He has also held a number of other senior leadership positions in the telecommunications and technology sectors including Chief Operating Officer at Vimplecom, one of the world's largest telecommunications services companies, Global Marketing Director at Vodafone plc, Senior Vice President at Hewlett Packard and European CEO of Compaq Computer Corporation. He was also Managing Partner at KPMG and Director at IBM.
René also has extensive private equity experience having been Partner at Vitruvian, a European private equity firm specialising in providing capital for high growth companies in the FMCG, retail, hardware and SAAS sectors and is currently a Senior Partner at the private equity firm, Ilion Holdings GmbH.
Virtualstock is also pleased to announce that it has completed an EIS fundraising round of £3.42 million which was oversubscribed by 71%. It takes the total primary capital invested into the business during its lifetime to £7 million. Virtualstock was previously valued at £66 million, following a fundraising round led by Notion Capital in July 2017. The post-money valuation of the business after the recent EIS fundraising round is approximately £69.5m. The funds will be used to scale the business and to prepare for international expansion.
Virtualstock continues to have good momentum with revenue growth increasing from 63% to 74% over the last two years. During the same time, Virtualstock's total headcount has also increased from 20 to 116.
RenéSchuster, incoming Chairman commented:
"I am delighted to be joining the Board of Virtualstock. I have been impressed by the strength of the management team, the client base and particularly its unique proposition, built from an expert understanding of the specific needs of the retail and healthcare sectors, which is helping leading UK retailers and the NHS keep pace with rapid structural changes.
"With its blue-chip client base and compelling solution, I am excited by the opportunities presented to the Group to roll out and scale its offering across other verticals and particularly across new international markets. I look forward to drawing upon my experience and global network to take the Company into its next chapter of growth."
Andrew Mills, VirtualstockCEO commented:
"I am delighted to welcome René to our Board as Chairman. He brings a vast network and wealth of expertise in leading multinational companies and advising high growth companies on scaling up and raising capital in the telecommunications and technology sectors across Europe and America. He will be hugely valuable to Virtualstock as we embark upon our next phase of growth and prepare for international expansion.
"I am also extremely pleased that we have completed our latest round of fundraising and by the strong levels of interest and support we received from new investors. The new funding will help facilitate our ambitious growth plans."
Virtualstock is one of the UK's fastest growing tech companies, helping businesses in retail and healthcare compete in today's agile digital economy. Its client list includes 6 of the top 10 UK retailers including Tesco, Sainsbury's Argos, John Lewis and Dixons Carphone, as well as the NHS. By unlocking and connecting the data scattered across disparate parts of the supply chain, Virtualstock's cloud-based solution, The Edge, helps retailers drive efficiency, growth and customer satisfaction, supported by an integrated and seamless digital supply chain. The healthcare equivalent, The Edge4Health™, is delivered in partnership with NHS Shared Business Services to help fuel industry-wide efficiency and operational productivity for both Healthcare Providers and Suppliers.