UK comms firm Gradwell quits cloud land after 'strategic review'

Bath-based firm offloads fluffy white assets, eyes up VoIP, broadband future

Gradwell Communications yesterday emailed clients - mostly fellow small businesses - to let them know that it has offloaded the cloud services "assets".

The Bath-based company, set up in 1998 to sell web development and hosting, said the decision was taken following a "strategic review".

"We are writing to inform you that having considered all the options, we have decided to sell our web hosting assets to Pickaweb Limited, a hosting specialist," Gradwell confirmed in the message.

Accordingly, customer accounts and billing record are to be transferred to the new owner. "As part of the transition process, you will be required to agree new terms and conditions of service."

Founder and CTO Peter Gradwell told The Reg the plan is to concentrate only on its 22,000 VoIP and Connectivity customers.

"The hosting business was quite small, definitely sub-scale, and so this was about finding a great home for the customer base where they are looked after and supported on a modern platform."

He added that some of these customers were "very long standing". Gradwell refused to talk about any money that may have exchanged hands. "It’s a nominal fee," he told us.

Gradwell turned over £7.35m in fiscal ’17 ended 31 October, down marginally from the £7.39m reported in the prior year. In the directors' report, it said new investors and a new management team were locked onto "growth opportunities" that the cloud comms market offers.

"The results for the year reflect the first stages in repositioning the company and investment for future growth and, as a result, revenues are stagnant and EBITDA have reduced," the results' report stated.

The business reported an operating loss of almost £60k compared to a profit from operations of £172,532 in the previous fiscal year. ®

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