Over the past few decades we’ve gone from strength to strength and the future’s looking even better. Here’s a brief history as to how we got to where we are…

Back in the early days a business model and unique sales organisation was created, and successfully executed, with a clear focus on small businesses.

In 2004, we entered the telecoms sector and launched new brands into the micro-SME market. Hard work and determination saw continued growth over the following years, even during a recession.

A new decade called for a new outlook. We launched as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, supplying fixed line telecoms, broadband and mobiles. At this point, our customer contracts stood at 160,000.

We made a strategic review of our product portfolio when we were acquired by private equity company, Vitruvian Partners.

Two years on and we began offering four products. Gas was added to the supplier list thanks to our acquisition of Economy Gas. Our customer contracts now stood at 170,000

365 days later and we have six products to offer. We established ourselves as a white label solution to supply electricity and also entered the water sector with our acquisition of Clear Business Water. This year, our customer contracts stood at 180,000.

The Energy Retail Market Review is implemented and the Water Act gains Royal Assent. Our customer contracts hit an all-time high of 200,000 this year.

This was certainly the year of acquisitions with the successful additions to the group including Crown Telecoms and Business Comms Solutions, increasing our customer base size by 10%. Add to that The Insurance Octopus in July and nearing the end of the year in October, we saw the acquisition of OVO Energy’s commercial customers.

We welcomed one of the largest independent water providers, Aimera Limited, to the Verastar family. This cemented our position as the largest challenger to the incumbent in Scotland, with 25% market share.

Verastar turns 20 in this year, and to mark the occasion we acquired customer bases from both Aurora Telecoms, part of Credico, and Synotio Business Communications. This takes our acquisitions over the last three years to a total of twelve. We achieved another record high with the volume of services provided reaching nearly 300,000.

We expanded our product offering by entering the payment market with our start-up brand, Inspire Payments.

As we continued to grow, we relocated over 700 of our colleagues from sites across South Manchester to our newly refurbished head office in Sale.

Our success was widely acknowledged across the industry, as we received two prestigious awards. We were named Business of the Year at the Greater Manchester Business Awards and Mid-Market Business of the Year at The Lloyds Bank National Business Awards.

We sealed three strategic deals with acquisitions in energy, telecoms and insurance, acquiring customer bases from both Axis for Business and Uniplus Telecom Limited. With the acquisition of commercial property specialist Little N Large, The Insurance Octopus expanded its product offering in providing landlord and buildings cover.

Towards the end of the year, former TalkTalk, Virgin Media and UKFast executive Lee Hull joined the Verastar group as our new Chief Executive Officer.

Our strategic review was signed off in the first quarter of 2021, helping us to set the vision for the business in the next 5 years.

To help us on our journey, and as part of our staff expansion strategy, we recruited a record number of more than 200 employees and signed an agreement to occupy 106 flex workstations at Bruntwood Works’ Bloc in Manchester city centre.

We signed a multi-million-pound digital transformation deal to introduce Salesforce across the Verastar group by creating a new customer relationship management (CRM) system.

As we develop the new CRM system, our end goal is to have one unified view of each customer, giving our colleagues the opportunity to deliver an even greater service.

The first marketing campaign using the Pardot email automation system was successfully delivered in February. Pardot is part of Salesforce and enables us to be much more targeted with customer communications.

This was a tremendous milestone, and a new dawn in the way we market to our customers.