Verastar, the leading provider of essential services to small businesses, is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Octopus group of companies, including The Insurance Octopus and The Media Octopus. The transaction represents a new phase in Verastar’s strategic development, taking it into the UK insurance broking and digital marketing sectors for the first time.

Verastar currently provides services, including electricity, gas, water, fixed and mobile telecommunications, and broadband and fibre connectivity, to an estimated 9% of all the UK’s small businesses. The enlarged company will now be able to offer the additional services across the combined customer base.

Chris Earle, CEO of Verastar, said: “We are delighted to welcome The Insurance Octopus and The Media Octopus to Verastar. We really understand how small businesses work and with a broader service offering we are confident that we can serve their needs, reduce complexity, improve customer service and lower their costs.”

The Insurance Octopus is an established and growing commercial insurance broker in the UK market, with over 22,000 customers. The Insurance Octopus prides itself on providing its customers great service and simple policies.

Kevin Norton, CEO of The Insurance Octopus, added: “We’re truly excited to join forces with Verastar. We now have a unique multi-service proposition, which will delight our current customers and provide a step change to our business growth going forward.”

The Media Octopus is a fast growing online/digital marketing business with expert capabilities across traditional online and leading edge social marketing. The company has an SME focus, but has also captured a number of larger key accounts.

Michael Winniczuk, CEO of The Media Octopus said: “This is great news for our business. We are already developing products for Verastar’s customer base as well as helping accelerate Verastar’s own online business. Both the Media Octopus and Verastar are dynamic challengers and we will continue to disrupt existing markets as we grow.”

Verastar Limited continues to be actively seeking to acquire companies and customer books across a broad product portfolio including payments, insurance, telecoms, energy and ecommerce.