Six Degrees launches with $94M in funding

Faith Merino · October 10, 2011 · Short URL:

The managed data services provider gets support from Penta Capital

London-based managed data services provider Six Degrees launched today with a hefty £60 million—or nearly $94 million—from Penta Capital, which invested in CEO Alastair Mills’ previous company, SpiriTel.  SpiriTel sold for £37 million for a 70% return on Penta Capital’s investment. 

With 100 employees and over 1,200 business customers already, Six Degrees aims to be the mid-market leader in the data services industry, offering its cloud services, datacenters, Internet connectivity, and voice solutions to the 90,000 UK companies that employ between 50 and 1,000 people.  The company’s products include private, enterprise-grade cloud services, which provide a business-oriented alternative to public cloud services like Amazon Web Services and iCloud, and are already seeing high demand from business customers—growing some 800% in the last 12 months.

Other products include the company’s datacenters, which offer co-location and managed hosting services so that businesses can rest assured that Six Degrees is actively managing and caring for their hardware.  The company also offers connectivity services, which include Internet access, Enterprise MPLS, and wholesale line rental; as well as a range of carrier-neutral voice services.

Ultimately, the company is looking to support the growing “bring your own device” (BYOD) movement, in which consumer devices are now outpacing enterprise-grade devices in terms of quality and functionality, allowing employees to use their own personal devices like their iPhones and iPads for work.  The result is increased work output and profit for businesses, but the scattering of devices and services used can be an intimidating prospect for companies that want to keep tabs on what their employees are doing.

Hence the name “Six Degrees”—which refers to the theory that all human beings are connected by only six degrees of separation (six degrees of Kevin Bacon). 

“The Six Degrees Group name was inspired by the ‘six degrees of separation’ legend as we felt it reflected the fact that we live in an always-on, interconnected world,” said Alastair Mills, in a statement.  “The ties that bind us now are not physical but technical; those who fail to leverage the immediacy and dynamism that this connectedness brings will be left behind.”

The company tells me that it plans to use the new funds to acquire assets in the managed data services market.  

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