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Will Crayon Group Acquire Microsoft Azure Cloud Expert MSP?


Crayon Group, a Top 250 Public Cloud MSP, has invested in Cloud Direct, a UK-based cloud managed services provider. Both companies are Microsoft Azure Expert MSP partners. The deal's arrangement suggests that Crayon may eventually acquire majority control of Cloud Direct -- though the potential timing and exact parameters for such a move are undisclosed.

So far, the deal involves a GBP 3 million investment -- or roughly $4.1 million in U.S. dollars. Crayon gains a minority stake and commercial partnership with Cloud Direct, and "will have the option later to further invest in a majority ownership of that company."

Translation: If Cloud Direct performs well, Crayon Group may look to acquire the business, ChannelE2E believes.

Crayon Group and Cloud Direct: About Each Business

Cloud Direct, founded in 2003, has 165 employees and is a major Microsoft partner in the UK. The company has annual revenues of GBP 20 million (roughly $27 million), 82 percent of which is recurring revenue, the company says.

Crayon, meanwhile, has been in rapid growth mode. For Q2 of 2021, Crayon reported revenue of $937 million, up 32 percent from Q2 in 2020. The company, based in Oslo, Norway, employs more than 2,000 software, cloud and artificial intelligence experts.

Initially, the Crayon-Cloud Direct deal will largely focus the UK, where most of Cloud Direct's customers are located. However, the partnership can "easily scale to customers worldwide as it has delivered more than 4,000 cloud migrations," the two companies assert.

Crayon Group and Cloud Direct: Executive Perspectives

In a prepared statement about the investment, Crayon CEO Melissa Mulholland said:

"We are excited about this agreement as it combines the best of both Crayon and Cloud Direct. We both have the global elite status of being a Microsoft Azure Expert MSP and Crayon's customer-centric approach to cost optimization complements Cloud Direct's managed services capabilities."

Added Cloud Direct CEO Brett Raynes:

"Cloud Direct builds and operates Microsoft public cloud solutions that work - ensuring cost optimization, technical performance, and security compliance. We focus our professional and managed services on helping ambitious companies accelerate transformation and growth. Working with Crayon, we will drive more value to more customers."

In a coy statement, the two companies said they have mutually "agreed to not disclose any further details on the transaction at this stage."

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.