Netcall adds robotic process automation to platform with Oakwood acquisition

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Netcall PLC (LON:NET) has acquired Belgium-based Oakwood Technologies BV, a provider of artificial intelligence-powered robotic process automation (RPA) software, for EUR1.2mln (GBP1.09mln) in cash plus an earn-out consideration of up to EUR1.8mln (GBP1.6mln) in a move that it said will provide it with a “significantly expanded market opportunity”.

Oakwood, which trades as Automagica, provides commercial and open-source RPA software which has been downloaded over 100,000 times while around 100 organisations per month sign up to its free-to-use portal. The company’s RPA software is used to automate manual processes and increase efficiency, speed and accuracy.

The provider of automation and customer engagement software said the purchase will broaden its digital transformation offering and that it intends to integrate Automagica’s RPA solution into its Liberty platform, making it a “one-stop shop” for process automation and customer engagement.

Netcall said its customers will be able to add RPA subscriptions to the Liberty platform and will benefit in several areas including unified automation and digital communications integration.

Launched in 2018, Automagica reported revenues of around EUR150,000 and earnings (EBITDA) of EUR17,000 for the year ended December 31, 2019.

“Through the addition of AI-powered RPA to the Liberty platform, we are creating a one-stop shop for process automation and customer engagement, blending Low-code, RPA, chatbots, digital messaging and contact centre solutions. This powerful combination will provide businesses with a comprehensive digital transformation tool kit and we are excited by the opportunity this presents”, Netcall chief executive Henrik Bang said in a statement.

Double-digit revenue growth

In a separate announcement covering its results for the year ended June 30, 2020, Netcall reported revenue growth of 10% to GBP25.1mln, while pre-tax profits dipped to GBP0.5mln from GBP0.75mln in 2019.

Total annual contract value (ACV) at the end of the year was up 7% year-on-year at GBP16.8mln, while the firm also proposed a final dividend of 0.25p, 25% higher than the previous year.

Netcall highlighted “solid trading” in the year including strong demand in its final quarter despite the impact from coronavirus, as well as continued high growth for its cloud and low-code solutions.

Looking ahead, the company said its new financial year has started well and that it is “trading strongly and ahead of the last fiscal period” in the first three months.

However, Netcall added that notwithstanding the strong start and significant recurring revenues, it is “mindful of the current economic disruptions and the impact it may have on customers” but noted that the acceleration of organisations’ digital transformation initiatives presented “a significant long-term opportunity”.

“Following the outbreak of [coronavirus], customer demand continued to be strong and the organisation remained firmly intact without furloughing, pay-cuts or redundancies. Throughout the challenging period, the Netcall team has shown tremendous flexibility, creativity and resilience, providing support to our customers, especially those within the NHS, and I would like to thank everybody for their contribution”, chief executive Bang said.

Shares in Netcall were 2.1% lower at 47p in early deals on Tuesday.

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