Destiny realises its growth ambitions with new acquisitions
The Belgian scale-up has great ambitions. The company has announced two acquisitions and no longer wishes to merely be considered as a telecom operator.
Things are moving fast for Daan and Samuel De Wever. Ten years after Destiny was founded, it won the award for Sustainable Growth in the Deloitte Fast 50, an award that mainly highlights the fact that the company has consistently been in this ranking for quite some time already. “We posted another twenty percent organic growth in the past year”, Daan De Wever told Data News. But he hopes that things will move even faster in the future. “We need to ask ourselves who we really want to be”.
And as it turns out, this means no longer being a cloud operator rather than a pure telecom integrator. Moreover, Destiny has the required software for this. “We are often seen as a telco, but that is not how we communicate to our customers. Today we want to position ourselves as a bridge between IT and telecom. Companies have a telecom operator, a PBX exchange, an IT supplier, and these are often very traditional players. They think in silos, with their own products. But that is not the future of IT distribution. That is why we have been working under the radar for the past three years, to develop an open platform that should make the interaction between all those technologies easier.
Daan De Wever stresses that his company mainly wants to work with distributors and providers. “We don’t develop any technology of our own. How we get this technology to customers is how we make the difference. Many players develop a hosted PBX, for example. By contrast, we prefer solid, well-known technologies which we offer customers in a comprehensible way." He gives the example of distributors who want to sell cloud services. "They have a catalogue of 101 products but all the customer wants is help to understand which of those 101 products they can use. We have been guiding companies in their search for solutions for many years already. We know what works, which bundles work well together. Customers must feel that this is 100% the right choice for them, without paying too much, etc. We also use heavy algorithms for this to immediately show customers that you shouldn’t buy product a and product b together.”
Destiny announced the new platform at the same time as it completed several acquisitions. Last year, Destiny acquired Ergatel, a telco operator which mainly operates in Wallonia. But the company completed another two acquisitions this past month. "Last week, we acquired Meritel NV, a Ghent-based player with a customer portfolio that is comparable to ours," says Daan De Wever. "In October; we acquired IT101, a Brussels-based company specialising in cloud security." The latter acquisition was specifically designed to broaden Destiny’s portfolio. “This Belgian company has remained under the radar for quite some time. But it is super profitable. In fact, we were amazed at how profitable it is. They are ready to grow further and the owner Christophe Reynaert has now joined Destiny.”
The next step? Europe. That is why Destiny has partnered with new investors, such as Mentha Capital. This also explains why Destiny is moving away from the direct link with the network with its integration platform. "It’s a cloud-based model," says Daan De Wever. “We have built an envelope around existing technology. Internationalising telecoms is much too difficult because it means building networks, but the top layer is very scalable, however. You can easily disconnect such an integration platform and drop it in another country. We think this is a tremendous opportunity. Because the problems we solve also occur in the Netherlands, in the UK or in Denmark. While these countries are more mature, the technologies are the same. That is why we also are also interested in making an international acquisition. To show that our approach also works abroad. As soon as we have a model that we can transfer and adapt to various countries, the sky is the limit. In effect, we want to become the largest virtual operator in Europe.”