London News & Search
Voices.com has secured one of the biggest investments in the London tech industry’s history, US$18 million from a global venture capitalist.
Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital’s investment in the company, which represents voice-over talent worldwide, will spark major growth — and Voices.com’s owners plan to do it in London.
“We’re headquartered here,” said David Ciccarelli, who with Stephanie Ciccarelli, his wife, founded the business in 2005.
“The plan is to grow our imprint around the globe but given the fact business today can be done across time zones, countries, borders — there’s no need we’ve found to be located elsewhere.”
To put the investment in context the firm points to an analysis that shows Canada’s internet sector drew investments of US$195 million over 23 deals in the first quarter of 2017. That’s an average of $13 million — or nearly one-third less than Voices.com’s haul.
The cash will give Morgan Stanley ownership of less than half of Voices.com. Simple math suggests that means the business is worth more than $40 million, though Ciccarelli declined to discuss those figures.
Voices.com is the leading global website connecting buyers of voice-over services with more than 200,000 voice actors in 100 languages and dialects.
Basically, any time you hear a recorded voice — from TV commercials to automated phone systems — a “voice talent” has been hired, Ciccarelli explains. His company represents those people in 139 countries.
Now located in a 4,050-square-metre downtown office space with 100 full-time employees, Voices has enough room to fit as many as 300, Ciccarelli says.
The investment will allow two key things, he said:
- An uptick in sales and marketing efforts
- A potential push to buy up smaller competitors, further tightening the company’s grip on a $4-billion industry.
“We’ve really aspired to lead and transform this industry,” Ciccarelli said. “It’s wanting to carry out those grand visions and having the financial ability to do so.”
The investment was applauded by the London Economic Development Corp.’s CEO, Kapil Lakhotia.
“The significant growth in our digital creative sector has certainly put London on the radar for investment,” he said. “We have seen a string of capital coming to London over the past few years.
“Voices.com is a great local success story and this investment will provide fuel for their ongoing growth.”
What the LEDC dubs London’s digital creative sector has 300-plus companies, employing more than 9,000 people. There are about 500 job openings right now.
London News & Search