Bernd Krakau appointed CCO of netgo group

Bernd Krakau, long-standing top manager in the national and international IT scene, has been appointed as Executive Board Member and Chief Commercial Officer of netgo group. 

Since September 1, 2020 Bernd Krakau has been a strong addition to the Executive Board of netgo group. In addition to his operational management tasks, he has been especially busy with the comprehensive development of the strategic “Managed Services” and “Cloud Services” business areas for the Group. 

“Having Bernd Krakau join us means that we have enhanced our team with one of the most outstanding personalities in  the area of IT business and enterprise development ,” said  Benedikt Kisner, CEO of the business group, in comment to the new member. “His experience in the design and transformation of global IT business fields, coupled with his knowledge of market positioning of digital services will significantly move our corporate development forward.  

Krakau brings more than 25 years of experience in IT to the table and held strategically important management positions at leading companies.  
Most recently, he was responsible as member of the management team and as “Chief Representative Portfolio & Digital” for the area of  portfolio management for the entire Datagroup SE and its subsidiaries. Before, as CEO of Bechtle Clouds GmbH, he conceptualized, built and expanded the Multi Cloud business segment of the Bechtle Group for  Europe. 

Bernd Krakau is member of the board of EuroCloud Deutschland_eco e.V. and is especially involved, as a qualified “Digital Transformation Leader”, in the development of useful digitization potentials for companies.

New acquisition for IT service provider netgo group

Waterland portfolio enterprise grows with the acquisition of CSM MeinSystemhaus

Hamburg / Borken / Warendorf, September 8, 2020 – netgo, an IT systems enterprise headquartered in Borken, is expanding and deepening its geographical presence, as well as refreshing its service portfolio. Right after two Berlin-based companies commehr and workbees became a part of the group, CSM MeinSystemhaus GmbH & Co. KG (“CSM”) based in Warendorf is now coming on board as well. The company specializes in IT solutions for tax consultancy firms among others and enjoys an especially strong position on the market in Nordrhein-Westfalen and Hessen. The seller of the share majority is Martin Müller, who has been at the helm of CSM in the second generation; he has reinvested in the company and will stay on as managing director in the future as well. The transaction, the details of which the parties have agreed not to disclose, will probably be finalized in the weeks to come.

CSM, founded in 1977, employs a staff of over 150 people. In addition to the headquarters in Warendorf, it also has locations in Siegen, Lüdenscheid, Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Mittenaar, Bad Salzuflen, Butzbach and Unna. The company has grown over the years by continually expanding its services, as well as through acquisitions (bits+bytes it-solutions as well as the corporate customer business of Girosoft and infrastructure operations of Jochen Blöcher). CSM sees itself as a full-service provider catering to any IT concerns of medium-sized enterprises; services include IT concepts, hardware and software from a single source, data provision and back-up. cybersecurity, IP communication and managed services, as well as web design, hosting and the placement of data protection officers. In addition to medium-sized businesses, tax consultancy firms build yet another pillar; to these customers, CSM offers DATEV-compliant solutions like the planning and implementation of consultancy office processes in conjunction with software, communications and the Internet.

netgo Group, on the market since 2007 and a part of the Waterland private equity firm portfolio since the end of 2019, has been continually expanding within a Buy&Build strategy in the heavily fragmented IT system enterprise market. In this manner, shortly after the merger with Waterland, cloud provider ComNet and business software expert MEHRWERK joined the Group; the acquisition of commehr and workbees was announced just a few days ago. Through the addition of CSM, the service portfolio and managed services footprint of netgo will be strengthened once again.

netgo managing director and founder, Benedikt Kisner, notes that “we are very pleased with this recent reinforcement. With nearly 600 employees at numerous locations throughout the Federal Republic of Germany, we are now a one-stop-shop system enterprise, to which almost all paths now lead. If you are an SME that wants to rely on quality, service and know-how in all IT matters, you will be in the best of hands with netgo and its subsidiaries.”

Martin Müller of CSM adds that “for CSM, cooperation with netgo and Waterland translates to the consistent continuation of the growth path we have been taking, even beyond our home region. We are now a part of an especially powerful Group that will be further developing its market position at a rapid pace.”

Dr. Carsten Rahlfs, Managing Partner at Waterland, explains that “the strong presence of CSM at consultancy clients and the large share of recurring sales from Managed Services and stable customer relations open a number of exciting opportunities for cooperation within the Group. Both in terms of strategy and culture, CSM is an excellent match for netgo and its other affiliates. In this respect, this transaction constitutes a new and important building block of our growth strategy.”

Based on assistance for numerous holdings in the “outsourcing and digitization” field in Europe, Waterland has already managed to gain extensive experience in the market and has currently established partnerships in German-speaking regions within this area of expertise with the Serrala Group (payment technologies), enreach (unified communication) and Tineo (Enterprise IT).

“Managing standstill is not our thing”

  • netgo group achieves sales growth of 50 percent year-over-year in 2018
  • In 2018, there were 320 employees throughout Germany in the netgo group

Borken, February 8, 2019 – The netgo group has grown considerably again in 2018. Through the acquisition of three IT companies and organic growth of around €15 million, the group was able to increase its turnover from €45 million in 2017 to €67 million in 2018. The number of employees has also grown from 220 to 320. 18 locations mean that the netgo group is now represented almost everywhere throughout Germany and now also has a location in the Netherlands.

“We wanted to grow significantly in 2018 and have clearly achieved this”, says Benedikt Kisner, Managing Director of the group headquartered in Borken, Westphalia, summing up. With the acquisition of the IT companies bükotec, CONTENiT and SAM Now, the group has once again strengthened its market position in 2018 and is setting its sights on the future. Current example: the newcomer bükotec as well as Computech and netgo are the first three Healthcare Solutions Partners of Hewlett-Packard in Germany. In addition to growth in this sector, the group is also focusing on its own software developments in 2019 to make their customers’ processes even more efficient. Benedikt Kisner: “Being fast and agile is part of our DNA, so in 2019, we will once again demonstrate our high level of innovation and that we have a versatile organization with a first-class team.”

Already in the first half of 2019, the netgo group is planning a product launch that can significantly improve and simplify IT services management. The team also relies on self-developed standard products for the Office 365 world.

360-degree thinking

Topics such as Industry 4.0 and digitalization are on the agenda, especially in the traditional SME sector. “Many companies need clever and at the same time realistic solutions to be ready for the future. The netgo group will score here with tailored solutions and full service: from process consulting to implementation, whether standard procedures or complex projects,” emphasizes Managing Director Kisner.

The team is getting plenty of encouragement: the overall development of the company with the creation and safeguarding of jobs and apprenticeship training positions, the high level of commitment to the region, service, customer proximity and marketing and last but not least the high degree of modernization and innovation earned the netgo group the “Bundespreis Premier” at the Grand Prix of Medium-Sized Businesses 2018. This is the highest honor of the well-known prize of the Oskar Patzelt Foundation. Awards like this are an incentive for the team to go further:

“Managing standstill is not our thing. Even with the group this size, I’m not going to start now,” says netgo CEO Patrick Kruse.

New base camp creates space for growth and creativity

The new base camp, which is currently under construction, is intended to further underline netgo’s corporate culture. Modern workplaces, a pleasant atmosphere, co-working as well as chill zones and a gym await the teams from September 2019. A new day-care center for children will also be created, which will be available not only to employees. The new “bonfire” restaurant will also be an attraction for the public. Here, netgo invites employees and external guests to linger, from lunch to dinner, seven days a week. “We didn’t want to create another cafeteria, but a place that would be a big thing for the area and for our teams. The “bonfire” will be a creative place and an oasis to feel good in for the whole area, somewhere invested with a lot of our heart and soul”, says Kruse.

After Waterland investment: netgo invests in cloud provider ComNet

  • ComNet, with 21 employees, specializes in IT services managed from its own data center
  • The IT specialist, based in Würselen, has 30 years of experience in the market
  • netgo group to acquire 100 percent of the shares
  • ComNet founder Holger Schmitz remains managing director and participates in the netgo group via a management holding company

Hamburg/Borken/Würselen, November 22, 2019 – Following the entry of Waterland Private Equity in October 2019, the netgo group has recorded its first success. The IT group is taking over the managed services provider ComNet. netgo and ComNet complement each other in terms of corporate culture, product and services portfolio as well as their customer base. The aim of the partnership is to offer customers of both companies a broader range of IT solutions and services and to leverage cross-selling potential. The netgo group is acquiring 100 percent of the shares. Managing Director Holger Schmitz retains a participation in the netgo group through a management holding company.

ComNet , headquartered in Würselen (North Rhine-Westphalia), was founded in 1990 by Bernd and Holger Schmitz, primarily to support smaller companies setting up their IT infrastructure. Over the years, the company has grown to 21 employees, serves about 200 customers nationwide and offers a wide range of services. ComNet offers its customers a complete IT environment via its own self-designed high-performance data center (private cloud). ComNet handles the entire IT infrastructure as well as the operation of its customers’ business-critical applications, including all administrative activities. Individual IT concepts are developed and implemented for seamless migration to the ComNet data center. In this way, ComNet generates a close, long-term relationship with its customers. A special feature is the range of industry solution packages for tax consultants, auditors, lawyers, companies, nursing homes and medical supply stores.

Bernd Schmitz is to leave the company as planned after a short transition period before his retirement. Holger Schmitz stays on-board as managing director, sending a clear signal to ComNet’s employees, customers, and partners through his participation in a management holding company. “I am looking forward to joining forces with the netgo group. My enthusiasm for new technologies and as-a-service models is far from over and by working together we can achieve much more in this market”, says Holger Schmitz.

Bernd Schmitz says: “In the 30-year history of ComNet, we have been able to reinvent ourselves in this industry several times over. and I am very proud of what we have achieved and happy to hand over the lifework of our career to an ideal partner.”

The partnership with ComNet is a first step in the buy-and-build strategy, that netgo and Waterland are jointly implementing. netgo was founded in 2007 by Benedikt Kisner and Patrick Kruse as an IT system house in Borken (North Rhine-Westphalia) and has enjoyed above-average growth in recent years, both organically and from the successful acquisition of other IT system houses.

Today, the netgo group has around 350 employees at 17 locations and offers its customers a wide range of consulting, products and services in the business areas of hosting & storage, IT infrastructure, IT security, communication & messaging, IoT & analytics, coupled with tailored customer solutions. Together with its customers, netgo develops individual IT strategies and can draw on many years of experience and expertise in all forms of IT operation: in-house, private cloud and public cloud. Thanks to this broad range of services, netgo today acts as a one-stop shop for its more than 3,000 customers throughout Germany.

Benedikt Kisner, founder of netgo, comments: “We are looking forward to having ComNet, a long-established private cloud specialist with a clear focus on industries and small companies, as part of our group and to strengthening our team with 21 new colleagues. Together we want to continue the above-average growth of ComNet achieved in recent years and above all use the existing capacity for expansion at the Würselen site for additional customers and employees.”

Dr. Carsten Rahlfs, Managing Partner at Waterland, says: “The acquisition is an excellent start for netgo’s buy and build strategy. We want to consolidate the fragmented market for IT system houses, which is experiencing growth of at around 10 percent per year and implement further partnerships”.

About netgo

With around 350 employees at 17 locations, the netgo group supports companies in an increasingly complex world on the path to digitalization.

Dynamism and agility are firmly rooted in netgo’s corporate culture. With these attributes, the group helps its clients to develop their strengths. Numerous I T specialists, technicians and consultants across the group see themselves as a team with the goal of accompanying customers on their way into the future.

Concentrated in specialized companies and at the same time united under a single banner, the netgo group is a central contact for all questions of information technology, information security and information processes. By minimizing the number of contact points and contact persons, the netgo group increases the added value of companies and public institutions.

netgo sees itself as work facilitator, process accelerator, lateral thinker, knowledge sharer, knowledge protector, mobility creator, problem solver and application enthusiast.

About Waterland

Waterland is an independent private equity investment company that helps companies realize their growth plans. With substantial financial support and industry expertise, Waterland enables its holdings to accelerate growth both organically and through acquisitions. Waterland has offices in the Netherlands (Bussum), Belgium (Antwerp), Germany (Hamburg, Munich), Poland (Warsaw), the UK (Manchester), Denmark (Copenhagen) and Switzerland (Zurich). It currently manages six billion in equity capital.

Since its foundation in 1999, Waterland has consistently achieved above-average performance with its investments and has regularly been ranked among the top 3 of the world’s leading private equity firms in past HEC/Dow Jones private equity performance rankings.

netgo group invests in business software experts MEHRWERK

Only two weeks after the announcement of the takeover of the IT company ComNet, the next step follows at netgo. The group acquires 100 percent of the shares in Mehrwerk AG , headquartered in Karlsruhe. MEHRWERK specializes in the optimization of business processes using agile enterprise software. The founders Ralf Feulner, Claus Litz and Clemens Schmidt will continue to lead MEHRWERK as managing directors and in future with hold a stake in the netgo group via the management holding company.

MEHRWERK was founded in 2008 as a manufacturer-independent IT services provider, offering flexible and user-friendly add-on solutions for SAP users. Today, the fast-growing company with about 30 employees serves approximately 250 customers of all sizes in the fields of industry, trade and services. As a general IT contractor, MEHRWERK advises on the optimization of business processes on the basis of proven, user-friendly software, for example for IT-supported supply chain management as well as SAP cloud and business analytics solutions (business intelligence and process mining based on the Qlik platform). This focus pays off: the Karlsruhe-based is an SAP Cloud Gold Partner and leading solution provider in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for the Qlik data analysis platform. In addition to products from well-known manufacturers, MEHRWERK also offers solutions developed in-house: Their MPM process mining software is used by medium-sized companies as well as DAX-listed corporations to analyze business processes.

The integration of MEHRWERK strengthens the product and service portfolio of the netgo group. “We are delighted to be able to add MEHRWERK, a leading specialist for software-based business process optimization, to our group. In addition to solutions and products from renowned manufacturers, the process mining solution, which was developed internally, enjoys an excellent reputation, and offers high added value. For us and our customers, MEHRWERK’s products are an ideal supplement to our service portfolio. At the same time, MEHRWERK is in a position to further accelerate its own growth by combining resources and utilizing netgo’s expertise”, explains netgo Managing Director Benedikt Kisner.

netgo was founded in 2007 by Benedikt Kisner and Patrick Kruse as an IT system house in Borken (North Rhine-Westphalia) and has grown at an above-average rate over the past years both organically and through the successful takeover of other IT companies. Only a few days ago, netgo announced that it had taken over the IT system house ComNet based in Würselen (North Rhine-Westphalia).

The netgo group with around 370 employees at 18 locations offers a wide range of consulting, products and services in the business areas of hosting & storage, IT infrastructure, IT security, communication & messaging, IoT & analytics, coupled with tailored customer solutions. Together with its customers, netgo develops individual IT strategies and can draw on many years of experience in all forms of IT operation: in-house, private cloud and public cloud. Thanks to this broad range of services, netgo acts as a one-stop shop for its more than 3,000 customers throughout Germany. netgo’s portfolio of services is to be further expanded through targeted acquisitions.

Ralf Feulner, founder and CEO of MEHRWERK, summarizes the advantages for his company: “With the support of the netgo group, we will ber we will be able to improve our position within the framework of our corporate strategy in terms of content, organization and sales and to serve our customers as a whole, for example in the field of managed services. Together with the netgo group, we will be able to take our successful growth path of recent years to a new level.“

Dr. Carsten Rahlfs, Managing Partner at Waterland, comments on this second acquisition within a short period of time: “For netgo, this transaction is the second company within a very short time after our entry as a growth investor. This shows that the buy-and-build strategy with companies whose service portfolio complements netgo’s is paying off. We will continue to pursue a growth path with netgo”.“

IT group netgo and Waterland form partnership to pursue expansion

  • Founders Patrick Kruse and Benedikt Kisner plan to join forces with Waterland and continue to expand through a buy & build strategy
  • netgo is a successful company from North Rhine-Westphalia with an excellent reputation as an employer, high customer satisfaction and around 350 employees

Hamburg/Borken, October 8, 2019 – Together with the two founders, Patrick Kruse and Benedikt Kisner, Waterland Private Equity plans to further boost the organic growth of netgo. The portfolio of services offered to customers is to undergo additional expansion through targeted acquisitions. The IT system house market is fragmented and offers significant potential for consolidation. The two founders of netgo will remain significantly involved and remain on board as managing directors.

netgo was founded in 2007 by Benedikt Kisner and Patrick Kruse as an IT system house in Borken, Germany. In recent years, the company has achieved above-average growth, both organically and through the successful acquisition of other IT houses. Today, the netgo group has around 350 employees at 17 locations and offers customers a wide range of consulting, products and services in the business areas of hosting & storage, IT infrastructure, IT security, communication & messaging, IoT & analytics combined with customized solutions. Together with its customers, netgo develops individual IT strategies and can draw on many years of experience and expertise in all forms of IT operation: in-house, private cloud and public cloud. Thanks to this broad range of services, netgo today acts as a one-stop shop for its more than 3,000 customers throughout Germany. The product range will be further expanded in the coming years.

There are currently more than 1,000 IT system houses in Germany, most of which have a regional focus. The overall market for IT system houses is growing at a rate of more than 10 percent per year.

Benedikt Kisner, founder of netgo, says: “The IT industry is in a state of flux and is constantly changing. This requires IT companies to be highly innovative and specialized, while offering a wide range of services and products at the same time. So, we are more than happy to have the right partner, Waterland, on our side as we continue to grow in this market. Our objective is to become one of the leading IT system houses in Germany and benefit from the changes in the IT industry.”

Patrick Kruse, also founder of netgo, explains the growth strategy: “In the coming years, we will focus our acquisitions on geographical expansion as well as on broadening our portfolio in order to offer our customers even more solutions and services.”

Dr. Carsten Rahlfs, Managing Partner at Waterland, says: “netgo is a success story in the IT system house market and has a unique corporate culture and an excellent reputation. In addition, the company’s experience in acquiring smaller IT system houses puts it in an excellent position to consolidate this fragmented market in Germany by means of a buy-and-build strategy. I am convinced that the combination of the two founders’ industry expertise and Waterland’s know-how in building platforms will bring many benefits to netgo’s customers, business partners and employees”.

The transaction is subject to the approval of the competition authorities.

About netgo

With around 350 employees at 17 locations, the netgo group supports companies in an increasingly complex world on the path to digitalization.

Dynamism and agility are firmly rooted in netgo’s corporate culture. With these attributes, the group helps its clients to develop their strengths. Numerous IT specialists, technicians and consultants across the group see themselves as a team with the goal of accompanying customers on their way into the future.

Concentrated in specialized companies and at the same time united under a single banner, the netgo group is a central contact for all questions of information technology, information security and information processes. By minimizing the number of contact points and contact persons, the netgo group increases the added value of companies and public institutions.

netgo sees itself as work facilitator, process accelerator, lateral thinker, knowledge sharer, knowledge protector, mobility creator, problem solver and application enthusiast.

About Waterland

Waterland is an independent private equity investment company that helps companies realize their growth plans. With substantial financial support and industry expertise, Waterland enables its investments to accelerate growth both organically and through acquisitions. Waterland has offices in the Netherlands (Bussum), Belgium (Antwerp), Germany (Hamburg, Munich), Poland (Warsaw), the UK (Manchester), Denmark (Copenhagen) and Switzerland (Zurich). It currently manages six billion euros in equity capital.

Since its foundation in 1999, Waterland has consistently achieved above-average performance with its investments and has regularly been ranked among the top 3 of the world’s leading private equity firms in past HEC/Dow Jones private equity performance rankings.

netgo group continues its growth path: portfolio company Waterland acquires commehr and workbees

Hamburg / Borken / Berlin, July 23, 2020 – netgo, the Borken-based IT system house, is continuing to grow through targeted acquisitions: the group in the portfolio of Waterland Private Equity is taking over the majority of the two Berlin-based IT service providers commehr and workbees with a total of around 60 employees. These specialist companies primarily address the market segment of growing technology companies and serve their customers with a complete range of network and telecommunications services. netgo is thus expanding its portfolio of services and can further strengthen its market position. The sellers are the two founders, Dr. Timo Glaser and Sebastian Meyer, who will remain shareholders.

Founded in 2009, commehr GmbH accompanies innovative and growing companies on their way into the digital future. commehr is a one-stop shop for coordinated IT, telecommunications, infrastructure, and security services, from cabling to cloud management. As a comprehensive IT service provider, the company handles the complete process from consulting, project planning, maintenance, operation to support. workbees GmbH also offers its customers comprehensive support in ICT issues, from networking, intelligent office applications to efficient telecommunications solutions. The customers of commehr and workbees are principally growing companies with a need for smart work environments.

“The two dynamic and successful companies ideally complement our product portfolio, particularly in the area of managed services, and increase the cross-selling potential in the group,” says netgo CEO and founder Benedikt Kisner. “The customers of netgo as well as commehr and workbees will thus benefit even more from our one-stop shop approach in the future”. netgo, which has been in the portfolio of the Waterland investment company since autumn 2019, is growing continuously as part of a buy-and-build strategy. The most recent new additions to the group around half a year ago were the cloud provider ComNet and the business software expert MEHRWERK. With these latest acquisitions, the group now has more than 400 employees in over 20 locations in Germany. It offers its more than 3,000 customers a broad range of consulting, products and services in the business areas of hosting & storage, IT infrastructure, IT security, communication & messaging, IoT & analytics.

“We are pleased to become part of such a success story and to continue to grow together with netgo and Waterland. Both in terms of the range of products and services and the quality standards as well as the corporate culture, we fit together perfectly”, explains Sebastian Meyer, founder and future managing director of commehr and workbees.

Dr. Carsten Rahlfs, Managing Partner of Waterland, agrees: “In the still very fragmented IT system house market, we are experiencing continued strong momentum in our expansion strategy for netgo. With the two companies commehr and workbees, netgo can once again expand its managed services portfolio and open up additional customer segments. The path to becoming to one of the leading IT system houses in Germany is thus going an important step further”. Waterland has extensive experience in the field of outsourcing and digitalization through similat investments in several European countries. In German-speaking countries, partnerships currently exist with Serrala Group (payment technologies), enreach (Unified Communication) and Tineo (Enterprise IT).