Accel-KKR buys Smart Communications

Accel-KKR has acquired London-based Smart Communications, a provider of business communications solutions. The seller was Thunderhead. No financial terms were disclosed.


LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Thunderhead today announced that its Smart Communications division, the leading cloud solution for customer and business communications, has been acquired by leading private equity firm Accel-KKR. This will enable Thunderhead to focus exclusively on its pioneering cloud technology for the rapidly growing customer engagement market, the ONE Engagement Hub.

Since launching in 2004, the British privately-owned software company built its Smart Communications division from an innovative start up to a recognized category leader. Thunderhead’s pioneering cloud solutions paved the way for a new era of customer and business communications. Smart Communications will now operate as an independent entity, led by the existing management team and backed by Accel-KKR.

Thunderhead will continue under the leadership of CEO and founder Glen Manchester, concentrating on its ONE Engagement Hub solution, a transformational new technology for customer engagement.

Launched in 2014, the ONE Engagement Hub is a quick-to-deploy SaaS solution designed to discover customer insight in real-time, across every interaction throughout the entire customer journey. ONE then uses that insight to help brands deliver personalized, relevant, and consistent conversations across every touchpoint, providing a completely seamless experience throughout each unique customer journey.

Glen Manchester, CEO and founder of Thunderhead, commented, “At Thunderhead, innovation has always been our inspiration and I’m extremely proud of what we have achieved. The Smart Communications team – with the backing and investment of Accel-KKR – will continue to take that business from strength to strength.

“Building on this success, we will now focus on our pioneering SaaS solution for customer engagement, the ONE Engagement Hub. As customer engagement becomes increasingly critical for brands, Thunderhead is again leading the way with innovation. Through its advanced listening and learning capabilities, ONE surfaces unique customer insight and journey behavior. It enables enterprises across all industry sectors to optimize marketing and customer retention strategies, and drive conversation-led engagement, building stronger and more valuable relationships with their customers.”

For Thunderhead, EY led the transaction with Slaughter and May advising on legal aspects of the deal.

About Thunderhead
Customers don’t talk to you because they like you. They talk to you because they need something from you. They need it now and they need it on the platform or channel that suits them today. Which may be different tomorrow. They’ll drop you like a hot potato, tell friends (and complete strangers) if you’re not up to scratch, and they’ll sign up with your competitors before you even know they’re gone. And that’s the good customers.

Your job is to make it effortless for customers to engage with you. We can help you do that. We listen to your customers, everywhere, in real-time. We join up web, mobile, high street and contact centre customer experiences, connecting them with your existing CRM system giving you a multi-dimensional view of all your customers. Now you can interact with customers as individuals. Effortless engagement just got personal.

Thunderhead immediately extends the ROI of your existing customers. Our intuitive ONE Engagement Hub allows you to act on the right customer need at the right time. For the first time, customer relationships can be effectively managed at scale. Personalized experiences for every customer, specific to their individual needs.

We listen to all customer behaviour, make sense of the customer need and use that insight to recommend next best conversations, and deliver value to customers. Helping you achieve the right customer response at decisive moments.

Intuitive software invented to revolutionize the entire Customer Engagement market and create happier, more engaged customers. Who would’ve thought of that?

Effortless engagement. Happier customers.

About Smart Communications™
Businesses around the world engage with their customers and each other everyday. As communications and interactions with customers and partners become more complex, businesses now recognize that communications increasingly take place in an interactive and real-time context and are critical to success.

The Smart Communications suite of solutions helps businesses to move beyond traditional enterprise communications using the most modern architecture and cloud capabilities.

Today, hundreds of brands globally from a diverse range of demanding industry segments including banking, insurance, government, retail and telecoms are using Smart Communications to deliver the new generation of customer and business communications.

Smart Communications is headquartered in London and serves its customers from offices located in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. To learn more, please visit

About Accel-KKR
Accel-KKR is a technology-focused investment firm with $4 billion in capital commitments. The firm invests in software and IT enabled businesses well-positioned for topline and bottom-line growth. At the core of Accel-KKR’s investment strategy is a commitment to developing strong partnerships with the management teams of its portfolio companies and a focus on building value through significant resources available through the Accel-KKR network. Accel-KKR focuses on middle-market companies and provides a broad range of capital solutions from minority-growth investments to buyouts, recapitalizations, divisional carve-outs and going-private transactions. The firm has offices in Menlo Park, Atlanta and London. For more information, please visit Accel-KKR.