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Maistro

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Maistro UK Ltd
TypePrivate
Founded2007; 15 years ago (2007)
Headquarters
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Phillip Shuldham-Legh (CEO)
ServicesCloud-based Procurement-as-a-Service
Websitemaistro.com

Maistro (formerly Blur Group) is a UK-based company which provides an online platform for organisations to buy and manage services within tail spend.

Services

Maistro is a UK-based technology company that provides a hybrid of platform and procurement category expertise to enable organisations to purchase and manage services within the area of tail spend (small value purchases outside of contracts).

The company has a database of over 35,000 suppliers made up of providers from the UK/Europe, AsiaPac and North America. As part of using the platform customers benefit from access to the pool of suppliers, with Maistro vetting suppliers at various levels depending on the customers preferences.

The Maistro e-procurement platform uses a mix of AI and automation to enable anyone from an organisation to buy services quickly; from scoping, tendering and shortlisting to selecting, contracting and paying suppliers, while procurement teams benefit from ‘hands-off’ visibility and control, knowing that every purchase falls within their pre-defined standards.

History

Establishment

The company was founded as Blur Group PLC in 2007 and was based in Exeter Science Park, Exeter, in the UK.[1] Its early service offerings included a b2b exchange, b-uncut.net, focused initially on the media and creative industries.[2]

Under the leadership of CEO Philip Letts (formerly CEO of Beenz.com), an investment round in Q4 2011 attracted investment from Archie Norman, among others.[3][4]

In 2012, the company claimed its 1,200th project,[5] and went public on the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in October 2012.[6][7]

In 2013, Blur raised $11.5m in a secondary round of financing[8] and opened an office in Dallas, Texas,[9] followed by raising a further $22m in May 2014.[10] Also in 2014, it claimed the third iteration of its platform was being adopted faster than anticipated.[11] In 2015, it claimed it had 65,000 service providers.[12]

Financial reporting concerns (2014-2017)

In 2014, Blur Group's stock price fell due to concerns regarding how revenue was reported. This came to light after a profit warning was released, indicating that multiple projects valued at over $100,000 were delayed until the next quarter, resulting in an 80% plunge in stock prices over previous year.[13] Blur issued four profit warnings between January 2014 and May 2015, and had to replace three CFOs in two years.[14]

An investigation led by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) was initiated to determine if Blur Group was the principal or agent with regards to the outsourcing services provided. The investigation concluded in September 2015, with the FRC welcoming the actions[15] taken by the Blur Group directors, which included making a prior year restatement to reduce reported revenues[16] and increase loss before taxes, as well as clarify the organisation's revenue recognition accounting policy.

Further financial reporting problems led to the company's shares being suspended in June 2017,[17] and reports that Blur could go into administration.[18]

2017 leadership changes

In July 2017, the company replaced its entire board.[19]

CEO Philip Letts left the company on 1 August 2017 (having presided over a share price plunge from a 2014 high of 665p to 3p),[20] Laurence Cook, appointed as chief commercial officer in November 2016, became Blur Group CEO,[21] and new chairman David Rowe slashed costs and raised £1.5 million to try to steady the company.[22] The company moved its UK office to Pynes Hill in Exeter in late 2017.[23]

Name change, delisting

In January 2018, Blur Group PLC changed its name to Maistro PLC.[24][25]

In March 2019, the company moved its offices back to Exeter Science Park.

On 28 June 2019, at the request of the company, Maistro PLC Ordinary Shares were cancelled from trading on AIM and the company became a private limited company, Maistro UK Ltd.[26]

2020-present

In October 2020, CEO Laurence Cook stepped down and strategic development director Phillip Shuldham-Legh was appointed Maistro CEO.

Former England captain and Rugby World Cup winner, Lawrence Dallaglio was company sales director until November 2022.[27]

In November 2020, the company announced it had achieved ISO27001 accreditation.[28]

Discover more about History related topics

Exeter Science Park

Exeter Science Park

Exeter Science Park is a business park in the United Kingdom for companies specialising in science and technology. It is a 26 hectares site next to junction 29 of the M5 motorway, between Clyst Honiton and the outskirts of the city of Exeter. The park is linked to the University of Exeter Innovation Centre, which provides accommodation for knowledge-intensive business start-ups. Exeter University was stimulated to develop the park by the desire to turn ideas generated at the university into products and services that could be marketed. It is managed by Peninsula Innovations, a subsidiary of Exeter University which also runs the Innovation Centre.

Exeter

Exeter

Exeter is a city in Devon, South West England. It is situated on the River Exe, approximately 36 mi (58 km) northeast of Plymouth and 65 mi (105 km) southwest of Bristol.

Beenz.com

Beenz.com

beenz.com was a website that allowed consumers to earn beenz, a type of online currency, for performing activities such as visiting a web site, shopping online, or logging on through an Internet service provider. The beenz e-currency could then be spent with participating online merchants.

Public limited company

Public limited company

A public limited company is a type of public company under United Kingdom company law, some Commonwealth jurisdictions, and the Republic of Ireland. It is a limited liability company whose shares may be freely sold and traded to the public, with a minimum share capital of £50,000 and usually with the letters PLC after its name. Similar companies in the United States are called publicly traded companies. Public limited companies will also have a separate legal identity.

London Stock Exchange

London Stock Exchange

London Stock Exchange (LSE) is a stock exchange in the City of London, England, United Kingdom. As of November 2021, the total market value of all companies trading on LSE was £3.9 trillion. Its current premises are situated in Paternoster Square close to St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London. Since 2007, it has been part of the London Stock Exchange Group. The LSE was the most-valued stock exchange in Europe from 2003 when records began till Autumn 2022 but the Paris Stock Exchange is now valued higher. The UK economic downturn is blamed.

Alternative Investment Market

Alternative Investment Market

AIM is a sub-market of the London Stock Exchange that was launched on 19 June 1995 as a replacement to the previous Unlisted Securities Market (USM) that had been in operation since 1980. It allows companies that are smaller, less-developed, or want/need a more flexible approach to governance to float shares with a more flexible regulatory system than is applicable on the main market.

Financial Reporting Council

Financial Reporting Council

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is an independent regulator in the UK and Ireland based in London Wall in the City of London, responsible for regulating auditors, accountants and actuaries, and setting the UK's Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes. The FRC seeks to promote transparency and integrity in business by aiming its work at investors and others who rely on company reports, audits and high-quality risk management.

Administration (law)

Administration (law)

As a legal concept, administration is a procedure under the insolvency laws of a number of common law jurisdictions, similar to bankruptcy in the United States. It functions as a rescue mechanism for insolvent entities and allows them to carry on running their business. The process – in the United Kingdom colloquially called being "under administration" – is an alternative to liquidation or may be a precursor to it. Administration is commenced by an administration order.

Lawrence Dallaglio

Lawrence Dallaglio

Lorenzo Bruno Nero Dallaglio, known as Lawrence Dallaglio, is an English retired rugby union player, former captain of England, and 2016 inductee of the World Rugby Hall of Fame.

Source: "Maistro", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maistro.

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References
  1. ^ "South West can be proud of AIM-listed Blur Group, Mulberry and Sutton Harbour Holdings". Exeter Express and Echo. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  2. ^ "blur Group plc Admission to Aim". Investegate.co.uk. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  3. ^ Hurley, James (17 July 2012). "No need to burn venture capital to be a tech success". The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Blur Group Raises $2M To Disrupt How Marketers Pick Creatives For Campaigns". TechCrunch. 17 April 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  5. ^ "blur Group: The pace of growth quickens as crowdsourcing group handles 1,200th brief". proactiveinvestors.com. 23 October 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  6. ^ "IPO: B2B Services Exchange Blur Group To List On LSE AIM". TechCrunch. 2 October 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  7. ^ "blur Group PLC listed on AIM". London Stock Exchange. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Blur struggles to contain its optimism as revenues surge". Financial Times. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  9. ^ "British invasion: U.K.-based technology company blur Group opens U.S. headquarters in Dallas". Dallas News. 10 April 2013.
  10. ^ "blur Group PLC – Proposed placing to raise $20.0 million and Open Offer to raise up to approximately $2.0 million". N+1 Singer. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  11. ^ "blur Group's exchange attracting larger projects with longer life-cycles". proactiveinvestors.com. 22 January 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  12. ^ "blur pulls in more consultancies to online market". Consultancy UK. 21 October 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  13. ^ "Silicon Valley veteran and blur Group CEO: 'If you're not being beaten up, you're probably not interesting'". Business Insider UK. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  14. ^ Gartside, Juliette (15 May 2015). "Blur Group loses third finance chief in two years". Guardian. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Findings of the FRC in respect of the accounts of blur Group plc". frc.org.uk. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  16. ^ "blur group makes restatements following FRC probe". AccountancyAge.com. 30 September 2015. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  17. ^ Smith, Peter (3 July 2017). "Blur Group Shares Suspended – Why We Aren't Surprised". Spend Matters. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  18. ^ Waller, Martin (24 June 2017). "Blur Group could be facing administration". Times. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  19. ^ Walsh, Dominic (14 July 2017). "Blurred vision of solace at the boss's country retreat". Times. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  20. ^ Lawson, Roger (1 August 2017). "Departures – AA and Blur". ShareSoc. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  21. ^ Farrell, Stephen (3 August 2017). "NEW CEO TAKES THE HELM AT BLUR GROUP". Insider Media. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  22. ^ Burgess, Kate (20 September 2017). "Blur's outlook still no clearer". Financial Times. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  23. ^ Finch, Hannah (1 March 2018). "Exeter's blur Group rebranded as Maistro with a positive start for 2018". devonlive. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  24. ^ "New name, new optimism at e-commerce specialist Maistro". Proactiveinvestors UK. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  25. ^ Finch, Hannah (1 March 2018). "Exeter's blur Group rebranded as Maistro with a positive start for 2018". devonlive. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  26. ^ "AIM Cancellation - Maistro Plc". ADVFN. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  27. ^ "Lawrence Dallaglio on innovation in procurement and the key to a post-Covid bounceback". blog.maistro.com. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  28. ^ "Maistro gains ISO27001 certification". blog.maistro.com. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
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