Jakub Dwernicki from Poland owns two billion-dollar listed companies. They are cyber_Folks (with a valuation of $0.3 billion) and Vercom ($0.4 billion). They have 350,000 customers and 50 acquisitions to their credit. The former is a leader in hosting in Poland. The latter offers a unique platform for automating communication processes in companies. However, he dreams of a global technology holding company.
Hosting and telco companies
Dwernicki and his brother launched his first business, the hosting company Spider, in 1999. Since the beginnings were difficult, they let the BBI Tech fund enter the business. The cooperation didn’t work out. When the Internet bubble burst, BBI Tech went bankrupt, and Spider bought back his shares from the trustee. Soon after, they partnered with Incenti, a company launched by Telekomunikacja Polska (TP) and Prokom, with which they continue to develop cyber_Folks to this day. They started by building cable networks in housing estates. Shortly after buying back shares from it, they created the first VoIP platform in Poland. It provided an essential alternative to TP’s expensive international calls.
With two businesses in hand, hosting and telecommunications, they founded Vercom in 2005l It was a software house responsible for their IT services. When they built the Redlink platform, which made it easier for companies to handle faxes, emails, voice calls, and SMS calls, priorities changed. Thanks to the technology, which was initially supposed to be its side business, it grew into a tycoon with a current valuation of $0.4 billion! It happened because no one in Europe had previously dealt with multichannel communications in such a comprehensive way.
Every second email and SMS related to package delivery, doctor’s appointment, or booking goes through their system today. On top of that, 1/3 of websites lie on their servers. It was made possible by the fact that they had already started to consolidate the market in 2015 by raising $7.5 million from the 3TS fund, and they succeeded.
There was a lot of buzz about Dwernicki when he acquired MailerLite. He bought an American email marketing software developer for $100 million in 2022. After six months of negotiations, the counterparty wanted out. It was because Vercom had not presented a clear vision of how it tried to develop the company further. It was crucial to its Lithuanian owners, because part of the payment for the company depended on its future financial performance. An agreement was reached when the latter condition was exchanged for Vercom shares.
The purchase paved the way for their global expansion. For now, they are the most significant player in the hosting market, not only in Poland but also in Romania. Their Profitroom, which offers a hotel booking system, has a solid presence in South Africa and several other countries. In 2022, they released _Stores, a simple tool for putting up online stores, also gaining international popularity. They’re also working on an AI-based product to create a complex website quickly and easily. To generate it, all you have to do is enter your Tax ID number. AI will do the rest. It has been fed with data from 700,000 pages that have passed through their servers and can support SMB companies. They are also considering more acquisitions, for which they want to spend $100 million. Well, they dream of becoming a unicorn.
And what does Jakub Dwernicki do in his spare time? He races in the Polish Racing Car Championships, and with success!
Read more about Vercom here.
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