ESPIRA Fund exits Czech call center ICON Communication Centres

ESPIRA Investments (ESPIRA), a Prague-based private equity firm investing growth capital in SME companies based in Central Europe has exited ICON Communication Centres s.r.o. (ICON), a Czech multilingual business process outsourcer (BPO) to yoummday GmbH, the marketplace and technology platform that matches independent entrepreneurs with companies needing customer service talent.

ICON has provided international companies with outsourced customer operations functions since 2003. The company was co-founded by CEO Helen Hickin after identifying Prague as an ideal nearshore location due to its geography, advantageous price point, and the depth of multilingual talent available. ICON is capable of providing complex customer interactions in 30 languages and counts several of the world’s most well-known travel, telecommunication, and education technology companies within its client portfolio.

ESPIRA and ICON’s executive management team acquired ICON in 2019 in a management buy-out transaction that aligned with the private equity firm’s diversity-oriented investment focus. Emília Mamajová, ESPIRA’s Co-Founding Partner, stated “Our goal together with the management team was to develop ICON on the international arena as a successful independent provider of high value-added services – and over the past three years Helen and her team have succeeded in reaching this objective. We congratulate them and wish the team continued success in their partnership with yoummday.”

“Over the past twenty years, the BPO sector has changed significantly, and our investment cooperation with ESPIRA was key to strengthening ICON’s positioning in this fast-changing environment. Through innovative technology, yoummday has found an exciting new way for companies to outsource operations with greater flexibility. Now is the right time for ICON’s next phase of evolution and yoummday is the ideal partner to ensure ICON’s clients continue to benefit from innovative delivery solutions”, states Helen Hickin, CEO, ICON Communication Centres.

The purchase of ICON is yoummday’s first acquisition which accelerates the company’s international expansion as it seeks to disrupt traditional BPO and contact centre models. ICON brings significant benefits and expertise with respect to native-level multilingual capability, global reach, and B2B customer experiences.

“The acquisition of ICON furnishes the opportunity to strengthen our growth strategy, which is predicated on integrating traditional BPO operators into our own proprietary marketplace platform. We look forward to working with the ICON team and weaving their unique capabilities into the yoummday brand”, emphasized Dr. Klaus Harisch, CEO and Founder of yoummday.

ICON’s C-Team will continue to operate alongside yoummday, and the ICON brand remains in in operation for the foreseeable future.

The transaction was concluded on the 20th of July 2022 and the parties have agreed not to disclose the financial details of the transaction.