Date of investment:


We sat down with Richard Clancy to discuss what would happen – and that is exactly what’s been done. Everything that was promised has come to fruition. On a personal note, I have been challenged in my new role and given things to work on, but my work/life balance has never been better.

Richard Waltham
Head of Business Development

Company Overview

Retail & Sports Systems (now Jonas Sports) is the leading provider of omni-channel retail systems for the professional sports industry. Used by many of the UK’s leading football and rugby clubs, their systems allow businesses to get closer to their customers and drive outstanding sales growth.

What was the motivation for joining the Vesta family?

R&SS was founded in 2009 and run by previous Managing Director, Richard Waltham, prior to their acquisition. The team was relatively small, so Richard was responsible for much of the operation, including system design, sales, project management, installation, legal, HR and accounts.

The company was experiencing strong year-on-year growth, but this also meant that Richard’s already extensive workload was expanding too. Towards the end of a successful 2019, the time had come where changes needed to be made, with options for restructuring, reinvestment and acquisition presented to shareholders before a decision to sell was made.

One of the key things which stood out to Richard was our “buy and hold forever” ethos; knowing that the company would not be asset stripped and sold down the line was a hugely important factor in their decision. For employees – many of whom had built the business up from scratch to become the market leader in the industry – it would guarantee job security for the future and presented opportunities within the wider group if they ever outgrew their roles at R&SS.

Richard was also keen on our decentralised structure, which is operated throughout the group, as it meant that the company would continue to operate as an individual entity and remain autonomous.

Were there any challenges they were looking to overcome?

As they were expanding, R&SS were developing relationships with bigger Premier League clubs which led to increased spend on the financial and legal sides in order to effectively manage contracts. Upon acquisition, these processes were taken on in-house to be managed by the group, helping to save time and money for the business.

Previously, expansion had largely relied on the company’s outstanding reputation which brought in recommendations and referrals; however, without a clear strategy or marketing experience in the company, it would be difficult to maintain. Coming into the picture, Vesta was able to introduce new processes and expand the team so that this could be achieved.

How was the acquisition process?

We worked with Richard and the company’s lawyer to make the acquisition as fast and efficient as possible. Due diligence was completed and allowed us to take the time to evaluate how we could support the business for the years to come.

Upon completion, we came in to talk with the R&SS team and explain what Vesta Software Group was about and what we were planning. The team was also reassured of their job security, which helped to ease any nerves.

Richard wished to stay on within the business post-acquisition but wanted to step away from much of the behind-the-scenes operations. Instead, we supported him as he took on the role of Head of Business Development to spearhead their growth strategy.

How has life changed at R&SS (Jonas Sports) since the acquisition?

  • Merged and rebranded as Jonas Sports
  • Expanded the development and support teams
  • Brought in new hardware
  • Implemented flexible working - the team can work from home where desired/needed
  • Regular Town Hall meetings are held to share what is happening at the company
  • Introduced new development processes more in line with industry standards