Kinly CEO Robbert Bakker on acquisition of AVMI

Kinly CEO Robbert Bakker on acquisition of AVMI
Visual collaboration specialist Kinly has acquired AVMI, an AV-integrator and managed services provider, headquartered in London.

Kinly, a company formed from the merger of Viju and VisionsConnected at the beginning of 2018, has doubled its staff and rapidly increased its global reach with the AVMI acquisition. It now has locations throughout Europe, the USA and APAC, serving clients in 125 countries.

Speaking to Inavate yesterday Robbert Bakker, CEO of Kinly, said: “We’re extremely happy that we can add Hong Kong, Ireland and India to our map of the world.”

Since the brand was formed, Kinly has expanded rapidly and the AVMI acquisition follows the purchase of MK2 Audiovisueel in late 2018. In a video call on the Kinly platform, Bakker hinted at future acquisitions to expand both geographical and capability reach, while also pursuing continued organic growth. 

Bakker revealed to Inavate that Kinly had started talks with AVMI in December 2019. He also confirmed that AVMI would be fully integrated into Kinly but, while the AVMI brand will cease to exist, he said: “the employees are the company’s most important asset, and we will need them to continue to grow, including AVMI CEO Edward Cook in a pivotal role within the company. 

“We are 650 employees and we add 600 very passionate and talented AVMI colleagues, and that's the reason that we're doing it. It’s a growing business. We need the people.”

Bakker says the companies were a good match as they shared a vision, which very much falls into the globalisation trend and current demand from organisations to have standardised systems in locations scattered across the world.  

He said: “If you look at the three things we do: we design, install and maintain rooms and facilities. Secondly, we enable communication across those rooms, facilities, across multiple locations, but also countries. And thirdly, we create completely new workflows for customers based upon video technology. 

“If you look at second part, enabling customers to work better together across multiple locations, we see that happening more and more. The ask for our company is having this service globally. I think that's something that we had as a vision two and a half years ago and I think AVMI had exactly the same vision. 

“We are both creating one surface across the globe. From both perspectives, we’re adding locations.”

While many AV integrators are adding managed services to their portfolio, Kinly differentiates itself from some by offering its own technology via the Kinly Cloud platform. Bakker confirmed Kinly plans to offer the technology to AVMI clients but assured it wouldn’t create a conflict if clients wanted to remain with existing platforms. “It’s up to customers what they choose,” he said.

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