Nott tech firm receives private equity backing

Credit: Shutterstock.com/ asharkyu

Private equity firm HgCapital has invested in Essendex, the Nottingham tech firm that provides business messaging services across Europe.

The investment is being made from HgCapital’s Mercury Fund which focuses on growth buyouts in the technology sector across Europe. This represents a further investment into the Technology Infrastructure cluster. The terms of this transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2001, Esendex’s product portfolio includes SMS, voice, email, payment and IP-based products which are delivered over rich APIs and web applications. Over 13,000 businesses in the UK, France, Spain, Ireland, Germany and Australia rely on its services to communicate with their customers and staff. Esendex employs over 140 people across its international offices. Esendex was acquired by Darwin Private Equity in July 2013.

Esendex recently acquired SMSpubli, a leading supplier of business messaging services in Spain, to further strengthen its position in this fast-growing market.

On completion of the transaction, Esendex and SMSpubli will combine with Mobyt SpA and SMSenvoi, existing HgCapital portfolio companies, which provide similar business messaging solutions in Italy and France.

The combined group will generate more than €75 million of revenue across its wide portfolio of brands and territories. The group will be led by existing Esendex CEO, Geoff Love, and HgCapital intends to back the group to further consolidate this fast-growing sector across Europe.

Esendex demonstrates many of the business model characteristics that HgCapital looks for, including: a high proportion of recurring revenues from serving a large fragmented base of SMEs, delivering an operationally critical service and the opportunity to back a strong management team.

David Issott, a Partner in the HgCapital Mercury team, said. “We are delighted to be partnering with Geoff Love, as well as the entire management team and staff at Esendex, Mobyt, SMSpubli and SMSEnvoi.com for the next phase of their journey. We are very excited to be backing this opportunity to create a leading European champion in business messaging. We will immediately look to invest further behind the group to accelerate its growth, both organically and through further acquisitions, and we will also seek to intensify the pace of technology and product development to support the group’s customers in their deployment of high value mission critical use cases.”

Geoff Love, CEO of Esendex, commented: “This is an exciting time for mobile business messaging and the combination of these four strong businesses creates a European heavyweight in application-to-person communications.  With around 200 staff and 25,000 customers, sending some 2 billion messages a year, we are extremely well-positioned to take this fast-growing industry forward. With HgCapital’s backing for further acquisitions, as well as continuing strong organic growth, we look forward to helping even more businesses transform their communications with their customers and staff.”