Darwin Private Equity has completed the management buyout of Esendex, a leading provider of mission-critical application-to-person SMS services to businesses, in a deal worth £11 million.
Esendex’s services are used by more than 6,500 businesses around the world to improve customer service, communicate with employees, increase operational efficiency and generate sales. Clients include Ocado, BAA Gatwick, ASOS, Addison Lee, Dun & Bradstreet, ASDA, and Virgin Media. Esendex offers a combination of web-based tools and the ability to provide clients with direct connectivity to their own systems through highly functional and flexible APIs.
Founded in 2001 by Julian Hucker and Adam Bird, Esendex has 60 staff, providing services in the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Australia, US and Germany.
Darwin is backing Esendex’s existing management team, led by CEO Geoff Love, and will look to grow the business organically and through acquisition in its existing markets and across Europe. As part of the transaction, Tim Duffy, the co-founder and former CEO of MeetingZone, the conferencing and collaboration services provider, will join the Board as Chairman.
Commenting on the sale, Geoff Love said: “Darwin’s assistance will enable Esendex to fully realise its ambition to become Europe’s leading business SMS provider. We expect to see our revenues double as we dramatically increase our share of the rapidly growing A2P SMS market.”
Founders Julian Hucker and Adam Bird added: “We are delighted that we have found a partner in Darwin who will continue to develop and grow the business and we look forward to supporting Esendex in the next phase of its development. We would also like to thank our current investors who have supported the business over the last decade.” Julian and Adam will continue to support the business as consultants and Julian will be a non-executive director.
Nick Jordan, Partner of Darwin Private Equity, commented: “Esendex has built a leading position in an attractive segment of the SMS market, supporting the innovative use of messaging across a blue chip customer base. We look forward to working with Geoff and the rest of the team to further accelerate the growth of the business and expand into new markets.”
Esendex, the business SMS experts, provide over 6,500 companies around the world with a fast, reliable and cost-effective way of keeping in touch with their customers and staff.
Young, entrepreneurial, ambitious and at the forefront of this rapidly growing market, Esendex provides services in the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Australia, US and Germany.
With direct connections to all the mobile networks and a highly reliable in-house SMS platform, Esendex provides high quality, mission-critical business messaging systems to the likes of Ocado, Virgin Media and Gatwick Airport.
About Darwin Private Equity
Darwin Private Equity LLP is an independent private equity firm investing in UK businesses with enterprise values of between £10 million and £100 million.
Darwin is currently investing from Darwin Private Equity LLP (the “Fund”) which has commitments totalling £217 million from blue chip investors including Goldman Sachs, Pantheon Ventures, LGT Capital Partners and RIT Capital Partners plc. The Fund held its final close in August 2008.
Smith Square Partners provided financial advice to Darwin Private Equity in relation to the transaction.