Infinite Partners-Led Consortium Acquires Fintech Firm e4

e4, a leading South African fintech firm, has been acquired by a consortium of private equity investors led by Infinite Partners, an independent private equity fund manager. The transaction will provide e4 with the capital it needs to move on to the next stage of its growth.

e4 is an innovative technology firm that offers custom, innovative solutions and services such as software development and business automation. With a focus on software as a service (SaaS), e4 leverages its technological expertise to completely transform customer processes, establishing itself as a digitalisation pioneer in South Africa. e4 has been building on its strong foundation as a leading digital transformation specialist for over 20 years, with digital enablement as a core component of its ethos.

The e4 executive team brings a wealth of experience in software development for value creation, with a track record of successfully driving diversification across industries and adjacent geographies. e4 has developed innovative solutions that address the needs of various sectors by repurposing its early-stage technology, with a notable presence in the proptech space. As a result, e4 has emerged as a key player in a number of transactional ecosystems. The e4 Group employs over 200 dedicated professionals and will launch a new group in the United Kingdom in 2021 with the goal of strengthening e4’s relationships with mortgage lenders, conveyancing firms, and other UK partners.

Infinite Partners’ strategic acquisition provides e4 with the resources and support it needs to expand its reach and continue its mission of transforming businesses through cutting-edge digital solutions. 27four is a diversified financial services group that invests money creatively and supports independent asset managers.

Infinite Partners is an African private equity fund manager that was founded in 2022 as a spin-off from Ethos Private Equity. Infinite Partners is a value and values-driven partner seeking growth investments alongside visionary management teams, founded on a foundation of ethical sustainable investing for good.

In line with an investment strategy focused on companies benefiting from digitisation and technology adoption tailwinds, Infinite Partners’ interest in e4 stems from the company’s demonstrated track record of being at the forefront of key process digitisation in both the South African and UK markets.

Infinite Partners CEO Edward Pitsi comments on the transaction’s rationale, saying, “e4’s strongest growth potential lies in continuing to do what it does very well and thus growing the penetration of its current products and following its well established ‘blueprint adoption’ in its customers. We are very excited by the growth opportunities for e4 to grow into other adjacent areas whilst retaining a strong market position in the current verticals it services. Finally, the business has recently expanded to the UK which has a TAM in excess of 10x the SA market – we will be supporting management through this expansion as it can have a material impact on ultimate outcomes. Our experience in managing growth agendas, providing strategic input and growth capital will be fundamental in supporting delivery on the opportunity set.”

Naomi Nethengwe, Infinite Partners Principal concurs, “With its proptech offering, e4 operates within digital & tech, a sector that Infinite Partners has identified as having structural growth potential. Proptech is a niche segment of the economy, and it has taken a significant amount of time and investment to build this world-class technology stack. We foresee a substantial runway for international expansion due to the exportability and global relevance of e4’s technology stack. There are also tangible opportunities to expand to other industries that are looking to reduce friction in document generation, management and storage processes.”

Chad Potter, Group Executive and Private Markets Principal at 27four says, “e4’s SaaS business model aligns with their investment strategy of focusing on mid-market businesses with potential for growth and social impact. The investment will support e4 in diversifying its SaaS offering, expanding globally, and improving its B-BBEE credentials.” He also notes e4’s highly defensive and resilient nature and sees the depth and experience of its management team as key strengths for driving innovation, as well as forming and leveraging existing customer relationships.

e4 Group CEO, Grant Phillips, says the investment is a natural fit for e4’s broader strategy. “The e4 Group has been on a successful journey of sustainable growth and expansion over the past several years. This has involved expanding our relationships and value creation with our local strategic partners as well as focusing on revenue diversification and geographic expansion. With some of these initiatives being in their infancy, the timing of this new partnership comes at an opportune time for the business. The entire consortium is aligned to the organisation’s strategy, supportive of the team tasked with executing on it and have already started providing input on additional opportunities that we have jointly identified.”

According to Phillips, the consortium’s diverse portfolio mix, and investor profile present an exciting opportunity to unlock synergies, target closer strategic relationships, and collaborate more effectively within the equity pool. “Alongside these asset-based opportunities, the enterprise also sees immense value in leveraging the many years of organisational expertise and experience within the consortium to improve how we continue our growth trajectory in a sustainable, exponential way.”

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