Global cloud computing company Esker to acquire majority stake in UK-based startup Market Dojo
Esker, a global cloud platform and player in AI-driven process automation solutions for finance and customer service functions, has announced that it has reached an agreement with the shareholders of Market Dojo Limited, a UK-based eProcurement software company.
The agreement states that Esker will acquire 50.1% of the shares and voting rights in the company effective Q1 2022 and the remainder of Market Dojo shares after a period of four years.
Market Dojo’s eSourcing cloud solution was created to address the need for structured and digitized processes in procurement. Designed by procurement professionals, Market Dojo’s unique on-demand solution enables users to centralize information, negotiate the best value for goods and services, and select the right suppliers — all without requiring a complex and costly implementation process. In a world where supply chain management is a key factor for success, but can also often contain strategic risks, control of the sourcing process is critical for companies of all sizes.
Esker believes that the integration of procurement, accounting and financial services is a major trend in the Procure-to-Pay (P2P) market.
In addition to developing its own P2P solutions, Esker addresses the demands of the P2P automation market through a combination of targeted acquisitions and value-added partnerships. The merger offers Market Dojo significant international development opportunities for its solutions. It also strengthens Esker’s competitiveness in its traditional markets by integrating eSourcing as a new key functional area, including reverse auctions, request for quotations (RFQ), request for proposals (RFP) management, supplier onboarding, etc.
Andrew Bartolini, Founder and Chief Research Office, Ardent Partners: “Ardent Partners research1 has shown that more finance and procurement executives prefer to make holistic, suite-level investments instead of managing a series of one-off solution providers. Given that, it makes great sense for a best-in-class ePayables provider like Esker to extend their offering with the acquisition of Market Dojo.”
Based in Bristol, England, Market Dojo has 20 employees and over 160 customers, 60% of which are outside its domestic market, including France, the United States and the Middle East. The company has a trailing twelve-month sales revenue of 1.3M GBP, growing 30% annually.
The acquisition will be completed in two stages. Following the completion of customary due diligence in Q1 2022, Esker will acquire 50.1% of the share capital and voting rights in Market Dojo. At the end of a four-year collaboration period between the two companies,
Esker will acquire the remaining 49.9% based on the same valuation multiple used for the first stage (13 times annual recurring cloud revenue). This final stage assumes no drastic change in market conditions regarding the valuation of technology companies. During these four years, Market Dojo will operate as a standalone business unit while offering Esker and Market Dojo’s customers a leading P2P ecosystem, with Market Dojo leveraging Esker’s strong back-office, operational infrastructure and international presence
This two-stage acquisition process will allow Market Dojo’s founders and employees to accelerate their development while remaining directly incentivized to grow the business. To strengthen the involvement of Market Dojo’s management in Esker’s global success, 20% of the consideration paid will be in Esker shares, including a two-year lock-up commitment at each step.
Alun Rafique, CEO and Co-founder at Market Dojo: “It’s a delight to join forces with Esker. There is incredible synergy, not just in our solutions, but in the people and culture. The acquisition provides a great opportunity for our customers and partners. 2022 will be an exciting year for anyone interested in a P2P ecosystem and Market Dojo will be able to strengthen its position as the market leading provider of on-demand eSourcing and supplier engagement solutions.”
Jean-Michel Bérard, CEO at Esker: “We are pleased to welcome Market Dojo to the Esker family. This acquisition provides new growth opportunities in a developing market and strengthens Esker’s positioning in the global P2P arena. Additionally, Market Dojo is an excellent illustration of Esker’s strategy to invest in organic growth combined with targeted acquisitions that offer a high potential for growth.”