Building a Global Leader in Expense Management

Background

Calero-MDSL is a global provider of Technology Expense Management (TEM, Managed Mobility Services, Cloud Expense Management, Call Accounting) and Financial Technology Management (Market Data Management (MDM), Index License & Application License Management, Transaction Reconciliation Reporting).

SEP originally identified predecessor company Telesoft as part of a thematic sourcing effort focused on supply chain management and spend management. We were attracted to the company’s strong customer references, large global market opportunity and entrepreneurial spirit. Through a personal relationship with company founder Thierry Zerbib, SEP acquired the business in August 2016. Thierry selected Sumeru due to our growth-oriented partnership approach with management and success in scaling enterprise software companies.

Following the Telesoft acquisition, SEP sourced an add-on investment, a UK-based company, that closed in August 2017. The merged company was renamed MDSL. The investment thesis was to expand internationally and diversify the product portfolio to create a global category leader. After the merger, SEP worked with Thierry to recruit a new CEO. With the business growing fast, SEP focused on building a management team for rapid scale.

Value Creation

Working closely with the new CEO, Charles Layne, and his team, SEP develop a detailed plan to accelerate growth and optimize the company’s operating model through strategic initiatives in Sales, Operations, Product and Engineering. Key elements of this plan included:

  • Scaling sales and marketing for global coverage while maintaining a highly efficient selling model to support strong growth
  • Building a world class customer on-boarding team to increase deployment efficiency, accelerate time-to-value and create a competitive differentiator
  • Increasing productivity in managed services through operating model transformation, process automation, and product innovation
  • Improving customer satisfaction by building on a foundation of long-term customer relationships
  • Introducing new products in adjacent markets such as Cloud Expense Management
  • Enhancing the organization though key C-level executive hires
  • Bringing on Charlotte Yates, an industry veteran, as a board member to help expand the Telco and CEO/CIO network, and provide strategic advice.

Results

Over the Sumeru hold period -

  • Revenues grew at >40% CAGR through a combination of organic growth and M&A
  • Gross Margin increased by 15 percentage points driven by innovation in invoice process automation and operating model transformation
  • The number of employees grew as the team made substantial investments across geographies to achieve global coverage, while still increasing revenue per employee
  • Expanded addressable market through new product introduction

In 2019, MDSL and Calero merged in a transaction led by Oak Hill Capital Partners.