AFRICA – AfricInvest, a leading pan-African mid-cap-focused private equity firm, and Gulf Capita, one of the largest and most active alternative asset management firms in the Middle East, have partnered to provide a US$51million structured loan and equity investment to iSON Xperiences.
Formerly called Ison BPO, iSON Xperiences is one of the largest outsourcing and customer service companies operating in 14 countries in Africa and India.
AfricInvest Fund III, the firm’s third generation pan-African fund, and Gulf Credit Opportunities Fund II, Gulf Capital’s second private debt fund, each provided a total debt and equity commitment of US$25.5 million of investment in the company.
Proceeds from the co-investment will be used for growth and working capital, as well as for acquiring shares from a minority investor.
“The BPO industry is an important sector for the continent of Africa, providing many opportunities for employment. AfricInvest has considerable experience investing in outsourcing companies and recognises the significant opportunities that lie ahead for iSON Xperiences,” said Hakim Khelifa, Executive Partner of AfricInvest.
“As the leading customer experience delivery partner in sub-Saharan Africa, the company is well placed to continue its geographic expansion as well as to benefit from the implementation of innovative digital strategies. We believe the iSON edge lies in going the extra mile for every client and providing a seamless experience to their end customer,” he added.
iSON Xperiences is the largest customer experience partner and delivery partner in Sub-Saharan Africa excluding South Africa., accounting for an estimated 75% of the market.
It serves 425 million telecom end-users through 27 call centres in 13 Sub-Saharan countries, South Africa and India.
Founded in 2010, iSON Xperiences launched its operations in six countries in Africa including Kenya, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger and Nigeria and in India with a focus on offering call centre services to the telecommunication sector.
The company rapidly expanded and transformed its business to offer related outsourced experience services and technology solutions for the banking and insurance (BFSI), retail, travel and hospitality, media and entertainment, aviation, and e-commerce sectors in addition to the telecommunication industry.
According to Dr. Karim El Solh, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital, this is the company’s second investment in Sub-Saharan Africa over the last year.
“We are confident that with this fresh investment, we are now on an accelerated trajectory to be the largest Customer Experience Partner company in emerging markets. We remain committed to rapid innovation and enabling business transformations in emerging markets, so as to ultimately deliver on our vision,” added Ramesh Awtaney, Founder and Chairman of iSON Group.
The deal marks the 10th investment for the US$273m AfricInvest fund III that is now more than 80% deployed.
It is the sixth investment for Gulf Capital from its US$251 million second debt fund.