Transactions

October 2012
Tampa, Florida
has been acquired by
Paris, France


Background

DMLT (dba Investment Café), a fast-growing provider of cloud-based, web-based services to allow the General Partners of Private Equity, Real Estate, Hedge Funds and other alternative investments to manage, report and communicate with their investors, was founded in 2001 by Mark Levey and Ken Pierce.  The pair saw the market need for a flexible, web-based reporting and communications solution for Alternative Investment managers, after being asked to consult on a project for JPMorgan’s internal private equity group.  They saw that even some of the world’s most sophisticated firms still relied on paper and postal services for these functions.

Eleven years later, Investment Café had established itself as a leader in its field, with headquarters and a development center in Tampa, Florida, and sales offices in New York, Chicago and London as well as a services group based in the Dominican Republic.  The Company’s customer base had grown to encompass some of the largest and most sophisticated managers including the Carlyle Group, Clayton Dubilier & Rice, GTCR, Hellman & Friedman, TPG and Warburg Pincus.  These clients used the Company’s suite of products to manage the entire lifecycle of Limited Partner communication, document delivery and financial reporting for their funds across multiple alternative asset classes, in the US, Europe and Asia.



M&A organized a dedicated team to work closely with Management to identify strengths and weaknesses of the Company and to identify its various strategic alternatives.  Working with Management we identified and approached parties that we believed could be interested in partnering with DMLT in some capacity.  M&A worked with Management to develop materials that would seamlessly communicate DMLT’s story, growth potential, strategy, execution plan and financial projections.  M&A leveraged its deep domain expertise, significant knowledge of the global Financial Technology universe to help manage process that involved parties from Europe, North America and Asia.  M&A helped Management frame the Company’s unique value proposition and growth potential and then spent the time with these parties to ensure that they fully understood the story.  When the process narrowed interested parties to a few, M&A advised DMLT’s co-founders on negotiation strategies to ensure common agreement in objectives.

After a full review of its options, careful consideration, and negotiation, DMLT agreed to be acquired by eFront, a company based in Paris, France and backed by Francisco Partners, a leading global private equity firm focused exclusively on investments in technology and technology-enabled services businesses.  eFront provides financial solutions software for managing alternative investments to some of the world’s largest alternative investment managers.  The fit with Investment Café’s products, people and customers, appeared perfect.  Both sides came to believe that combining the solutions offered by the two firms should enable General Partners of fund groups to purchase software from a sole provider with the functionality to handle their entire business workflow: obtaining financial information from investments, analyzing that data, and aggregating and packaging it for consumption by investors.  eFront’s global reach should also accelerate DMLT’s organic growth and provide eFront and stronger foothold in the North American market.

Marlin & Associates managed the process, assisted in the negotiations and acted as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to DMLT (dba Investment Café).

eFront Announces the Acquisition of DMLT

October 12, 2012

Acquisition to further accelerate growth in North America and provide the foundation for next-generation investor communication

eFront, a leading software provider of financial solutions for managing alternative investments, today announced the acquisition of DMLT. Based in Tampa, FL, DMLT is the market-leading provider of investor reporting and portal services for the alternative asset community.

“I am pleased to bring together two world-class organizations to better serve the global alternative investment market,” commented Olivier Dellenbach, eFront founder and CEO. “eFront and DMLT offer proven and complementary solutions. Together, these platforms will set the standard for the next generation of investor portals which are needed to facilitate the transfer of increasingly rich sets of information between parties within the AI community.”

eFront’s global operation will help deliver DMLT’s services to underserved markets across Europe, Asia and South Africa. Conversely, DMLT’s presence in North America will amplify eFront’s expansion within this region with new products and an established customer base. As a combined entity, eFront will derive more than 40% of its total revenue from North America. “The impact on this market can be substantial,” said Eric Bernstein, COO of eFront North America. “I am excited to serve general and limited partners with an expanded portfolio of solutions.”

eFront’s flagship product suites, FrontInvest and FrontAnalytics, offer comprehensive abilities for managing and analyzing investments in private equity, real estate and other asset classes. DMLT’s Investment Café solution offers a robust investor reporting system that facilitates communication between general partners and their investors.

Combined, the solution portfolio will enable general partners, fund of funds and fund administrators to execute their entire business workflow: obtaining financial information from investments, analyzing that data, and aggregating and packaging it for consumption by investors.

Ken Pierce, Co-CEO of DMLT, added, “It has been rewarding to collaborate with eFront throughout this process. I’m thrilled that we are part of a larger team with greater means to enhance our services for the benefit of both existing and new clients worldwide.”

Marlin & Associates acted as the exclusive strategic and financial adviser to DMLT.

Back to Top