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Esker to acquire majority stake in Market Dojo, enhancing its procure-to-pay suite

By Ryan Morris-Reade
Fri 7 Jan 2022

Esker, a global cloud platform and AI-driven process automation solutions provider, has reached an agreement with the shareholders of Market Dojo, 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 four years.

The Market Dojo eSourcing cloud solution was created to address the need for structured and digitised processes in procurement. The on-demand solution lets users central information, negotiate the best value for goods and services, and select suitable suppliers. 

"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," says Market Dojo.

Esker believes integrating procurement, accounting, and financial services is a major trend in the Procure-to-Pay (P2P) market. As well as developing its P2P solutions, the company addresses the demands of the P2P automation market through a combination of targeted acquisitions and value-added partnerships. 

Esker says the new merger will allow Market Dojo significant international development opportunities for its solutions. It also strengthens Esker's competitiveness in its traditional markets by integrating eSourcing as a unique key functional area, including reverse auctions, request for quotations (RFQ), request for proposals (RFP) management, supplier onboarding, and more.

"Ardent Partners research 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," says Ardent Partners founder and chief research officer, Andrew Bartolini.

"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."

Market Dojo is based in Bristol, England, 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 GBP1.3 million, growing 30% annually.

The acquisition will be completed in two stages. After completing 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

"It's a delight to join forces with Esker," says Market Dojo co-founder and CEO, Alun Rafique. "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 Brard, Esker CEO, says, "We're 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 high growth potential."
 

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