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Product Strategy

Marlin Equity Partners Takes a Stake in Pentalog – and Blows the Doors Off!

Frédéric Lasnier
Frédéric Lasnier
Chief Executive Officer, Pentalog

Almost a year ago, I brought out a paper which, in sum, said that we had decided to complete a financial package aimed at propelling us into another dimension. Since the arrival a few days ago of the American fund Marlin Equity Partners (Los Angeles and London), this is now a done deal. Current partners retain a majority.

saas investment

Choosing Marlin means choosing end-to-end consistency

By choosing Marlin, one of the world’s top specialists in SaaS investment, we wanted to demonstrate just how unique Pentalog is in the world of R&D services.

With a 70% digital native customer base, 85% of our revenue achieved on digital products, in agile, and 50% of SaaS customers, we have succeeded in demonstrating that our Business Model (BM) replicates that of other software companies. We are in MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) on 90% of our services and e-commerce, IoT, web platforms (FinTech, EdTech, HealthTech, social networks) and SaaS (FinTech, GreenTech, CRM, marketing and analytics), customers represent 80% of our income. The rest is made up of internet banking, e-commerce for non-digital natives (large manufacturers), and the transformation of their business model into digital products and services.

The proof is that in line with e-commerce and the SaaS sector, Pentalog saw its revenue increase during the first two quarters of 2020, by 20% and 10% respectively, replicating the resilience of the software publishing sector, web, and e-commerce platforms.

Why Pentalog? Because we offer a unique opportunity to bring together the best engineers and marketers in the world – with agility!

Marlin, used to software transactions on a global scale, is taking one of its initial steps in France, having found in Pentalog a company that has massively internationalized its revenue streams (US, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore…). We only target sectors that generate better than 15% annual growth.

Ultimately, Marlin was particularly receptive to the concept of a global engineering skills provider platform with this offering:

  • All our profiles on offering have technical skill scores that rank them among the worldwide best. Whether for Pentalog employees, whose performance ranges from the top 1%, to the top 10% worldwide or SkillValue freelancers (similar logic).
  • Our agile practices are recognized around the world by the most prestigious technology companies, who entrust us with their products.

Together, Pentalog and SkillValue unite some 1,100 engineers and digital marketers, with employment contracts in Romania, Moldova, France, Vietnam, and Mexico, and 30,000 freelancers in France, Romania, Poland, Moldova, Ukraine, and the UK.

Around the world in 2020, 750 tech companies are using Pentalog’s platform services. In 2021, we’re going to convince more than 1,000 of them!

And for our clients? An incredible ‘unfair advantage’!

It’s simple: we have partnered with one of the most successful software and technology funds in the world. With instant connection, this really is an unfair advantage for our clients – it all hangs together!

What resources?

Pentalog, which has a long history of profitability and solvency, will quadruple its financial capacity. Targeted acquisitions are possible, but organic growth remains the model that we will be promoting together. The course is clear for the USA, the UK, and Germany – we’ll have the resources for that. This operation will be completed by raising debt from banks. (We’ll return to this point.)

Want to know more about the entry of Marlin Equity Partners into Pentalog? Read the full press release.


My personal crush …

First of all, I would like to thank everyone on the two teams who worked so hard to make this conclusion possible. Thank you, Roland Pezzuto, Squadron Leader of the Marlin Patrol, for your trust in us. Thanks also to your teammates, Kieran Rafter, Paul Gaillard, and Jonny Musker.

…Nigel Clifford, ex de Symbian !

In the management and operational monitoring of the investment, I will have the privilege of working with a great gentleman, Nigel Clifford, former CEO of Symbian and Vice-President of the British Geospatial Commission. He was also the CEO of the Ordnance Survey, where he led the reform of the British Space Agency.

A new era of excellence is beginning, and we are all extremely proud of the backgrounds of our associates!

My exceptional team!

Clearly my last words, and they will be the most heartfelt, go to my fabulous team – who were amazing. First, let me mention the people who deliver operational performance every day, day after day. Without them, in a time like this, we could not have been successful. Our numbers have remained so strong that the deal was never in jeopardy. Thank you, guys and gals in dev, internal marketing, customer growth and design, and sales.

I regret that this grim time does not allow me to look you all in the eye one by one and give you a big hug, because you are brilliant and our story is so beautiful …

Then I want to talk about those who never slept, who thought this thing up, who crossed out, started again… what a job! So my thanks to you, Mathilde Passet, and you, Virginie Picault. Thank you to my dear Aleth who has been with me since the start, when we were just in our 20s. Thanks, Charles Clerfeuille. Thanks, Lila. Thank you to our legal counsel, Laurence Lapeyre and Dalila Mabrouki from Taylor Wessing. Thanks to our investment bankers, Ken Harrel and Suhail Mattoo of Pharus in New York.

And THANK YOU to the power of 10 to you, Eric Gouin, who has not left me since he was very young, barely out of school. Thanks Eric – there have been times when I made you suffer in this deal, I know that! But what talent!

Finally what would we have done without an amazing team of founders, from the Loire Valley and still all partners and most of them still working in the company! Thank you, my very dear comrades from the start: Aleth, Sophie, Aymeric, Thierry, and Olivier. If we hadn’t been together, none of this could have happened.

But there you go – that’s Pentalog: a story of talent and hard work, yes – but also, and above all, a story of loyalty and fellowship.

Finally, I cannot complete this paper without mentioning my parents, stakeholders from the very start, who have always supported me. Thanks, Dad, for your ongoing advice throughout these 27 years of Pentalog. Thank you, Mom, for never trying to talk me out of taking this route when I was just graduating from university.

I am proud today of reaching this stage, and it is indeed only a stage, because by the time you read these lines, the crazy space race of our SuperRocket will already be rushing forward.

Fasten your seat belts – I mean, your harness – and get ready for 10G!

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