AfricInvest, a leading pan-African private equity firm, and Gulf Capital, one of the largest alternative asset management firms in the Middle East, have partnered for the first time to provide a $51 million structured loan and equity investment to iSON Xperiences, one of the largest outsourcing and customer experience and delivery partners operating in 14 countries in Africa and in India.
Gulf Credit Opportunities Fund II, Gulf Capitals’ second private debt fund, and AfricInvest Fund III, the firm’s third generation pan-African fund, provided a total debt and equity commitment of $25.5 million each.
Proceeds from the joint investment will be used for growth and working capital, as well as for acquiring shares from a minority investor.
iSON Xperiences is the largest customer experience and delivery partner in Sub-Saharan Africa, accounting for an estimated 75% of the market, excluding South Africa. The company’s operations serve 425 million telecom end-users through 27 call centres in 13 Sub-Saharan countries, South Africa and India.
Founded in 2010, iSON Xperiences – formerly known as iSON BPO Limited – 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.
“iSON Xperiences is another success story in Africa that we are delighted to support through this co-investment with AfricInvest,” said Dr. Karim El Solh, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital.
“This is Gulf Capital’s second investment in Sub-Saharan Africa over the last year, and we look forward to expanding our franchise across the region,” Dr. El Solh added in a statement issued this week.
Hakim Khelifa, Executive Partner of AfricInvest added that AfricInvest has considerable experience investing in outsourcing companies and recognises the significant opportunities that lie ahead for iSON Xperiences.
“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 look forward to partnering with Gulf Capital as together we accompany iSON Xperiences on this exciting path,” Khelifa continued.
The deal marks the sixth investment for Gulf Capital from its $251 million second debt fund and is the second for the company in Sub-Saharan Africa.