DL Software, based in Paris, was founded in 2003. Over the years, the group has become a leading player in the vertical ERP market software, covering various sectors. Supported by 21 Invest in France, DL Software has structured its organization, optimized its organic growth and accelerated its buy-and-build strategy in order to lead the consolidation of its market.
21 Invest France invested in DL Software in 2017, in a P-to-P transaction, with the objective to rapidly expand the group’s position and build a leader on its market. 21 Invest had identified the resilience and attractiveness of the fragmented vertical ERP software sector and the potential to deploy a buy-and-build plan. Given its positioning and track record, DL Software was the ideal platform to execute such a strategy.
21 Invest organized the managerial transition from the founders to Jacques Ollivier as group CEO in 2018. Together, we ensured the setup of KPIs in line with software standards and implemented the the right resources to prepare the group for its future growth.
DL Software’s rapid expansion has been a combination of organic growth with a strong commercial acceleration and of an ambitious buy-and-build strategy with 9 build-ups completed in 4 years. These targeted acquisitions enabled the group to strengthen its existing verticals and/or to add new ones to its range of niche expertise. The group also accelerated its shift to cloud and SaaS-based revenues, offering
optimized visibility and resilience.
DL Software created its own ESG charter and launched various initiatives such as micro donation for 3 NGOs, 100% renewable energy contracts, a dedicated recycling policy, the increase in the number of permanent contracts, the improvement of parity and the implementation of a training policy with the corresponding certification. The ESG performance rating of the group went from B+ to A, based on 21 Invest’s annual review.
In April 2021, we sold our position in DL Software to TA Associates, generating a highly successful return for our investors. Given the quality of the management team, the solidity of the business and the potential for further consolidation, we decided to reinvest as minority shareholder, in order to support the group in its next development phase.
“This partnership is the result of a vision and a shared development project. We are very happy to support DL’s team in this ambitious strategy, which has already proven its success."
Stephane Perriquet & Fabrice Voituron, Managing Partners at 21 Invest France