Lightrock-led Management Buyout of Mettus follows sale by EOH of its 4 information service businesses
Data, analytics and technology services company Mettus, established through the recent sale of EOH’s 4 subsidiary information services businesses, is focusing on core business growth, geographic expansion, acquisition and innovation. The new ownership structure aims to create a multibillion revenue powerhouse in 4 years, while also opening new growth avenues into other market segments.
Mettus is backed by global private equity firm Lightrock, local private equity firm Acorn Black Investments – a level 1 BEE investor – and management. The new structure and backing sets the right tone on governance, while freeing the business to innovate and focus on future growth, harnessing the wealth of resources it has at its fingertips and expanding into new regions.
CEO Vivian Pather says the backing of an established global partner with such respected credentials, especially in emerging markets, and the retention of key local know-how was the perfect outcome. But it wasn’t easy – finding the right partner has taken three years with many ups and downs along the way.
“But the wait was worth it and the focus is now very much on harnessing our core businesses while building out new geographies and innovation that will drive sustainable growth and solve problems for our customers. We know we have the right partners, the right products, people and support base to catapult forward into an extremely exciting future,” says Pather.
“We are keenly aware that some African regions and countries have immense upside potential, but also risks. Our aim is to remain highly strategic, to play to our strengths, while grasping the right opportunities across the technology, data and analytics space. We want to be a part of that upside and hope to make some interesting announcements soon,” he says.
Shakir Merali, Partner and Head of Africa at Lightrock says: “We feel privileged to have been able to help construct the new architecture under which the various business units will all be able to grow unchecked. Lightrock has a specific mission to invest capital into companies as a means of scaling not only growth, but also making a contribution to society. Mettus, with its management team ambitions unlocked, is poised for exactly this.”
Along with Lightrock and Acorn Black Investments, the Mettus management team has taken a material stake in the group. The business is gearing up to use its new-found wings to accelerate expansion and seek out new markets, while still focusing on building on its core businesses.
The 4 South African brands are all set to shine within the new structure. These companies are: Managed Integrity Evaluation Proprietary Limited (MIE), the largest background screening and vetting company in Southern Africa; Xpert Decision Systems (XDS), historically the largest locally owned credit information bureau; Hoonar Tekwurks Consulting SA (HTSA), a leader in risk analytics, regulatory risk and information management serving local and global financial services institutions; and zenAptix, a software developer with innovation in its DNA, building data platforms and analytical products based on open source technologies.
“Each of our businesses has the ability to bring unique and innovative solutions across the spectrum of risk management, identity management, digital enablement and growth opportunities for our customers across the continent,” says Premlin Pillay, the Group Executive for Strategy, Product, Data and Analytics.
“Over the past month we have renewed our vision and solidified our strategy. The different operating models have been repurposed for greater cost and process efficiencies to ensure enhanced delivery and service excellence.”
In line with the expectations of future growth, a talent acquisition drive through a graduate and internship programme was also launched, with the aim to build acritical mass of data and analytics skills. Over the next four years Mettus will look to hire at least 50 interns and intends to do more in developing local talent.
“Our new brand has meaning for us, derived from the name Metis – the Goddess of Wisdom –and this is the intent we want to signify. While we are focusing on the various components of data, AI, technology and analytics and their various components, we are not just about selling technology or data or algorithms, but want to deliver deep and meaningful insights that solve real problems, whether it’s to combat fraud through reliable vetting, reliable credit checks or cutting edge insights and solutions,” says Pillay.
“In the hard-edged world of data and algorithms we want to apply a more humanistic approach, focusing on the ethics around data, building trust with those who entrust their data and information to us and essentially using technology and data as a force for good,” concludes Pillay.
Mettus is a data, analytics and technology services company committed to using its resources, in-house intellectual property and expertise as a transformative force for good. Mettus encompasses four established South African information services brands: Managed Integrity Evaluation Proprietary Limited (MIE), Xpert Decision Systems (XDS), Hoonar Tekwurks Consulting SA (HTSA), and zenAptix.
The group intends to bring credible, unique and cutting-edge data analytical insights and solutions to the market, across the spectrum of risk management, identity management, digital enablement and growth opportunities for its customers. Set to become a multibillion revenue powerhouse by 2026 through core business growth, geographic expansion, acquisition, and innovation-driven new business growth, Mettus is backed by global private equity firm Lightrock and local private equity firm Acorn Black Investments, a level 1 BEE investor and management.
Lightrock is a global private equity platform that backs purpose-driven entrepreneur stackling the world’s biggest challenges. Lightrock invests in companies that pursue scalable and tech-driven business models around the key impact themes of people, planet, and productivity/tech for good. Lightrock’s portfolio includes more than 80 high-growth companies in 14 countries across Europe, the USA, Latin America, Asia and Africa, supported by a diverse team of over 90professionals based in 5 offices across these regions, including Lightrock’s headquarter in London. Lightrock is backed by LGT, the international private banking and asset management group, and other leading global institutions.