Providence Strategic Growth, the growth arm of Providence Equity Partners, said Sept. 5 that it acquired I’Car Systems-DATAFIRST Group. Financial terms weren’t announced. Argos Wityu is the seller. I’Car Systems-DATAFIRST Group is a French software development company for automotive manufacturers and dealers.
LONDON & PARIS & SAINT-PIERRE-DES-CORPS, France & LYON, France–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Providence Strategic Growth, the growth equity affiliate of Providence Equity Partners (“Providence”), today announced it has acquired I’Car Systems-DATAFIRST Group (“The Group”), a leading French software development company for automotive manufacturers and dealers, from Argos Wityu. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The Group will be led by Patrick Prajs – formerly CEO of DATAFIRST prior to its combination with I’Car Systems – who succeeds outgoing CEO Philippe Almouzni.
Patrick Prajs, CEO of The Group, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Providence Strategic Growth as we enter a new phase of our journey. This transaction will enable us to broaden our reach and suite of capabilities as a leading CRM and DMS provider to the automotive sector in Europe, and we remain focused on meeting the needs of our customers.”
The acquisition comes after Providence Strategic Growth’s majority investment in Imaweb in May 2019. Imaweb is one of Spain’s largest developers of Digital solutions for the automotive industry, serving both dealers and some of the best-known car brands in the world. The company developed the first Digital platform geared towards the automotive industry, which optimizes efficiency, improves customer retention and loyalty, and increases sales for car manufacturers and sellers.
Aldo Mareuse, Managing Director of Providence Strategic Growth, said: “This transaction underscores Providence Strategic Growth’s confidence in the application of leading technology to the automotive sector. Following our acquisition of Imaweb, we are well-positioned to support The Group as it helps customers with their digital transformation, and we look forward to working with Patrick and the team to realize this.”
Dany Rammal, Managing Director of Providence Strategic Growth, said: “Providence Strategic Growth looks to partner with strong managers and entrepreneurs in accelerating the growth of market-leading software companies by providing a combination of capital and industry expertise. We are excited about becoming the lead investor in I’Car Systems-DATAFIRST Group, an innovative business that holds a leadership position in the European automotive software sector.”
Philippe Almouzni, outgoing CEO of The Group, said: “I am proud to have led the successful combination of I’Car Systems and DATAFIRST, and to have overseen the integration of two companies into one stronger business. Today’s announcement ushers in a new era for the business and I leave with full confidence that the Group is in the hands of a highly capable leadership team with the right vision for its future and the backing of a formidable partner.”
About I’Car Systems-DATAFIRST Group
The Group was formed following the combination of I’Car Systems and DATAFIRST in July 2018. I’Car Systems provides an international network of auto dealers with an integrated dealer management system (“DMS”) that simplifies and streamlines dealership activity to improve the relationship between dealers and original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”). DATAFIRST develops and deploys three key modular management, marketing and sales solutions for the automotive market: Automotive CRM, Automotive DMS and Web & Business Intelligence solutions. The Group is a leading supplier of DMS and CRM solutions to the automotive sector in France and has a presence in 12 other countries across Europe.
About Providence Strategic Growth Capital Partners LLC
Providence Strategic Growth (“PSG”) is an affiliate of Providence Equity Partners (“Providence”). Established in 2014, PSG focuses on growth equity investments in lower middle market software and technology-enabled service companies. Providence is a premier global asset management firm that pioneered a sector-focused approach to private equity investing with the vision that a dedicated team of industry experts could build exceptional companies of enduring value. Since the firm’s inception in 1989, Providence has invested in more than 180 companies and is a leading equity investment firm focused on the media, communications, education and information industries. PSG is headquartered in Boston, MA, while Providence has offices in Providence, New York and London. For more information on PSG, please visit www.provequity.com/private-equity/psg, and for more information on Providence, please visit www.provequity.com.