The Business

Fourth is the world’s leading provider of cloud-based (SaaS) cost control solutions to the hospitality industry. Founded in 1999 by restaurant entrepreneurs Derek and Edwina Lilley. Fourth’s real time software helps restaurants, pubs and hotel groups manage their key costs, labour, stock and purchasing more efficiently. The company has a strong track record in providing market-leading software for its international customers who include Hilton Hyatt, CenterParcs, Fuller’s, Spirit, Wagamama, Soho House, Jamie’s Italian, Carluccios, the Gordon Ramsay Group and Legoland California.

How we helped

During ECI’s investment Fourth expanded internationally, acquiring Adaco in September 2012, a US based east coast SaaS business focused on the international hotel sector, to support its US expansion strategy and in November 2014 Fourth acquired Team Hours, a transformational labour productivity business.

ECI helped support the business with the appointment of Neville Davis (as non-executive Chairman) and subsequent board level hires were made with a new CFO, Stuart Goldblatt and an International sales director. Significant investment was made in Fourth’s product including new modules and data analysis

Results and return

Fourth saw impressive growth over this four year investment period with profit and revenue growth in excess of 26% per annum (EBITDA CAGR was 26% and revenue CAGR 27%). The group also saw impressive employee growth more than doubling the number of total employees to 350 across sales and development offices in London, the US and Bulgaria.

ECI sold its shareholding to Insight Venture Partners in July 2015 delivering a multiple of 3.5x ECI’s original investment and a 35% IRR