Established in 2009, our aim is to generate superior long-term returns for our clients by investing and driving change in under-valued, under-researched business critical software companies.
We actively manage a portfolio of 15–20 technology-rich companies, all with low levels of financial gearing. We focus on cash flow and the compounding of cash over the long term.
Our well established team has a breadth of industry and financial experience and have worked together for over 20 years.
We build large minority equity stakes in smaller quoted companies and work with the boards of our portfolio companies to achieve their growth ambitions and unlock value.
As an owner-managed business, we personally understand the challenges and rewards of growing and scaling smaller companies. We’re significant investors in the vehicles we manage and our fees are structured to maximise investor alignment on the basis of realised returns.
Investing in the business critical software sector
The attractive financial characteristics of software companies are well understood and include:
- High levels of recurring revenues from B2B or B2B2C customers
- Well invested and IP-rich assets
- High and sustainable gross margins
- Substantial and growing international revenues
- High levels of cashflow conversion
- Negative working capital
However smaller quoted companies are often volatile, illiquid and under-researched. As a result, software companies in our target market are often ignored by mainstream investors creating significant valuation arbitrage relative to both international comparisons and private market M&A valuations.
Whilst there’s little competition for these assets, identifying and accessing them is difficult due to lack of research and liquidity. Through our extensive experience and market knowledge, as well as via our broad network, we successfully navigate the quoted smaller company market to identify and acquire stakes in software companies that match our investment criteria.
How we work with our portfolio companies
We’re challenging, supportive and above all ambitious for our portfolio companies, partnering with management teams to identify key issues and uncover fundamental strengths.
Our established team has a detailed understanding of the key levers for building businesses, having had former roles in executive and non-executive leadership.
We take considerable time to understand the business model and prospects of a company and its drivers. By uncovering fundamental strengths and working closely with management teams, often over several years, we unlock significant equity upside for our investors. When required, we actively engage and take board seats in our portfolio companies, assisting with governance and strategic issues to accelerate change and drive value.
We assist with M&A evaluation and financing, providing cornerstone funding or underwriting, and we aim to establish generous incentive arrangements.
We frequently use our wide network of industry contacts to strengthen company boards and governance.
Having Kestrel on your shareholder register naturally means that you’re playing at your best. They’re challenging, robust and ambitious for the company – just what we need.
Kestrel are extremely detailed in their approach. They ask the right questions, get to the heart of the issue and come up with good ideas.
There’s no doubt Kestrel took the time to listen to the company story and think about what was needed. We’ve really benefited from their partnership. It’s a major value-add.
"More involved and well-informed investors deliver greater value - without doubt our experience with Kestrel" - as a shareholder.
I would genuinely and without hesitation recommend Kestrel. It's been a very strong experience. They give a real value-add.
I really respect and admire our robust conversations with Kestrel - they challenge, but it's constructive and comes from years of market experience.
"The Kestrel team's individual areas of expertise combine to create in-depth and informed viewpoints, helping to maximise shareholder value."
"Kestrel combines investing with intelligent engagement."
"Kestrel gets under the skin of a business and its target markets. They are extraordinarily thorough in their approach."