Inference sold to NASDAQ-listed company, Five9


The Salter Brothers Series G (Emerging Companies) Fund invests in ASX and international listed and unlisted companies with a market capitalisation of up to $500 million. Its investment strategy focuses on established businesses in the software, financial technology, healthcare, industrials and services sectors.


The Fund is pleased to announce that one of its portfolio companies, Inference Solutions (“Inference”) was acquired in November 2020 by NASDAQ-listed cloud contact centre platform provider, Five9, Inc (“Five9”).

Salter Brothers first invested in Inference in 2016 and followed on with subsequent investments in 2018 and 2019 via its Emerging Companies and Private Equities Funds.

The sale to Five9 represents a 4.0x return on money and 75% compound IRR over the life of the investment.

This is a notable achievement, highlighting the Fund’s ability to add value through investment in unlisted companies and give investors access to a wider pool of opportunities.

About Inference Solutions

Established in 2013, Inference is a leading provider of Interactive Voice Agents (“IVA”) solutions that automate complex customer engagement tasks for clients across a host of industry verticals.

The Inference product suite provides customers the ability to support their own communication requirements through a design-it-yourself customisable cloud interface which is capable of integration with any pre-existing communication infrastructure. The company is headquartered in San Francisco and has a team of over 58 employees.

The company experienced significant growth with Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) growing at 50% CAGR over the three years to June 2020 prior to its acquisition by Five9 in November 2020.

A Long Term Involvement

Salter Brothers was involved with Inference from early 2013 in an advisory capacity, and invested its first capital in 2016. Paul Salter, Managing Director of Salter Brothers, joined the board of directors and remained a director until the sale to Five9.

The Emerging Companies Fund made two investments in the company in FY18 and FY19 totaling A$5.1m. The FY19 investment was in conjunction with Silicon Valley Investor, Peak Span Capital, who invested A$10.3m (US$8m) in the company.

INVESTMENT TIMELINE (A$’000)

Investment Summary

  • The Emerging Companies Fund invested a total of $5.1m in Inference between ordinary and preference shares in the company.
  • In November 2020, Five9, a Nasdaq listed technology company acquired Inference for US$172m, with US$142m paid up front with a potential further US$24m available in earn-out payments.
  • Investment return represents a money multiple of 4.0x return or 75% compound IRR over the life of the investment (excluding any further consideration received from the earn-out).

RETURN ON CAPITAL (A$’000)

In the Media

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Further information

If you would like to find out more about Salter Brothers Series G Emerging Companies Fund, please contact us.

Salter Brothers Asset Management Pty Limited: ABN 33 119 833 760, AFSL 308971 is the trustee of all Salter Brothers Funds.