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Apis sells Q Link to SPE

Anna Lyudvig
May 31, 2022, 1:33 p.m.

Word count: 452

Apis Growth Fund I, a private equity fund managed by Apis Partners, has agreed to sell the whole of its interest in payment solutions provider Q Link to Sanlam Private Equity (SPE).

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Apis Growth Fund I, a private equity fund managed by Apis Partners, has agreed to sell the whole of its interest in payment solutions provider Q Link to Sanlam Private Equity (SPE).

Q Link provides payment application software to improve collection rates for the insurance industry and other third-party benefits providers in South Africa, while optimising costs.

The company facilitates collections for over 30% of all recurring retail life insurance premiums in the country, and has focused on putting customer welfare at the centre of its business model, through introducing concepts such “affordability and control” to ensure that only valid and affordable deductions are processed to payrolls.

The Fund initially invested in Q Link in 2017 and, with follow-on investments, acquired a 47% direct shareholding in the company.

During the investment period, Apis has leveraged its extensive experience in global financial services and Insurtech to assist Q Link in developing new products and driving the acquisition of Q Sure in 2019, a company which provides a cutting-edge collections platform for short-term insurance premium payments.

This sale of Q Link represents a successful exit for the firm and its LPs. SPE forms part of Sanlam Investments, the Sanlam Group’s asset management business with assets under management currently exceeding R540bn.

SPE has been active in private equity investing since 1998 and currently manages a portfolio of R4.4bn on behalf of the Sanlam Group.

SPE will obtain a majority stake in Q Link with the acquisition of shares from the Fund and other shareholders, and will continue to steer Q Link’s growth in the coming years.

“It has been a pleasure to partner with Henry Smith, Ian Thompson, and the team over the past few years and we are incredibly proud of everything they have achieved,” said Apis Partners Co-founder and Managing Partner Matteo Stefanel.

“With over 50 insurance companies and 240 insurance brokers currently served, and almost 15 million monthly deductions processed, Q Link has cemented its status as the preferred payment solutions provider for life and general insurance companies in South Africa, a status we know it will maintain under the new ownership.”

“We are delighted that Sanlam Private Equity will become part of the Q Link family,” added Apis Partners Co-founder and Managing Partner Udayan Goyal.

“With their sector-specific expertise, we are very confident that they will be able to guide Q Link successfully into the next phase of its growth.” “Working with Matteo Stefanel, Nic Smalle and the rest of the Apis team has been an enlightening experience. Matteo’s calm demeanour has really illustrated to me how valuable a calm approach in business can still drive profits and ensure that relationships are protected,” added Henry Smith, Executive Chairman of Q Link.

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