Esker: Erasing the paper chase

Eskers’ is a business model that’s not easily explained to the general public. But what doesn’t require any specialist knowledge to understand is the French company’s turnover, which went from €76 million in 2017 to €160 million five years later. Even more astonishing is the fact that two thirds of this was earned outside of France.

Posted lundi, mars 13 2023
Esker: Erasing the paper chase

Esker’s homepage states the company’s purpose as being to empower the people and improve the processes that make businesses grow. The statement works equally well when turned inward on the company itself.

In January 2023, financial consulting firm Portzamparc, known for having its finger on the corporate pulse, published its monthly list of little-known companies it expects to outperform the market in the months and years to come. Among them, a certain financial management company called Esker.

Bean counters’ favorite toy
Mention the name Esker to the average citizen of Lyon, the French city where the company is based, and you are likely to be met with a blank expression. Yet accountants, credit managers and customer service managers routinely sing its praise.

Esker operates a cloud platform and is a global leader in digital documentation. It’s promise? To supply the technology required to do away with tedious clerical tasks. Among the services it offers are contract management, supplier billing, expense receipts and debt collection.

2023 has already seen the opening of Esker's 15th subsidiary, in the Benelux

Not for nothing is Lyon known as Silicon Valley on the Rhone. Esker is part of a circle of software developers hailing from the city which, in the image of Cegid, specialize in BtoB services and are active across the globe.

Founded in 1985 by Jean-Michel Bérard, Esker’s empire extends to North America ─ its regional headquarters is situated in Madison, Wisconsin ─ Asia and Oceania, on top of its 14 locations across Europe. Over 6,000 firms rely on the services the French company provides.

Impressive growth
Even for a tech sector company, Esker’s recent growth has been remarkable. In 2017, the firm’s turnover stood at €76.1 million, 61% of which was earned outside of France. By 2021 that figure had jumped to €133.6 million, a rise of 75%. And turnover was up again in 2022, to €160 million.

While the global economy continues to stagnate, the future looks bright for Esker. In January it released its results for Q4 2022 which revealed turnover of €42.5 million, up 18% on the previous quarter. In terms of orders, the quarter was Esker’s second-best ever.

2023 has already seen the opening of its 15th subsidiary, in the Benelux, and the signing of a strategic partnership with Ecuador-based professional outsourcing company, Bpone. Work in prospect for a company which six years ago employed around 300, but now is home to a staff of over 1,000.