IK Partners to invest in STEIN HGS

IK Partners

IK Partners (“IK”) is pleased to announce that the IK Small Cap III Fund has signed an agreement to acquire STEIN HGS GmbH (“STEIN HGS” or “the Company”), a leading B2B e-commerce specialist for barrier technology, municipality, construction site and facility management supplies. IK is investing from its dedicated pool of Development Capital and is acquiring its stake from Lennertz & Co. (“Lennertz”) and the founder, Bodo Stein; both of whom will be reinvesting alongside IK. Financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

STEIN HGS was established in 1999 by Bodo Stein and is headquartered in Seevetal, close to Hamburg. Since then, it has evolved to become the leading online retailer in its market segment with 30 employees. It serves a broad range of long-standing private and public sector customers, including small and large construction firms, local craftsmen, municipalities and facilities management firms.

With the support of Lennertz since 2019, STEIN HGS has managed to successfully grow and diversify its offering and increase its presence across its key markets. Today, it has an offering of around 200,000 individual items on its online platforms with a loyal and growing customer base.

Through this new partnership with IK, STEIN HGS aims to further develop through continued new customer acquisitions, broadening and expanding the e-commerce offering and increasing the product range. The Company will continue to be led by the CEO Stephan Otte and his team.

Stephan Otte, Chief Executive Officer at STEIN HGS, said: “We strongly feel that a partnership between STEIN HGS, IK, Lennertz and Bodo Stein will form a solid basis on which we can further develop and achieve our growth strategy. Since inception, we have continuously grown our platform and with the collaborative efforts of all investors, we are confident of achieving our joint strategic vision.”

Erol Ali Dervis, Private Equity Manager at Lennertz said: “We’re delighted with the progress STEIN HGS has made since 2019, supporting them in their growth and seizing many opportunities in the fragmented market in which they operate. With the addition of IK as an investor, we are looking forward to building upon this and strategically enhancing the Company’s position.”

Ingmar Bär, Director at IK Partners and Advisor to the IK Small Cap III Fund, said: “STEIN HGS occupies the leading position in a growing market due to the shift towards online purchasing and the Company’s strong focus on delivering the best-in-class customer service. We look forward to partnering with Stephan Otte and his team as they continue to expand the product offering and customer base while entering new markets.”

Completion of the transaction is subject to legal and regulatory approvals.

For further questions, please contact:
IK Partners
Vidya Verlkumar
Phone: +44 (0) 7787 558 193

Categories: News


Online auction house is acquired by private equity funds managed by Castik Capital – TBAuctions on path to becoming Europe’s largest online auction platform

Castik Capital


TBAuctions, created in 2018 via the merger of Troostwijk Auctions (B2B auctions) and BVA Auctions (B2C auctions), will be acquired by funds managed by Castik Capital, a manager of private equity funds focused on partnering with strong management teams to create market leaders through organic growth and buy & build. The acquisition will enable TBAuctions to accelerate its growth across the European online auction market through continued organic expansion supplemented by strategic acquisitions. Since the merger in 2018, TBAuctions has made significant investments in developing a state-of-the-art, scalable IT platform called ATLAS, which enables the business to scale and integrate future acquisitions across Europe seamlessly.

The proposed acquisition is still subject to approval by the Works Council and The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), the closing is expected at the end of this year.

Leading online auction platform

ATLAS is a clear differentiator for TBAuctions to drive the growth of the online auction space. “We see that other auction houses could only facilitate their growth and transition from physical auctions to online auctions by making substantial investments in their IT“, says Herberth Samsom, CEO of TBAuctions. “Together with the support of Castik Capital we can become one of the leading European online auction platforms. I foresee continued growth of the online auction market in Europe, in which TBAuctions will play a prominent role.

Powerful backbone with many storefronts

The growth ambition of TBAuctions, which is already present in eight European countries, has already led to an increasing pace of add-on acquisitions. The most recent is the acquisition of the Belgian company Vavato, one of the largest online auction players in the Belgian B2B and B2C market. Just like Troostwijk Auctions and BVA Auctions, Vavato will continue to operate with its own brand and online storefront within the TBAuctions group. This perfectly fits the strategy of TBAuctions of using its own scalable IT platform to auction everything from small consumer goods to complete industrial inventories and real property. Acquired companies are quickly and efficiently integrated onto the TBAuctions IT backbone, and can thus immediately benefit from the scale and efficiency as well as marketing and back-office support of TBAuctions. For sellers this means unparalleled service and a larger addressable market, and for buyers an even greater diversity of offered items.

Circular economy

According to Michael Phillips, Investment Partner at Castik Capital, TBAuctions plays an important role in the global move towards a circular economy. “Sustainable consumption – which TBAuctions is actively driving through finding new homes for second hand and second chance goods – is at the heart of the global ESG agenda. Castik is proud to support TBAuctions’ mission and believes that the company is uniquely positioned to establish itself as one of Europe’s leading online auction platforms. Especially now, as we are facing a scarcity of equipment availability due to supply chain disruptions, TBAuctions is the online platform that brings together supply and demand in Europe and beyond. We are proud that we can make an important contribution to this with our most recent partnership investment in TBAuctions.

Accelerating growth

After the merger in 2018, we focused strongly on organic growth of sellers and bidders and the efficiency of our processes. The most important aspect of this was the development of our proprietary IT Platform ATLAS,” says Samsom. “If you look at the digitization of e-commerce in general, it is striking that the world of ‘second hand’ is lagging behind in terms of digitization. This offers us unique opportunities in the marketplace. We are now ready to accelerate our growth together with our new partner Castik Capital. Castik is known for investing strongly in both organic and inorganic growth which perfectly resonates with our ambitions and goals.

In an extensive market due diligence carried out by Castik Capital, it was found that the European online auction market is highly fragmented and comprises largely of ‘local champions’ with strong regional focus and limited international scale. The exciting vision emerged that “we are at the beginning of a potential pan-European market consolidation, which is underpinned by technological development.” Michael Phillips of Castik Capital said. “TBAuctions is uniquely positioned via its state-of-the-art ATLAS platform in actively driving accelerated organic and inorganic growth.

Europe first

TBAuctions’ management team and employees will remain significant shareholders in the group. The management has unanimously indicated that it wants to drive market-leading growth in the coming years. Samsom: “For now we will first concentrate all our efforts on the fragmented European auction market. After that, we will see where our journey takes us.


TBAuctions was advised by Rothschild & Co

Castik was advised by BCG, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Emendo, PwC, Houthoff, Netlight, Houlihan Lokey, and Etribes.

About TBAuctions

TBAuctions is a leading online auction platform and marketplace for second hand and second chance goods, operating through the brands Troostwijk Auctions (B2B) and BVA Auctions (B2C) and since November 2021 also the Belgian brand Vavato. TBAuctions auctions movable and immovable goods on behalf of third parties through ATLAS, its proprietary IT platform for intelligent auctioning (IA). With over 13,000 auctions/2.75 million lots per year and over 10 million website visitors per month, TBAuctions is one of the largest online auctioneers in Europe. For more information about TBAuctions, see: www.tbauctions.com.

About Castik Capital

Castik Capital manages private equity investments. Castik Capital is a European Private Equity firm that acquires majority stakes in private and public companies, where long-term value can be generated through active partnerships with management teams­. Founded in 2014, Castik Capital is based in Luxembourg and focuses on identifying and developing investment opportunities across Europe. Castik Capital’s advisor is Castik Capital Partners GmbH, based in Munich, Germany. Investments are made by the Luxembourg-based fund, EPIC II, the second fund managed by Castik, which had its final fund close of €1.25bn in October 2020. For more information on Castik, please visit www.castik.com.

Categories: News


Practice Ignition raises $50M USD to supercharge growth for category-defining client engagement and commerce platform

JMI Equity

Tech scale-up on ambitious path to transform how professional services businesses engage clients, and get paid.

Sydney, Australia, November 18th — Practice Ignition, the world’s first client engagement and commerce platform for professional services businesses, has raised $USD50M ($AUD65M) in a Series C funding round to fuel hyper growth and scale globally.

The funding round was led by US-based JMI Equity and marks JMI’s first ever investment in Australia. Participating alongside JMI in this fundraise were existing investors Tiger Global, EVP and a number of other strategic angel investors and family office groups.

The fast-growing scale-up was founded in 2013 by accounting entrepreneur Guy Pearson and product designer Dane Thomas, with a vision to transform client engagement in professional services. Frustrated by antiquated manual processes, and late payments from clients, the pair launched Practice Ignition to help accountants and bookkeepers grow, be more efficient, and create win-win client relationships.

Practice Ignition has experienced tremendous growth since launching in 2013, almost doubling client revenues facilitated via the platform in 2021. With thousands of customers across six markets and over US$2 billion in client revenue under management, the business is on track to drive significant growth in 2022 and beyond.

Guy Pearson, CEO and Co-founder of Practice Ignition said the company is gearing up for a substantial shift as the global professional services industry faces mounting pressure to digitise their operations and customer interactions in light of COVID-19, which has accelerated digital transformation globally.

“As the world moves online, many accountants and bookkeepers are having to rapidly shift their business practices and functions to be fully digital overnight. This, together with the transition of accounting from tax compliance to advisory, means that the need to deliver engaging, quality customer interactions via technology is critical for closing deals, boosting profitability and winning and retaining clients.”

“We are creating a new category with our client engagement and commerce platform, and we’re only scratching the surface when it comes to market penetration in the global professional services industry. We are confident that the wealth of knowledge and experience JMI brings, through their long history of backing high-growth technology businesses, will be invaluable in helping us capture market share rapidly as we enter this next phase of growth.”

Practice Ignition is on an ambitious path to reshape the way the professional services industry does business with its customers through its all-in-one client engagement & commerce solution. Its unique platform integrates digital proposals, payments and automated workflows via leading business apps such as Gusto, Xero, Quickbooks and Zapier to streamline service-based commerce.

Funds raised from Series C will enable Practice Ignition to double down on growing its core key markets in APAC, North America and EMEA through further product development and enhanced marketing and sales capabilities. It will also turbocharge the company’s international expansion plans with a focus on the US through its strategic partnerships with Gusto, Intuit and Thomson Reuters.

Sureel Sheth, Principal at JMI Equity said, “Guy, Dane and the team at Practice Ignition have built a category-defining business with a world-class team.  We have been impressed by the strength of the product, the engaged and loyal customer base and the enormous potential for growth and scale globally. As an emerging leader in the accounting and broader professional services markets, Practice Ignition’s culture of innovation is unparalleled in the sector and we’re thrilled to partner as Practice Ignition embarks on this next phase of international expansion.

“Practice Ignition has all the hallmarks of a world-class SaaS platform,” said Howard Leibman, Founder of EVP. “The platform addresses a very real need amongst mid-market professional service firms to streamline and automate their processes. The high level of customer advocacy speaks to the product’s success in driving real bottom-line impact for the thousands of such firms already on the platform. With Practice Ignition having established a strong global footprint, we’re excited to continue supporting Guy, Dane and the team through the next stage of growth.”

The Series C capital raise follows a series of announcements in product innovation and growth for Practice Ignition. The company recently unveiled a partnership with Gusto to accelerate adoption and knowledge of People Advisory services.  It also announced plans to establish a new R&D team in Toronto, supporting the company’s innovation and customer expansion goals in North America, and contributing to the significant career opportunities within its high performing team globally.

About Practice Ignition

Practice Ignition is the world’s first client engagement and commerce platform for professional services businesses to streamline how they engage clients and get paid. Thousands of accounting and professional services firms around the world use Practice Ignition to win new business with impressive digital proposals, engage clients with a clear scope of work, and get paid on time by automating payment collection. Practice Ignition also integrates with leading business apps such as Gusto, QuickBooks, Xero and Zapier to automate time-consuming tasks. Founded in 2013 by a progressive accounting entrepreneur to find a better way of doing business, our goal is to help customers grow, be more efficient, and create win-win client relationships. To date, we’ve helped facilitate more than 1 Million client engagements and over $2 Billion in client payments. Practice Ignition  has offices in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa, US and the UK, with over 150 employees globally.

About JMI

JMI Equity is a growth equity firm focused on investing in leading software companies. Founded in 1992, JMI has invested in over 165 businesses in its target markets, successfully completed over 110 exits, and raised more than $6 billion of committed capital. JMI partners with exceptional management teams to help build their companies into industry leaders. For more information, visit www.jmi.com.

Media contact

Eva Yao

Sling & Stone

+61 449 899 618


Categories: News


Ardian sells its minority stake in Berlin Brands Group, a global e-commerce company, to Bain Capital


Berlin / Frankfurt am Main, September 1, 2021 – Ardian, a world leading private investment house, has signed an agreement with Bain Capital to sell its c.40-per cent minority stake in Berlin Brands Group (“BBG”), a global e-commerce company based in Berlin. Both parties have agreed not to disclose financial details of the transaction, which is still subject to the approval of the relevant regulatory authorities. Peter Chaljawski, the founder, CEO and majority shareholder, will continue to manage the company as the majority shareholder.

Berlin Brands Group is a global e-commerce company and a pioneer in direct brand marketing to end consumers (direct-to-consumer). The multi-brand company currently sells its 34 brands and 3,700 products via 100 online channels in 28 countries. The brands encompass the household appliances, consumer electronics, gardening and fitness equipment segments, and include Klarstein (klarstein.de), auna (auna.de), blumfeldt (blumfeldt.de) and Capital Sports (capitalsports.de). The company, which has been profitable since inception, currently has more than 900 employees across five countries and generated a turnover of EUR 334 million in 2020. Since Ardian became a shareholder in 2015, turnover has increased approximately fivefold, with the company’s number of employees having tripled. Through its sales channels in more than 20 European countries, the USA, China and Turkey, BBG offers its brands to more than 1.5 billion active customers globally. The company’s brand portfolio is represented on all major e-commerce platforms and is one of the world’s leading marketplace sellers on Amazon. To date, BBG generates the majority of its sales through its own brand shops. In December 2020, the company announced a comprehensive M&A strategy focussed on acquiring, integrating and scaling e-commerce brands across its platform.

Peter Chaljawski, founder and CEO of BBG, said: “As a pioneer in the direct-to-consumer business, we create, develop, buy and scale brands worldwide. With the support of Ardian, we have expanded our position worldwide as a trendsetting and agile multi-brand company. Our formula for success is to optimally combine in-depth knowledge in e-commerce with innovative brand building in order to offer our customers vibrant and attractive product worlds at an excellent price-performance ratio. Ardian has not only supported us with financial resources but has played an important role as an entrepreneurial partner and with its network in our successful internationalization, the creation of our own logistics and the development of an M&A strategy.”

Marc Abadir, Managing Director within the Ardian Expansion team in Germany, added: „BBG’s management and employees have an outstanding instinct for the trends of the future in the consumer sector and build them at an early stage with brands and products that convince consumers and testers alike. As a platform for well-known e-commerce brands, BBG has also clearly demonstrated its ability to acquire and integrate new brands. As a result, the company was able to increase its sales approximately fivefold during the period of our commitment. We are proud to have accompanied BBG on this path and have enjoyed the very strong partnership with Peter Chaljawski and his team.“


  • Ardian Team:

    • Marc Abadir, Yannic Metzger, Janine Paustian
  • Legal:

    • Willkie Farr & Gallagher (Dr. Maximilian Schwab), Raue (Prof. Dr. Andreas Nelle)
  • Financial:

    • Deloitte (Tanya Fehr)
  • Tax:

    • Taxess (Gerald Thomas)
  • Commercial:

    • McKinsey (Dr. Holger Klärner)
  • M&A Adviser:

    • GCA Altium (Tobias Schultheiss)


Ardian is a world-leading private investment house with assets of US$114bn managed or advised in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The company is majority-owned by its employees. It keeps entrepreneurship at its heart and focuses on delivering excellent investment performance to its global investor base.
Through its commitment to shared outcomes for all stakeholders, Ardian’s activities fuel individual, corporate and economic growth around the world.
Holding close its core values of excellence, loyalty and entrepreneurship, Ardian maintains a truly global network, with more than 780 employees working from fifteen offices across Europe (Frankfurt, Jersey, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Zurich), the Americas (New York, San Francisco and Santiago) and Asia (Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul). It manages funds on behalf of more than 1,200 clients through five pillars of investment expertise: Fund of Funds, Direct Funds, Infrastructure, Real Estate and Private Debt.
Ardian on Twitter @Ardian


Berlin Brands Group (BBG) is a global e-commerce company and one of the pioneers in the direct-to-consumer business. The Berlin-based hidden champion currently sells over 3,700 everyday and trendy products across 34 of its own e-commerce brands. The goal: to become one of the world’s leading e-commerce companies with a ‘global house of digital brands’.




ardian@charlesbarker.de Tel: +49 69 79409027


ardian@charlesbarker.de Tel: +49 69 79409024



a.hoschke@hoschke.de Tel: 040 36 90 50 55





Tel: +44 7815 068 387


Tel: +44 7835 770 967

Categories: News


Mecenat to partner with IK Investment Partners


IK Investment Partners (“IK”) is pleased to announce that funds advised by IK will be investing in Mecenat Holding AB (“Mecenat” or “the Company”). Financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

Mecenat is a leading marketing technology company which promotes unique discounts to its community of students and young professionals. The Company is headquartered in Gothenburg and operates across Sweden with over 4,500 vendors offering discounts and deals to more than 1.2 million students and recent graduates.

The Company was founded in 1998 by its CEO Jonas Levin and has pioneered the Swedish student discount market. The platform provides special offers across a range of products and services, including electronics, clothing, books, entertainment, sport, food and health. Notable brands include Apple, Adobe, Adidas and ASOS, in addition to service and transport providers such as state-owned train operator SJ.

Since 2018, Mecenat has extended its membership to include university alumni, expanding the platform’s reach and growth potential even further. Funds advised by IK will be investing in the business alongside Jonas Levin, who will remain as CEO. With the support of IK, Mecenat plans to build on its success and further develop its technology platform in order to ensure a continued relevant and trusted offering towards students as well as young professionals.

Jonas Levin, Founder and CEO of Mecenat, commented: “We are excited to be partnering with IK as we enter the next stage of our journey. Our success to date has been driven by remaining relevant for tomorrow’s trendsetters and students by developing our technology to connect them with the most appealing products and services from today’s leading brands. With IK’s support, we aim to further develop our business by expanding into complementary affinity groups and ensuring we remain the top-of-mind marketing channel for reaching students and young professionals.

Carl Jakobsson, Director at IK Investment Partners and Advisor to IK funds, said: “Mecenat is synonymous with trusted and unique student discounts in Sweden and has demonstrated an impressive ability to adapt to the changing dynamics of this demographic over the last two decades. We are highly excited about partnering with Jonas and his team on continuing the journey of building the Nordics’ leading marketing channel within and beyond the current affinity group focus.”

For further questions, please contact:

IK Investment Partners
James McFarlane
Phone: +44 (0) 7584 142 665
Email: jmcfarlane@maitland.co.uk

IK Investment Partners

IK Investment Partners (“IK”) is a Pan-European private equity firm focused on investments in the Benelux, DACH, France, Nordics and the UK. Since 1989, IK has raised more than €14 billion of capital and invested in 150 European companies. IK supports companies with strong underlying potential, partnering with management teams and investors to create robust, well-positioned businesses with excellent long-term prospects. For more information, visit www.ikinvest.com


Mecenat is a leading Swedish marketing technology company specialising in the delivery of world-class student discount schemes through proprietary technology. Mecenat prides itself on negotiating the very best discounts for students, alumni and young professionals; and working in close partnership with student unions, universities as well as top and emerging brands. For more information, visit www.mecenat.com

Endeit Capital invests in German-based parcelLab


First investment in newly-minted Third Fund

ParcelLab, the leading Operations Experience Management platform, announced today that it has secured a $112 million Series C funding round led by Insights Partners with Endeit Capital co-investing. Existing investors Capnamic Ventures and Coparion also contributed again. The new funding will fuel parcelLab’s global expansion and accelerate its mission to bring people and brands closer together.

ParcelLab was founded in 2015 by Tobias Buxhoidt (CEO), Julian Krenge (CTO) and Anton Eder (COO) and is headquartered in Munich. The company is focused on adding  customer experience and visibility into online post-purchase, operational processes that are traditionally opaque and full of friction.

Founders parcellab

As e-commerce becomes increasingly competitive, providing unique branded experiences will drive growth. Identifying opportunities to connect with people post-sales and build better relationships is a key differentiator. Brands that are leveraging Operations Experience Management are transforming operational complexity into opportunities to outperform in the market.

Household names like as IKEA, Puma and Lidl have partnered with parcelLab to transform their Operations Experiences. ParcelLab operates globally in 153 countries, is integrated with 150+ carriers  and sends out seven million pro-active and personalized communications every day. The company boasts impressive conversion rates and performance stats, with double-digit basket increases, over 90% open rate on emails, 25% reduction in ‘Where Is My Order?’ questions and triple-digit increase of customer reviews.

ParcelLab is the first investment of Endeit Capital’s Fund III , which is set to invest 250 million euro in Europe’s digital sovereignty over the coming years. ParcelLab will use the funding to accelerate global expansion,  extend the product suite, expand into new sectors and search for fresh talent across the globe (fully remote).

The mission of the ParcelLab team is to provide their customers with a best-in-class product. As entrepreneurs who can drive the change to make Europe more competitive and who have the ambition to become global market leaders, ParcelLab is the perfect fit for Endeit Capital’s Fund III, which builds on Endeit’s buy & build experience in growing businesses in over 25 countries.

Categories: News


Clearlake to make Strategic Investment in Web.com


Web Presence Market Leader Poised for Accelerated Growth

Santa Monica, CA, New York, NY, and Jacksonville, FL – January 5, 2021 – Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. (together with its affiliates, “Clearlake”) announced today it has signed an agreement for a strategic investment in Web.com Group, Inc. (“Web.com” or the “Company”). Affiliates of Siris Capital Group, LLC (“Siris”), which acquired the Company in 2018, will remain significant equityholders in the platform together with Clearlake. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, Web.com is a leading platform that enables businesses to establish, maintain, promote, and optimize their online presence. Web.com offers domain registration, hosting, website, and marketing services for businesses globally.  For more than 20 years, the Company has provided more than three million customers with competitive online solutions to support their changing business needs and drive results.

“Web.com provides market-leading web presence services in an attractive market segment that is seeing strong growth driven by accelerating digital transformation of small-and-medium sized businesses,” said James Pade, Partner, of Clearlake. “We look forward to partnering with Siris and leveraging Clearlake’s O.P.S.® playbook to accelerate growth.”

“This investment recognizes the strong execution of the Web.com team in providing best-in-class web presence solutions and delivering profitable growth,” said Tyler Sipprelle, Managing Director, of Siris.  “Web.com has bright prospects as a global, multi-brand web technology company, and we welcome Clearlake’s support of the business’s future growth.”


About Web.com

Web.com Group is a leading web technology company serving millions of customers around the world. Through our portfolio of brands – Network Solutions, Register.com, Web.com, CrazyDomains – we help customers of all sizes build an online presence that delivers results. Web has the breadth of capabilities and depth of knowledge to be your go-to partner in today’s always-on digital world. With our extensive product offerings and personalized support, we take pride in partnering with our customers to serve their online presence needs. Learn more at www.web.com.

 About Clearlake

Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. is a leading investment firm founded in 2006 operating integrated businesses across private equity, credit and other related strategies. With a sector-focused approach, the firm seeks to partner with world-class management teams by providing patient, long-term capital to dynamic businesses that can benefit from Clearlake’s operational improvement approach, O.P.S.® The firm’s core target sectors are technology, industrials and consumer. Clearlake currently has approximately $25 billion of assets under management and its senior investment principals have led or co-led over 200 investments. The firm has offices in Santa Monica and Dallas. More information is available at www.clearlake.com and on Twitter @ClearlakeCap.

 About Siris

Siris is a leading private equity firm that invests primarily in mature technology and telecommunications companies with mission-critical products and services, facing industry changes or other significant transitions. Siris’ development of proprietary research to identify opportunities and its extensive collaboration with its Executive Partners are integral to its approach. Siris’ Executive Partners are experienced senior operating executives that actively participate in key aspects of the transaction lifecycle to help identify opportunities and drive strategic and operational value. Siris is based in New York and Silicon Valley and has raised nearly $6 billion in cumulative capital commitments. www.siris.com.


Media Contacts

For Web.com:
Alex Sheehan
Finn Partners
+1 415-348-2734

For Clearlake:
Jennifer Hurson
Lambert & Co.
+1 845-507-0571

For Siris:
Dana Gorman
Abernathy MacGregor
+1 212-371-5999

Blair Hennessy
Abernathy MacGregor
+1 212-371-5999

Categories: News


Bolt Raises $75M, Reinforcing its Position as a Disruptive Online Checkout Platform

General Atlantic

After creating a network of millions of shoppers through hundreds of retailers, Bolt One Click introduced to help power the easiest possible shopping experience

Bolt, a leading e-commerce platform enabling fast, easy, and secure checkouts, is announcing $75M in new funding, for a total of $215M raised to-date. This latest round is co-led by General Atlantic and WestCap, two leading growth equity firms, with participation from existing investors Activant Capital and Tribe Capital. Angel investors in Bolt include founders and retail executives at Allbirds, Athleta, Crocs, Jet.com, and REVOLVE, as well as technology executives from Venmo, PayPal, and Magento.

Bolt processed over $1B in retail transactions this year, experienced a 10x increase in the size of its Bolt One Click shopper network, and is adding more than 250,000 shoppers every month. Bolt One Click is fueling this growth by exponentially increasing the number of fast checkouts among shoppers. Shoppers with an account are 60% more likely to complete a purchase when visiting a retail site that leverages Bolt.  Today, Bolt also released a new report that looks at the impact of the Bolt network in detail.

After a shopper registers for a Bolt One Click account at checkout, they benefit from a seamless checkout experience at any of the hundreds of shopping sites that utilize Bolt for checkout. More than 90% of Bolt retailers have benefitted from this network effect by serving customers that have already made purchases with Bolt at another retailer. The rate of cross-retailer activity is growing rapidly,  up 25x since the beginning of the year.

The power of Bolt One Click comes from having an enterprise retailer network with millions of shoppers. Should a shopper purchase high heels online from Badgley Mischka, they’ll benefit from the same checkout experience when they buy mascara from Milk Makeup or a new shirt from Forever 21. Should a customer purchase a watch from Swiss Gear, Bolt One Click checkout will be the default when buying camping gear from Shiftpod or a Hypervolt from Hyperice.

“We’ve spent the last five years building new capabilities, iterating on our product, and listening to customers, all so that we could get to where we are today. By first mastering the checkout experience and building a comprehensive platform, we’re now able to help retailers take advantage of our massive network of shoppers to deliver one click checkout that works even when visiting a store for the first time,” said Ryan Breslow, Founder & CEO, Bolt. “By bringing together an expert team from companies like Braintree, Stripe, Square, and Uber, we’ve solved some of the toughest and most intricate challenges associated with checkout so that any brand can trust us with what we consider to be the most crucial part of the shopper experience.”

Bolt has established itself as a leading checkout option that provides everything a retailer needs to connect with shoppers directly so they can drive loyalty and sell more. Unlike checkout plugins or wallets that add additional buttons or options that may interfere with the brand experience, Bolt is a comprehensive solution that replaces and streamlines a retailer’s default checkout. Bolt allows businesses to unify the shopper experience through custom branding, targeted merchandise upselling, and special promotions, all of which are key revenue drivers for retailers. Bolt also offers critical enterprise capabilities, such as support for alternative payment methods, integrations into back-office systems, in-depth shopper analytics, and end-to-end fraud protection.

“We’re very excited by Bolt’s innovation in creating a holistic checkout platform and bringing it to the market. We believe that this is something that retailers need, and we see checkout as an increasingly critical category in commerce,” said Anton Levy, Co-President, Managing Director, and Global Head of Technology investing at General Atlantic. “On top of this, Bolt’s One Click shopper network is growing significantly and shows real potential to level the playing field for independent brands. We’re thrilled to partner with Ryan and the Bolt team to prepare for rapid scale.”

“By bringing together speed, accuracy, and elegant design into a single best-in-class checkout platform, Bolt is changing consumer expectations for online shoppers,” said Laurence Tosi, Managing Partner and Founder, WestCap. “With more than three million shoppers in their fast growing network, Bolt offers a delightful experience for consumers visiting their favorite retailers while boosting conversion and revenue for the world’s best brands that are prioritizing checkout experience.”

Last month, Bolt announced a strategic partnership with Authentic Brand Group (ABG), one of the largest brand management companies in the world, with more than $14 billion in annual sales. The two will work together to bring a unified and seamless checkout experience across ABG retailers, allowing the company to improve the shopper experience and drive loyalty across its portfolio. Bolt is already live with Forever21 and plans to expand to other ABG portfolio companies, including Lucky Brand, Brooks Brothers, Aéropostale, Juicy Couture, Nine West, Volcom, and Nautica.

“Our partnership with Bolt allows Forever 21 the ability to push the envelope and modernizes the brands ecommerce business,” said Daniel Kulle, CEO of Forever 21. “Bolt supports our vision to make our shopping experience effortless and now enables us to offer one-click check out to the Forever 21 customer.”

About General Atlantic

General Atlantic is a leading global growth equity firm providing capital and strategic support for growth companies. Established in 1980, General Atlantic combines a collaborative global approach, sector specific expertise, a long-term investment horizon and a deep understanding of growth drivers to partner with great entrepreneurs and management teams to build market-leading businesses worldwide. General Atlantic has more than 175 investment professionals based in New York, Amsterdam, Beijing, Greenwich, Hong Kong, Jakarta, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Munich, Palo Alto, São Paulo, Shanghai and Singapore. For more information on General Atlantic, please visit the website: www.generalatlantic.com.

Media Contacts

Mary Armstrong & Emily Japlon
General Atlantic media@generalatlantic.com

Emilie Gerber
Bolt emilie.gerber@bolt.com

Categories: News


Permira Funds to Acquire Majority Stake in Boats Group from Funds Advised by Apax Partners


29 December 2020

MIAMI – December 29, 2020 – Boats Group, a leading online classifieds marketplace and technology provider for the recreational marine industry, today announced that a company backed by the Permira funds has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Boats Group from funds advised by Apax Partners. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Through its industry-leading brands – YachtWorld, Boat Trader, boats.com, Cosas De Barcos, Annonces du Bateau and Botentekoop – and integrated suite of data, marketing software and workflow tools, Boats Group’s global marketplaces connect millions of buyers and sellers of boats. Headquartered in Miami, Boats Group provides over 4,000 brokers and dealers in more than 140 countries with a comprehensive suite of technology-based marketing and software solutions, enabling them to effectively reach in-market consumers, improve their overall profitability, and manage their operations.

“Boating has never been more popular and as the foremost digital classifieds marketplace and technology provider for the industry, our growth potential has never been greater,” said Sam Fulton, CEO, Boats Group.  “Apax has been a tremendous partner in our most recent phase of growth, providing leading strategies from their digital marketplace experience. As we continue to build upon this foundation, we believe that Permira is the ideal partner for our next chapter of growth given the firm’s clear strategic vision and experience supporting successful online marketplaces. Looking ahead, we are confident we will be able to deliver more value across our platform by providing our customers with enhanced solutions and offer an exceptional experience that will help consumers around the world find the boat they love.”

“Boats Group’s ability to provide boat buyers and sellers with differentiated, network-effects powered services and solutions has made it the definitive platform for the recreational boating space, attracted a very loyal customer base, and propelled stand-out growth and profitability,” said David Erlong, Principal at Permira. “The recreational marine industry is still in the very early innings of its digitization journey with many unmet needs. We look forward to backing Sam and his team as they expand both internationally as well as into new products and services that fill these gaps to delight our consumers and customers.”

Steve Kooyers, Partner at Apax Partners, said: “When the Apax Funds carved Boats Group out of Dominion Enterprises, we saw an opportunity to accelerate growth at a well-positioned marketplace by recruiting a world class management team, investing in product innovation, and leveraging our extensive history of online classified investments. It’s been a pleasure to partner with Sam and the team to drive value for boaters, dealers, brokers and OEMs throughout North America and Europe.”

Marcelo Gigliani, Partner at Apax Partners, added “The team’s extraordinary execution is evidenced in Boats Group’s consistent growth in traffic and engagement, which have further reinforced its position as the clear leader in all its markets. We wish Boats Group and its team the very best in the years ahead.”

RBC Capital Markets served as financial advisor to Permira, and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP provided legal counsel. Evercore served as financial advisor to Apax Partners and Boats Group, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP provided legal counsel. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

About Boats Group
Boats Group owns and operates leading online boating marketplaces around the world and have been partners to brokers, dealers and OEMs in the boating industry for over 20 years. Boats Group also provides marine businesses with a comprehensive suite of technology-based marketing solutions, including advertising, lead generation, CRM, website design and hosting. Additionally, Boats Group supports brokers and dealers by providing services through its YachtCloser contract management solution, and BoatWizard, the industry’s leading inventory management system and MLS. Boats Group is headquartered in Miami, Florida, United States, with additional offices in Fareham, England, Padova, Italy and Barcelona, Spain.

About Permira
Permira is a global investment firm. Founded in 1985, the firm advises funds with a total committed capital of approximately US$50bn (€44bn) to make long-term investments in companies with the objective of transforming their performance and driving sustainable growth. The Permira funds have made over 250 private equity investments in four key sectors: Technology, Consumer, Services, and Healthcare. Permira employs over 250 people in 14 offices across Europe, North America, and Asia. The Permira funds have extensive experience investing in consumer internet and online marketplaces globally, including investments in Ancestry.com, LegalZoom, Allegro, The Knot Worldwide, FlixMoblity, Zwift, Catawiki and Full Truck Alliance.

About Apax Partners LLP
Apax Partners is a leading global private equity advisory firm. Over its more than 40-year history, Apax Partners has raised and advised funds with aggregate commitments of approximately $50 billion. The Apax Funds invest in companies across four global sectors of Tech & Telco, Services, Healthcare and Consumer. These funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies. For more information see: www.apax.com.

The Apax Funds have a strong track record of investing in online marketplace businesses throughout Europe North America and Asia, and have invested over €3 billion of equity in 11 companies that operate some of the world’s leading online marketplaces for real estate, automotive and consumer financial products. Other digital marketplace investments by the Apax Funds include AutoTrader (UK), Idealista, SouFun, Trader Corporation, Trade Me, and Baltic Classifieds Group.


For Permira

Nina Suter
Head of Communications
Tel: +44 (0) 207 632 4037
Email: Nina.suter@permira.com

Sard Verbinnen & Co
Brooke Gordon / Megan Bouchier / Devin Broda
Email: Permira-SVC@SARDVERB.com

For Apax Partners

Katarina Sallerfors
Tel: +44 207 872 6526

Kekst CNC
Tel: +1 212 521 4854
Email: todd.fogarty@kekstcnc.com

Tel: +44 20 7295 2000

Categories: News


PAI MMF enters into exclusive negotiations for the acquisition of a majority stake in MyFlower

PAI Partners

PAI MMF enters into exclusive negotiations with LFPI and Montefiore Investment for the acquisition of a majority stake in MyFlower, the leading European flower and gift digital platform operating the Interflora brand in key European markets including France, Denmark, Iberia and Italy

PAI Partners (“PAI”), a leading European private equity firm, through its fund dedicated to mid-market opportunities, PAI Mid-Market Fund (“PAI MMF”), today announces that it has entered into exclusive negotiations for the acquisition of a majority stake in MyFlower, a leading European flower and gift digital platform, from LFPI and Montefiore Investment.

MyFlower operates a portfolio of leading complementary gifting brands including Interflora, the iconic European flower and gift brand in France, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg, Iceland and Romania. Other brands operated by MyFlower include BeBloom, a direct-to-consumer flower and gift website in France; cadeaux.com, a leading player in online personalised gifts in France; and chocolats-louis.com, a nascent chocolate and other gourmet products boxes website. Together, these brands generate approximately 30 million visits online every year and, in partnership with Interflora’s network of c.9,000 affiliated florists, they delivered around four million flower bouquets and gifts to customers across Europe in 2020.

Under the impulsion of LFPI and Montefiore Investment, MyFlower has turned from a French floral transmission player into a leading pan-European gift digital platform, generating over 80% of its sales volume online. MyFlower announced last week the acquisition of Interflora Italy and will continue to share its expertise in digital customer experience and its ability to innovate and offer new services. The company’s strategy is to pursue this transformation through the introduction of new flower and gift products, continued investment in digital capabilities, the strengthening of customer experience and further expansion across Europe. PAI intends to support the existing management team in these development plans through providing access to its well-established international platform and network, and its extensive experience of digitalising consumer companies.

The transaction would be the third investment announced by PAI MMF since its launch in 2020, following the acquisitions of Amplitude Surgical, a French leader in the lower limb orthopedic prostheses market, and Angulas Aguinaga, the Spanish leader in modern fish and fish-based ready meal solutions.

The acquisition of MyFlower would remain subject to consultation with the relevant works councils, as well as customary regulatory approvals, and would be expected to complete in Q1 2021.

Stefano Drago, Partner at PAI Partners, said: “We are delighted to be given the opportunity to invest in MyFlower, a truly exciting digital transformation story, which has so far been very successfully led by Eric Ledroux. With PAI MMF, we have the platform and the appropriate experience to help the company develop further both digitally and geographically.”

Fabien Bismuth, President at LFPI, added: “MyFlower’s progress in the last few years has been edifying and it is well on its way towards becoming a truly pan-European gift digital platform. With our support, the management team has been able to carry out a number of organic developments, to complete three acquisitions, including two abroad, and to expand into new territories. LFPI has developed a strong partnership with Eric Ledroux and his team and we hope to remain active participants going forward.”

Eric Bismuth, CEO of Montefiore Investment, commented: “We are proud of the MyFlower journey and its success is a perfect illustration of Montefiore Investment’s ability to support the innovation and digitalisation of its portfolio companies, as well as their growth and expansion in France and internationally.”

Eric Ledroux, CEO of MyFlower, said: “MyFlower’s online and European development in the last five years has been tremendous and we are thankful for LFPI and Montefiore Investment’s support during this time. Since the very first discussions we have found ourselves in perfect tune with PAI, which has the right experience to help us pursue our growth plans.”

Media contacts

PAI Partners
Head of Communications: Matthieu Roussellier
Tel.: +44 20 7297 4674

Greenbrook Communications:
James Madsen / Fanni Bodri
Tel.: +44 20 7952 2000

Hugues Schmitt / Quentin Hua
Tel.: +33 1 40 70 11 89

LFPI Gestion
President: Fabien Bismuth
Tel.: +33 1 58 36 44 90

Montefiore Investment
Marion Felix / Catherine Isnard
Tel.: +33 1 47 23 90 48

President: Eric Ledroux
Tel.: +33 4 78 95 60 05

About PAI Partners

PAI Partners is a leading European private equity firm with offices in Paris, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Munich, New York and Stockholm. It manages €13.9 billion of dedicated buyout funds and, since 1994, has completed 75 transactions in 11 countries, representing over €50 billion in transaction value. PAI Partners is characterised by its industrial approach to ownership combined with its sector-based organisation. It provides the companies it owns with the financial, operational and strategic support required to pursue their development and enhance value creation. In 2020, PAI Partners launched the PAI Mid-Market Fund with the aim of undertaking investments in the form of partnerships with owners of mid-market companies throughout Europe. PAI MMF has a strong local presence in its core countries (France, Spain, Italy and Germany) while being able to leverage PAI’s experience and international platform.

About LFPI

The LFPI group is one of the leading independent and multi-strategy alternative asset managers in Europe with more than 5 billion euros under management invested in private equity (midcap), private debt, real estate as well as asset management (equities and bonds) in Europe and North America, through 7 offices and over 100 investment professionals. LFPI has announced the acquisition of Meeschaert (6 billion euros of AUM) which is still subject to regulatory approvals by ACPR and AMF.

About Montefiore Investment

Founded in 2005, Montefiore Investment is a specialist fund for the French services industry. Over 15 years, the company has demonstrated its ability to turn French SMEs into true European champions. Thanks to its strong sector experience and knowhow, Montefiore Investment successfully supports companies in their growth projects and their development. Its track record makes it one of the key mid- market private equity players in France. Based in Paris, Montefiore Investment manages over €2 billion of assets, through investments of €20 – 200 million per company. Its investments include: Interflora, Voyageurs du Monde and Isabel Marant. Montefiore Investment is also developing a complementary specialist real estate investment business.

About MyFlower

MyFlower is the holding company of the Interflora France group operating the Interflora brand, leader in floral transmission in Europe, which also owns the online pure-player “Bebloom”, as well as “Renaud Distribution”, leader in distributing supplies to florists, and cadeaux.com, the leader in online distribution of personalised gifts.

Categories: News