Record-breaking fundraising of €486 million for Qonto, to further accelerate European growth and become the finance solution for 1 million SMEs and freelancers by 2025

KKR

January 11, 2022

Paris, January 11 2022 – Qonto, the leading European business finance solution, announced today it has raised €486 million in Series D funding, bringing Qonto’s valuation to €4.4 billion. With this fundraising – one of the largest ever in French history – Qonto sets a new record valuation for a French scale-up. This latest round is jointly led by new investors Tiger Global and TCV, in addition to eight other new contributors: Alkeon, Eurazeo, KKR, Insight Partners, Exor Seeds, Guillaume Pousaz, Gaingels and Ashley Flucas. They will join current investors Valar, Alven, DST Global and Tencent who are all renewing their support by participating in this new funding round.
Since its launch in France in 2017, Qonto has been committed to building the first all-in-one finance solution for SMEs and freelancers. Qonto simplifies everything from everyday banking and financing to bookkeeping and spend management, allowing its customers to focus on what truly matters. The company currently has more than 220,000 clients across four markets (France, Germany, Italy, and Spain). With this new funding round, Qonto’s ambition is to become the finance solution of choice for 1 million European SMEs and freelancers by 2025.
To support its high-level goals, Qonto will:
Continue expanding its product offer through in-house development, new strategic partnerships and potential acquisitions to ensure it offers its clients the best product available on the market;
Further grow its market penetration across Germany, Italy and Spain and new markets. In 2021, the company opened local offices in Barcelona, Berlin and Milan to fully tailor its offer to each market and lay down roots in those local ecosystems to foster closer partnership. Qonto is expanding particularly rapidly across these markets: the company has quadrupled its revenue over the past two years. Qonto will further accelerate its strong momentum across Europe by investing over €100 million in each market (Germany, Italy and Spain) over the next two years. Qonto also plans to reinforce its European leadership by launching in new markets by 2023. In 2025, it is expected that 75% of new clients will come from outside France.
Recruit new talent and quadruple its team to more than 2,000 by 2025, 50% of new hires to be based outside of France. In part, this will be achieved thanks to the creation of a new Customer Support Operations Hub, to be based in Barcelona and designed to maintain its outstanding customer support while further scaling. To reinforce its international recruitment strategy and meet the expectations of an increasingly agile and mobile talent pool, the company will also launch a European “Qonto Campus” program to enable international mobility between the local offices.
Alexandre Prot, co-founder and CEO of Qonto: “Since our launch in 2017, we’ve constantly strived to create the finance solution that energizes SMEs and freelancers, empowering them to achieve more. This new Series D funding round is an amazing opportunity for us to accelerate our hyper-growth trajectory by investing in our product, our customer service and our power to attract new talents. This funding round reveals the incredible dynamism of the French and European Tech ecosystem. We count on policymakers
to continue their efforts to ensure entrepreneurship can succeed, leading to European and global champions that deliver innovation. This is only the beginning of our journey to best serve SMEs and freelancers and we couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds for us and our ambitions. The Qonto team is honored to welcome the most prestigious international investors to support our mission to become the leading business finance solution.”
John Curtius, Partner at Tiger Global: “Qonto has revolutionized business finance for SMEs and freelancers by marrying simplicity with a unique all-in-one service. The company has seen a significant increase in clients across its European markets during the coronavirus pandemic. This also shows that customers’ needs are evolving during these unprecedented times. We have tracked Qonto’s incredible growth for some time and are delighted to partner with the entire Qonto team and support their mission to serve a rapidly growing European market.”
“We at TCV love to back visionary founders and could not be more excited to partner with Alexander, Steve and the rest of the Qonto team, said John Doran, General Partner at TCV. “We look forward to supporting them as they continue to bring best-in-class banking and finance solutions to millions of SMEs and freelancers across Europe.”

PayFit Raises €254M to Continue Transforming HR Technology

General Atlantic

Now valued at €1.82B, the startup aims to strengthen its position in its current markets

PayFit, a leading payroll and HR management solution for SMEs, today announced that it has raised €254M in a Series E funding round, a record-breaking amount for a French human resources (HR) startup. General Atlantic, a leading global growth equity firm, led the round, with participation from existing investors Eurazeo, Bpifrance and Accel Ventures. PayFit plans to use the funds to recruit additional top talent, accelerate the development of innovative new products, and increase its market share across Europe.

PayFit’s mission is to simplify payroll and HR management, which has become even more important in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the many complexities it has introduced for companies in managing human capital. The company provides a leading next-gen payroll solution that automates complex and time-intensive HR processes, particularly for the underserved small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) and micro-SME segment. PayFit’s proprietary technology platform enables HR managers to easily conduct payroll calculations in markets with complex regulatory requirements, a key differentiator amidst the fast-growing market for HR technology.

Since its founding in 2015, PayFit has gained over 6,000 clients, and has raised €179M to date, prior to this funding round. Its €90M Series D funding round, which closed in March, supported the company in the continued innovation of its current product suite and hiring of 300 new employees, reinforcing its leadership in the European HR tech sector. Based in France, PayFit has successfully expanded into three additional major European markets – Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom – and plans to scale from more than 700 current employees to over 1,000 within the next 12 months. The expansion of the PayFit team has included key senior leadership hires across critical business functions spanning technology, finance, operations, and more.

PayFit will leverage the proceeds from its Series E round to deepen its penetration in existing markets, invest in its core automated payroll software offering, and continue to expand its SME-tailored solution across HR management by complementing leaves/absences and expenses with interview assessment functionality, among other features to be launched in 2022.

Firmin Zocchetto, CEO and cofounder of PayFit explained: “PayFit’s expansion beyond France into the UK, Spain and Germany demonstrated further validation of our innovative offering and our capacity to scale up. As we look ahead, we plan to use these new funds to deepen our presence in our existing markets, where we have significant growth potential. At PayFit, we are proud to have built a company with strong foundations, where people are happy to work and that can have a real impact on our clients. This Series E funding will allow us to maintain the rapid growth we have achieved since our founding.”

Chris Caulkin, Managing Director and Head of Technology for EMEA at General Atlantic, commented: “PayFit has built an innovative and disruptive product supporting the payroll and HR management needs of SMBs across Europe. We see great opportunities ahead for the company as it extends its product offering and continues to capture market share in France and across Europe. We are delighted to support PayFit and its management team in this next chapter of growth.”

PayFit marks General Atlantic’s seventh investment in France’s technology ecosystem over the last five years, a region in which the firm has strong conviction.

About Payfit

Launched in 2015 by Firmin Zocchetto, Ghislain de Fontenay and Florian Fournier, PayFit

revolutionizes and simplifies payroll and HR processes for companies. Fast, intuitive and automated, PayFit allows employers to easily and independently manage payroll and human resources, saving them valuable time and allowing employees to access a dedicated online space. The company’s ambition is to support the digital transformation of human resources in companies through a 100% reliable SaaS solution that provides a unique experience for its users.

More info: payfit.com

About General Atlantic

General Atlantic is a leading global growth equity firm with more than four decades of experience providing capital and strategic support for over 445 growth companies throughout its history. Established in 1980 to partner with visionary entrepreneurs and deliver lasting impact, the firm 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 scale innovative businesses around the world. General Atlantic currently has over $86 billion in assets under management inclusive of all products as of September 30, 2021, and more than 215 investment professionals based in New York, Amsterdam, Beijing, Hong Kong, Jakarta, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Munich, Palo Alto, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Stamford.

More info: generalatlantic.com

About Eurazeo

Eurazeo is a leading global investment group, with a diversified portfolio of €21.8 billion in Assets Under Management, including €15.0 billion from third parties, invested in over 450 companies. With its considerable private equity, real estate and private debt expertise, Eurazeo accompanies companies of all sizes, supporting their development through the commitment of its nearly 300 professionals and by offering deep sector expertise, a gateway to global markets, and a responsible and stable foothold for transformational growth. Its solid institutional and family shareholder base, robust financial structure free of structural debt, and flexible investment horizon enable Eurazeo to support its companies over the long term. Eurazeo has offices in Paris, New York, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, London, Luxembourg, Frankfurt, Berlin and Madrid.

More info: eurazeo.com

About Bpifrance and Large Venture

Bpifrance’s equity investments are carried out by Bpifrance Investissement. Bpifrance finances

companies – at every stage of their development – in credit, collateral and equity. Bpifrance supports them in their innovation projects and internationally. Bpifrance also ensures their export activity through a wide range of products. Consulting, university, networking and acceleration programs for start-ups, SMEs and ETIs are also part of the offer proposed to entrepreneurs. Thanks to Bpifrance and its 49 regional offices, entrepreneurs benefit from a close, unique and efficient contact to help them face their challenges.

With €1.75 billion, Large Venture is Bpifrance’s venture growth fund dedicated to high-potential

technology companies, with the aim of fostering the emergence of French champions, future world leaders in their markets. Large Venture is active in governance and has a long-term vision. It is always in a co-investment approach with a lead or follower positioning. Large Venture participates in fundraising projects of more than €20m with a minimum initial investment of €10m. The fund has already invested in more than 55 companies since its creation in 2013.

More info: bpifrance.fr

About Accel partners

Accel is a global venture capital firm that is the first partner to exceptional teams everywhere,

from inception through all phases of private company growth. Arista, Atlassian, Braintree, Celonis, CrowdStrike, Deliveroo, DJI, Dropbox, Etsy, Facebook, Flipkart, Freshworks, Jet, Kayak, Lynda.com, Qualtrics, Rovio, Rows, Slack, Spotify, Supercell, Swiggy, Tenable, UiPath, Venmo and Webflow are among the companies the firm has backed over the past 35+ years. We help ambitious entrepreneurs build iconic global businesses.

More info: accel.com

Media Contacts

Emily Japlon & Casey Gunkel
General Atlantic media@generalatlantic.com

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Athene to Acquire Petros PACE Finance, a Leading Provider of Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) Financing

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Apollo Global
Investment to Expand National, Direct Origination Platform, Meet Growing Investor Demand for ESG Assets

NEW YORK and HAMILTON, Bermuda, Dec. 20, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Athene Holding Ltd. (NYSE: ATH) (“Athene”), an industry-leading financial services company focused on retirement savings solutions, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Petros PACE Finance, LLC (“Petros PACE Finance” or the “Company”), a leading provider of Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (“C-PACE”) financing to owners and developers of commercial properties throughout the United States.

Since 2016, Petros PACE Finance has originated over $700 million in long-term, fixed-rate financing for energy efficiency, water efficiency, renewable energy and resiliency projects. C-PACE financing is active in 27 states and the District of Columbia and is secured by a special property tax assessment that provides a more affordable financing alternative to mezzanine debt and equity across a variety of commercial properties, including office, hospitality and retail. In June 2021, Petros closed the largest-ever single C-PACE transaction and the first in New York City of $89 million, opening what is estimated to be the largest C-PACE market in the country and helping institutional sponsors fund commercial properties’ carbon reduction plans.

The investment in Petros PACE Finance will be managed by the team at Apollo (NYSE: APO), Athene’s strategic asset management partner, and together Apollo and Athene expect that the Company will accelerate its rapid growth in C-PACE financing driven by new market expansion, sustainable construction and regulatory climate mandates. Following completion of the transaction, Petros co-Founders Mansoor Ghori and Jim Stanislaus will continue to lead the Company and retain a minority interest along with other members of management.

“This transaction is a compelling opportunity to partner with the Company and its best-in-class team at the center of the ESG movement in commercial real estate, while building on our longstanding strategy of investing in businesses that add direct origination sourcing capabilities to our alpha-generating investment portfolio,” said Jim Belardi, Chairman and CEO of Athene. “Climate concerns, tenant demand and legislative mandates are driving developers to look for new opportunities to make properties more energy efficient, and Petros PACE Finance is the industry leader providing flexible funding solutions to meet those needs. The Company’s successful track record and range of capabilities – from refinancings to originating new loans – are a clear advantage in a massive and rapidly growing market, and we are eager to support the platform. We look forward to working together as a funding partner to provide environmentally focused financing solutions to an even broader segment of the real estate industry.”

Mansoor Ghori, Co-Founder and CEO, and Jim Stanislaus, Co-Founder and CFO, of Petros PACE Finance, added, “Partnering with Athene and Apollo opens up many exciting possibilities for our team to rapidly scale our C-PACE business and accelerate growth of the Company. The vast resources and expertise of our new partners will provide crucial support and new opportunities to leverage our best-in-class direct origination capabilities to go deeper into the capital stack and provide more comprehensive solutions for our clients, while shaping the future of the C-PACE industry. This will be a significant advantage as we further expand into major metropolitan areas like New York City, Chicago and New Jersey.”

“Under Mansoor and Jim’s leadership, Petros Pace Finance has delivered strong risk-adjusted returns, driven by a world-class origination team and secured by the robust credit ratings of the underlying C-PACE assets,” said Apollo Co-President Jim Zelter. “For Apollo and Athene, Petros PACE Finance is highly complementary to our portfolio of diversified origination platforms and positioned for significant growth as more property owners seek financing for clean energy projects.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022.

CIBC Capital Markets is serving as financial advisor to Athene, and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Sidley Austin LLP are serving as legal advisors to Athene. Barclays is serving as financial advisor to Petros, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Winston & Strawn LLP are serving as legal advisors to Petros.

About Apollo

Apollo is a high-growth, global alternative asset manager. We seek to provide our clients excess return at every point along the risk-reward spectrum from investment grade to private equity with a focus on three business strategies: yield, hybrid and equity. Through our investment activity across our fully integrated platform, we serve the retirement income and financial return needs of our clients, and we offer innovative capital solutions to businesses. Our patient, creative, knowledgeable approach to investing aligns our clients, businesses we invest in, our employees and the communities we impact, to expand opportunity and achieve positive outcomes. As of September 30, 2021, Apollo had approximately $481 billion of assets under management. To learn more, please visit www.apollo.com.

About Athene

Athene, through its subsidiaries, is a leading retirement services company with total assets of $224.4 billion as of September 30, 2021 and operations in the United States, Bermuda, and Canada. Athene specializes in helping its customers achieve financial security and is a solutions provider to institutions. Founded in 2009, Athene is Driven to Do More for our policyholders, business partners, shareholders, and the communities in which we work and live. For more information, please visit www.athene.com.

About Petros

Petros PACE Finance, LLC is the national leader in the C-PACE marketplace, dedicated solely to providing long-term C-PACE financing to commercial property owners seeking to lower energy costs, reduce their carbon footprint and increase property values and meet environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals. Its leadership team has decades of executive-level experience in private credit and structured finance, with direct long-term institutional investor relationships. With billions in committed capital, Petros is able to close transactions in eligible C-PACE markets nationwide. To learn more about Petros PACE Finance visit our website at www.petros-pace.com.

Safe Harbor for Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains, and certain oral statements made by Athene’s representatives from time to time may contain, forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, events and developments to differ materially from those set forth in, or implied by, such statements. These statements are based on the beliefs and assumptions of Athene’s management and the management of Athene’s subsidiaries. Generally, forward-looking statements include actions, events, results, strategies and expectations and are often identifiable by use of the words “believes,” “expects,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “seeks,” “estimates,” “projects,” “may,” “will,” “could,” “might,” “should,” or “continues” or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements within this press release include, but are not limited to, statements regarding future growth prospects and financial performance. Factors that could cause actual results, events and developments to differ include, without limitation: the accuracy of Athene’s assumptions and estimates; Athene’s ability to maintain or improve financial strength ratings; Athene’s ability to manage its business in a highly regulated industry; regulatory changes or actions; the impact of Athene’s reinsurers failing to meet their assumed obligations; the impact of interest rate fluctuations; changes in the federal income tax laws and regulations; the accuracy of Athene’s interpretation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act; litigation (including class action litigation), enforcement investigations or regulatory scrutiny; the performance of third parties; the loss of key personnel; telecommunication, information technology and other operational systems failures; the continued availability of capital; new accounting rules or changes to existing accounting rules; general economic conditions; Athene’s ability to protect its intellectual property; the ability to maintain or obtain approval of the Delaware Department of Insurance, the Iowa Insurance Division and other regulatory authorities as required for Athene’s operations; the delay or failure to complete or realize the expected benefits from the proposed merger with Apollo Global Management; and other factors discussed from time to time in Athene’s filings with the SEC, including its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2021 and its other SEC filings, which can be found at the SEC’s website www.sec.gov.

All forward-looking statements described herein are qualified by these cautionary statements and there can be no assurance that the actual results, events or developments referenced herein will occur or be realized. Athene does not undertake any obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes to future operating results.

Athene Contacts:

Media Investors
Kelly Woerdehoff Alex Pelzar
AVP, Corporate Communications Investor Relations Director
(515) 342-5144 (646) 768-7316
kwoerdehoff@athene.com apelzar@athene.com

Apollo Contacts:

Media Investors
Joanna Rose Noah Gunn
Global Head of Corporate Communications Global Head of Investor Relations
(212) 822-0491 (212) 822-0540
Communications@apollo.com IR@apollo.com


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Source: Apollo Global Management, Inc.; Athene Holding Ltd.

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Athene and Apollo to Acquire Majority Stake in Fast-Growing Consumer Lending Platform Aqua Finance at Valuation of Approximately $1 Billion

Apollo Global

Blackstone to Maintain Minority Investment in Aqua Finance

Specialist Platform on Track to Originate $2 Billion of Loans in 2021

NEW YORK, Nov. 29, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Athene (NYSE: ATH) and Apollo (NYSE: APO) today announced that Athene has agreed to acquire a controlling stake in Aqua Finance (“Aqua” or the “Company”), a fast-growing consumer lending platform, from funds managed by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities (“Blackstone”) at a valuation of approximately $1 billion. Under the terms of the transaction, Apollo will manage the investment on behalf of Athene. Blackstone would also maintain a minority stake in the Company.

Aqua Finance is a Wisconsin-based specialist lending platform that originates and services consumer loans, primarily for home improvement and water treatment. The Company has strong and growing merchant relationships formed over 30 years and has nearly doubled its annual loan originations since Blackstone first invested in 2018, with originations expected to reach $2 billion in 2021.

“Aqua Finance is an exciting opportunity for Athene to invest in a leading consumer finance platform, to provide capital and expertise to continue to grow the business, and to execute on our strategy with Apollo to invest in high-quality origination platforms,” said Jim Belardi, Chief Executive Officer of Athene.

“We are excited to partner with this new investor group as we enter the next stage of expansion for Aqua. I am proud of the significant progress we have made in establishing Aqua as an industry leader together with Blackstone and look forward to building on that strong foundation in the years ahead,” said Rich Morrin, Aqua’s Chief Executive Officer.

“For more than three decades, Aqua has partnered with merchants to provide flexible consumer lending solutions, and with Athene we look forward to investing in the business and supporting the Aqua team to build on this success,” said Apollo Co-President Jim Zelter. “For Apollo and Athene, Aqua is highly complementary to our portfolio of diversified origination platforms, extending our access to quality consumer loan flow.”

Menes Chee, a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, and C. C. Melvin Ike, a Principal at Blackstone, said, “We are pleased to have backed Aqua, Rich, and his management team as they built a strong financial technology platform serving customers across the country. We look forward to continuing to support the business and its next phase of growth.”

Aqua Finance has a long history of partnering with merchants across the home improvement and recreational ecosystem to provide dependable and flexible financing solutions to their customers. Through this transaction, the new investor group expects to invest in new technology and innovation to further enhance the merchant customer experience and drive expansion of the network with new and existing partners.

The addition of Aqua Finance will increase Apollo’s current $80 billion annual run-rate of asset origination across its platforms, which span commercial and consumer lending. Apollo’s portfolio of proprietary origination platforms help the firm to originate high-quality, recurring assets for its investors, including Athene.

The transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including certain regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the first half of 2022. Lazard and Goldman Sachs are serving as financial advisors and Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP as legal counsel to Blackstone and Aqua Finance. Sidley Austin LLP is serving as legal counsel to Apollo.

About Apollo
Apollo is a high-growth, global alternative asset manager. We seek to provide our clients excess return at every point along the risk-reward spectrum from investment grade to private equity with a focus on three business strategies: yield, hybrid and equity. Through our investment activity across our fully integrated platform, we serve the retirement income and financial return needs of our clients, and we offer innovative capital solutions to businesses. Our patient, creative, knowledgeable approach to investing aligns our clients, businesses we invest in, our employees and the communities we impact, to expand opportunity and achieve positive outcomes. As of September 30, 2021, Apollo had approximately $481 billion of assets under management. To learn more, please visit www.apollo.com.

About Athene
Athene, through its subsidiaries, is a leading retirement services company with total assets of $224.4 billion as of September 30, 2021 and operations in the United States, Bermuda, and Canada. Athene specializes in helping its customers achieve financial security and is a solutions provider to institutions. Founded in 2009, Athene is Driven to Do More for our policyholders, business partners, shareholders, and the communities in which we work and live. For more information, please visit www.athene.com.

About Blackstone
Blackstone is the world’s largest alternative investment firm. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, and the communities in which we work. We do this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Our $731 billion in assets under management include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, life sciences, growth equity, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com. Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone.

Athene Safe Harbor for Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains, and certain oral statements made by Athene’s representatives from time to time may contain, forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, events and developments to differ materially from those set forth in, or implied by, such statements. These statements are based on the beliefs and assumptions of Athene’s management and the management of Athene’s subsidiaries. Generally, forward-looking statements include actions, events, results, strategies and expectations and are often identifiable by use of the words “believes,” “expects,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “seeks,” “estimates,” “projects,” “may,” “will,” “could,” “might,” “should,” or “continues” or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements within this press release include, but are not limited to, statements regarding future growth prospects and financial performance. Factors that could cause actual results, events and developments to differ include, without limitation: the accuracy of Athene’s assumptions and estimates; Athene’s ability to maintain or improve financial strength ratings; Athene’s ability to manage its business in a highly regulated industry; regulatory changes or actions; the impact of Athene’s reinsurers failing to meet their assumed obligations; the impact of interest rate fluctuations; changes in the federal income tax laws and regulations; the accuracy of Athene’s interpretation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act; litigation (including class action litigation), enforcement investigations or regulatory scrutiny; the performance of third parties; the loss of key personnel; telecommunication, information technology and other operational systems failures; the continued availability of capital; new accounting rules or changes to existing accounting rules; general economic conditions; Athene’s ability to protect its intellectual property; the ability to maintain or obtain approval of the Delaware Department of Insurance, the Iowa Insurance Division and other regulatory authorities as required for Athene’s operations; the delay or failure to complete or realize the expected benefits from the proposed merger with Apollo Global Management; and other factors discussed from time to time in Athene’s filings with the SEC, including its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2021, and its other SEC filings, which can be found at the SEC’s website www.sec.gov.

All forward-looking statements described herein are qualified by these cautionary statements and there can be no assurance that the actual results, events or developments referenced herein will occur or be realized. Athene does not undertake any obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes to future operating results.

Contacts

For Apollo:
Investors:
Noah Gunn
Global Head of Investor Relations
(212) 822-0540
IR@apollo.com

Media:
Joanna Rose
Global Head of Corporate Communications
(212) 822-0491
Communications@apollo.com

For Athene:
Investors:
Alex Pelzar
+1 646 768 7316
apelzar@athene.com

Media:
Marcia Kent
+1 515 342 3918
mkent@athene.com

For Blackstone:
Matt Anderson
Matthew.Anderson@blackstone.com
518-248-7310

 


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Source: Apollo Global Management, Inc.

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Espresso portfolio company Bento Technologies acquired by U.S. Bank

San Francisco and Chicago — October 14, 2021 — Bento Technologies, a leading expense management platform designed to simplify and consolidate complex financial services for the SMB segment, and an Espresso Capital portfolio company, has been acquired by U.S. Bank. The acquisition, which closed on August 31, will help U.S. Bank — the fifth largest banking institution in the United States — bring payments and banking services together to simplify cash flow and money management for small businesses.

“We’re thrilled for the Bento team and pleased to have been able to help them achieve such a fantastic outcome,” says Espresso Capital Director, Mark Gilbert. “The capital we provided helped fuel the company’s tremendous growth. Their size, combined with the impressive fintech platform they’ve built, made them a great strategic fit for U.S. Bank. Congratulations to everyone involved in this amazing achievement.”

Earlier this year, Espresso extended a $6 million credit facility to Bento for Business. The facility allowed the company to make strategic enhancements to its platform while scaling the organization.

“Partnering with Espresso helped position us for this extraordinary exit,” says Guido Schulz, the former CEO of Bento for Business, who is now an Executive Advisor at U.S. Bank. “They structured a great deal for us that allowed us to grow our business and negotiate our way to a very successful outcome. We couldn’t be happier.”

The acquisition is set to close in September. Bento’s other existing investors include Edison Partners, Blumberg Capital, and Comcast Ventures.

About Bento for Business

Bento for Business is dedicated to modernizing the way small and mid-size businesses manage and unlock value from their working capital. Bento is the partner of choice for businesses that want a modular financial operating platform for their cash flow and spend management needs. Bento’s strategic partners also expand to the banks, payment networks and processors that want to provide digital treasury management and business banking suite options for their customers. Co-located in Chicago and San Francisco, Bento is an award-winning SMB fintech solution led by veteran financial service executives and backed by leading financial technology investors. For additional information, visit Bento for Business, Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Espresso Capital

Espresso empowers companies with innovative venture debt solutions. Since 2009, we’ve helped more than 300 technology companies and their investors accelerate growth, extend runway, and increase strategic flexibility with non-dilutive capital. Learn more at espressocapital.com.

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Cinven to make majority investment in True Potential

Cinven

International private equity firm, Cinven, today announces it has reached an agreement to make a majority investment in True Potential (‘the company’), one of the fastest growing and most innovative financial services groups in the UK. Financial details of the transaction are not being disclosed.

True Potential operates across the wealth management value chain, providing advice, investment platform and fund solutions to more than 1.4 million retail clients in the UK. The company has a highly scalable business model, having built a bespoke and proprietary technology platform to serve both financial advisers and clients.

Headquartered in Newcastle, UK, True Potential was founded in 2007 by Chairman David Harrison and CEO Daniel Harrison. The business employs more than 350 people and works with more than 800 restricted advisers. Approximately 20% of the financial adviser market in the UK uses True Potential’s technology and support services.

True Potential is expected to have in excess of £20 billion of assets under management (‘AuM’) and to generate c. £135 million of EBITDA for the year ending 31 December 2021, reflecting the company’s strong growth over the past five years, during which time AUM and EBITDA have grown at CAGRs of more than 30% and more than 40%, respectively.

Cinven’s Financial Services team, working closely with Cinven’s TMT team, identified True Potential as a compelling investment opportunity with several key attractions:

  • Leading value proposition for clients and strong focus on customer outcomes reflecting its hybrid advice offering, which facilitates frequent adviser interactions both digitally and in-person, access to a range of diversified funds and low all-in fee structure;
  • Attractive market dynamics in the UK wealth management sector, with high levels of recurring revenues and low asset churn, supported by structural market growth given demographic changes and initiatives to address the savings gap in the UK;
    Proprietary and scalable technology platform, which allows for seamless adviser and client journeys, enhances end-client engagement and provides economies of scale as the business grows;
  • Differentiated business model for financial advisers with efficient onboarding processes facilitating accelerated adviser recruitment, a key contributor to True Potential’s strong growth momentum within an adviser market that remains highly fragmented;
  • Track record of high growth delivering outstanding financial performance, with a significant proportion of recurring revenues and strong organic cash conversion enabling continued investment in adviser recruitment and the technology platform to drive further growth; and
  • High calibre and proven management team, led by founders, David Harrison (Chairman), Daniel Harrison (CEO), Neil Johnson (CFO), Mark Henderson (Head of True Potential Investments) and Earl Glasgow (Head of Distribution).

Caspar Berendsen, Partner at Cinven, commented:

“True Potential has a truly differentiated business model within the UK wealth management sector, where there are strong structural growth drivers. The company provides attractive services and products to financial advisers and their clients, using technology to anticipate and meet customer demands in the future as well as now.

“The combination of Cinven’s longstanding track record in both Financial Services and TMT, along with True Potential’s strong management team and integrated business model, will support the company’s future growth. In particular, this transaction will enable continued investment in True Potential’s financial adviser recruitment and its technology platform.

“The Cinven team looks forward to working with the excellent management team, in particular the founder-owners of the business, to support the existing strategy, building on the company’s significant growth potential and success.”

David Harrison, Chairman of True Potential, said:

“We identified Cinven as the right partner for True Potential’s next phase of growth due to their Financial Services and TMT expertise. Their investment will enable us to continue to deliver on our mission to revolutionise the way wealth management is provided. We have a shared vision and I am certain that this investment in True Potential alongside the existing management expertise will deliver continued growth for many years to come.”

Daniel Harrison, CEO of True Potential, stated:

“Our aim in this process was always to find the right partner with the same values that would benefit our clients, financial advisers and staff. In Cinven we have found that partner. The financial advice and investment markets are constantly evolving but we have grown consistently over 14 years by being bold, digital-first and client-focused. This investment and exciting partnership will continue that trend.

“I look forward to working closely with Cinven and continuing to lead the business as we provide the best possible service to our clients and advisers.”

This transaction follows Cinven’s recent investments in the financial services sector, including Miller, a leading specialist insurance and reinsurance broker; Compre, a specialist global consolidator of closed books of non-life insurance policies; NewDay, a leading UK consumer finance company; and Premium Credit, a leading UK provider of premium finance for commercial and retail insurance products.

The investment also builds on Cinven’s TMT investments in software businesses with financial services offerings including Drake Software, a leading provider of tax preparation software, and Visma, a provider of software for accounting, tax and payroll applications.

The transaction is subject to customary anti-trust and regulatory approvals.

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Ardian invests in Nova Reperta, a Brussels-based consultancy

Ardian

22 July 2021 Growth Belgium, Brussels

This investment marks Ardian Growth’s first deal in Belgium

Paris & Brussels, July 22nd, 2021 – Ardian, a world leading private investment house, today announces the acquisition of a stake in Nova Reperta, a Brussels-based management consultancy.

Nova Reperta was founded in 2011. In 2018 the company expanded its activity to create an office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Nova Reperta employs over 50 people, advising clients including Toyota Motor Europe, Le Pain Quotidien, Carglass, Dela, Visma|Raet en Lecot.

Nova Reperta is today a reference in company-wide change programs that include both back- and front-stage transformations. Nova Reperta realizes this by strengthening the operating model and value creation plans of its clients – often through combining operational excellence, client centricity, agility and digital acceleration.

With Ardian Growth’s support, the company will be able to accelerate its growth, expanding its services, organic market expansions and targeting strategic acquisitions across Europe. It will also allow Nova Reperta to strengthen its digital capabilities to serve the complex and evolving needs of clients across for example insurance, energy and mobility sectors.

Filip Leflot, Partner of Nova Reperta, commented: ”With the Ardian Growth team on board, we will be able to invest in our digital transformation and data analytics services as well as launch new unique services on the market. More specifically, it is an opportunity to bring into the capital of Nova Reperta a renowned international investor. Ardian, alongside our partners, will help us achieve our goal of becoming a leader and trusted business partner for future transformation journeys.”

Nick Dieltiens, Partner Automotive & Mobility Industry, Customer Experience Practice, added: “The capabilities of our talented and experienced team will ensure that we stay ahead of future market shifts and guarantee our approach remains resilient.”

Florian Dupont, Senior Investment Manager in Ardian Growth team, commented: “We have been impressed by the quality of the team. This investment aligns with our commitment to support ambitious and disruptive entrepreneurs. We want to leverage our expertise and network to implement organic growth as well an active buy-and-build strategy across Europe.”

Romain Chiudini, Managing Director in Ardian Growth team added: “After several investments in Italy and Spain, and growth in new geographies like Germany and Switzerland, we are very excited to now sign our first deal in Belgium with Nova Reperta. This investment confirms our position as a leading European strategic growth partner.”

ABOUT ARDIAN

Ardian is a world-leading private investment house with assets of US$112bn 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 750 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.

ABOUT NOVA REPERTA

Nova Reperta is a Brussels & Amsterdam based management consulting company founded in 2011. With a strong foundation in operational excellence, Nova Reperta specializes in both back- and front-stage transformations. It is today a reference in company-wide change programs, addressing the overall operating model and value creation plans of its clients – through client centricity, agility and digital acceleration.
Set up by a mix of seasoned consultants and managers sharing a strong entrepreneurial drive, Nova Reperta is now a team of about 50+ professionals obsessively focused on creating impact with our clients. That goal attracts ambitious, entrepreneurial people who naturally combine soft and hard skills. And that immediately evokes the five core values that tie us together: entrepreneurial, pragmatic, inclusive, trustworthy and always exploring.

LIST OF PARTIES INVOLVED

  • Nova Reperta

    • François Barbellion, François Delfosse, Filip Leflot, Carl Annicq, Nick Dieltiens, Eljakim Caus Ardian: Romain Chiudini, Florian Dupont
  • Ardian

    • Ardian Financial advisors: Crowe (Thomas Corbineau, Julien Latrubesse)
    • Ardian Legal advisors: Winston (Nicola Di Giovani, Sidney Rosenberg, Camille Clauss)
    • Company M&A advisors: VD&P (Laurent Linkens)
    • Company Legal advisors: Backer & McKenzie (Luc Meeus)
    • Senior Bankings: KBC (Guy Wyn, Bart Martens)

Press contacts

ARDIAN – Headland

VIKTOR TSVETANOV

VTsvetanov@headlandconsultancy.com +44 207 3435 7469

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Ngern Tid Lor debuts TIDLOR shares in the SET

CVC Capital Partners

Emphasising its strong fundamentals based on distinctive business model driven by technological innovations, together with continuous and sustainable growth potentials

Ngern Tid Lor Public Company Limited debuts its shares, TIDLOR, in the Stock Exchange of Thailand today. An IPO of TIDLOR has become the largest IPO ever in the Finance and Securities Sector in Thailand as well as one of the top five largest equity IPOs in the history of the Thai equity capital market, with the total offering size of THB 38,089 million (including an overallotment option) and the market capitalisation at the IPO price of THB 84,643 million, demonstrating Ngern Tid Lor’s strong fundamentals as the leading vehicle title loan provider and top 3 retail-focused insurance broker with rapid growth. Driven by technological innovations and omni-channel distribution platform, Ngern Tid Lor is ready to take its success in listing in the SET to another level by expanding its network of branches and boosting efficiency. The company plans to continue to invest in improving technological and digital platforms in order to maintain its leadership status and create sustainable growth opportunities. Stabilisation activities will be in place for a period of no more than 30 days after the first trading date to support stability of the share price in the secondary market.

Mr. Piyasak Ukritnukun, Managing Director of Ngern Tid Lor PCL, states that the TIDLOR shares will make its debut in the SET today (May 10, 2021). “This is a very important day for Ngern Tid Lor, and we are honored to join the stock exchange of Thailand. Ngern Tid Lor is one of Thailand’s leading financial inclusion companies in the fragmented title loan and general insurance brokerage businesses, we are on a mission to help promote sustainable economic development by helping people gain access to fair, responsible, and transparent financial products and services. Our rapid growth has been driven by our strong corporate culture, unique omni-channel, distribution platform, reputable brand, and innovative products and services.”

Ngern Tid Lor’s IPO is the largest IPO ever in the Finance and Securities Sector in Thailand as well as one of the top five largest equity IPOs in the history of the Thai equity capital market, with the total offering size of THB 38,089 million (including an overallotment option) and the market capitalization at the IPO price of THB 84,643 million. TIDLOR IPO had received an overwhelming interest from broad range of investors, from leading Thai and global institutional investors to Thai general public retail investors, reflecting investors’ confidence in Ngern Tid Lor’s strong fundamentals and potential for a sustainable growth in the future.

Ngern Tid Lor’s mission is to provide access to fair, transparent and responsible financial services for financial betterment by offering relevant products and services that are simple to understand, convenient and fast through our committed employees. The unique business model, combining financial services expertise, purpose-built technology and data analytics capabilities to effectively offer the right products for our target customer via omni-channel distributions of 1,076 branches in 74 provinces, with a customer referral network comprises of 638 branches of Krungsri Bank, 5,132 representatives, 491 second-hand truck sales representatives, and 519 phone sales representatives. Our customer acquisition from physical channels is further supplemented by online channels ranging from Ngern Tid Lor website, application and Facebook, and TIDLOR Connect to fulfil the existing gaps and provide further access to financial services for citizens in Thailand.

The company’s performance during 2018-2020 demonstrated strong track record of consistent growth and profitability, generating THB 7,569.4 million, THB 9,457.9 million, and THB 10,558.9 million of revenues respectively and net profits of THB 1,306.2 million, THB 2,201.7 million, and THB 2,416.1 million respectively. Gross loans balance between 2018-2020 stood at THB 39,724.1 million, THB 47,979.4 million, and THB 51,331.2 million respectively, while the premiums of non-life insurance collected at end of year amounted of THB 1,917.7 million, THB 2,854.3 million, and THB 4,010.9 million respectively. Ngern Tid Lor has achieved outstanding risk management outcomes, delivering a rate of Non-Performing Loans to Total Loans of 1.7% along with Coverage ratio of 325.1% as of 31 December 2020.

Following its listing in the SET, Ngern Tid Lor is determined to maintain its leadership in the vehicle title loan business and to strive for the leading position in insurance brokerage business in the future. To achieve such goals, the company will use the money from IPO to expand our lending and insurance brokerage business. Ngern Tid Lor plans to improve existing branches and expand 500 new branches by 2023 to provide wider coverage, invest and develop the IT system and digital transformation to strengthen business operations, uses part of the raised funds for working capital as well as capital restructuring in anticipation of a steady and sustained growth in the future.

“Our fundraising through the IPO will enable Ngern Tid Lor to boost our potential for sustainable growth, strengthen our financial status, continue our investment in digital transformation and platform-building” says Mr. Piyasak.

“Following our listing in the SET, Ngern Tid Lor is determined to be one of the leading quality listed companies under the principle of creating fair transparent and responsible financial opportunities for every Thai individual, while continuing to deliver steady and sustainable growth for the utmost benefits of our shareholders and all stakeholders.”

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CVC Credit supports H.I.G. Capital’s acquisition of KPMG’s UK Restructuring business

CVC Capital Partners

Debt facilities will support company, now known as Interpath Advisory, in its growth and transition to independence

CVC Credit is pleased to announce that it has provided senior debt facilities to support H.I.G. Capital’s (“H.I.G.”) acquisition of KPMG’s UK restructuring business, a leading provider of insolvency, financial restructuring and turnaround services in the UK and globally. The business which has been renamed Interpath Advisory (“Interpath”), will use CVC Credit’s investment to fund its transition to an independent business and strengthen its existing capabilities as it continues to grow its advisory offering in the UK and beyond.

Interpath is a leading multidisciplinary practice of over 40 managing directors and more than 525 staff located across the full breadth of the UK. The group advises companies, lenders, equity holders and a wide range of other stakeholders including Government, regulators and pension trustees to navigate through the issues associated with economic disruption and overcome financial and operational challenges.

Neale Broadhead, Partner at CVC Credit, said: “We were pleased to support H.I.G. in their acquisition of Interpath and to provide continuing support to the management team as they embark upon the next stage of their growth at a time when their services will be in great demand.”

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Projective Group, specialising in delivering (digital) change trajectories, partners up with Gimv for its further European expansion

GIMV

29/04/2021 – 07:30 | Portfolio

Gimv acquires a minority stake in Projective Group, consisting of Projective, a consulting firm specialising in operational, regulatory and digital change trajectories in financial services; and Exellys, a technology talent incubator that recruits, trains and matches young talent with its customers’ technology needs. The current partners and shareholders of the Projective Group will remain on board and retain the majority of the shares. Projective Group wants to accelerate its European expansion, with a particular focus on buy-and-build. With Gimv, Projective Group brings in a long-term partner with a strong investment capacity.

Financial institutions are constantly changing in response to continuously evolving regulation and technological innovation. To pro-actively respond to these evolutions, they need external partners with the requisite expertise to assist them with the necessary change. One of the top priorities in responding to this change is securing an inflow of scarce young digital talent, with the skills to meet the needs of end customers and to compete with new fintech companies.

With Projective and Exellys (Mechelen, Belgium – www.exellys.com), Projective Group (Brussels, Belgium – projectivegroup.com) is perfectly placed to advise on these challenges. Over the past 15 years, Projective has established its place in the financial services sector for implementing transformation journeys on the interface of business and technology. Projective has more than 150 experienced specialists with strong industry and domain expertise, and a customer-centric approach. With this successful model, Projective has grown steadily in recent years, in its Belgian home market and from offices in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany and France. Exellys in turn helps companies attract and retain highly trained talent in IT and engineering functions across all sectors. With its innovative talent incubator model, Exellys has grown strongly in Belgium since its inception in 2014. In 2020, it opened its first international office in the Netherlands.

The Covid crisis has increased request for support in major (digital) change processes, coupled with an intensive focus on finding and training increasingly scarce new talent needed to maintain growth. Projective Group cannot grow fast enough internally to meet customer demand, so the team is looking for acquisitions to increase its European footprint. It is currently examining takeover candidates in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany and France, with a focus on payment traffic, data, agile and life insurance.

Projective Group has high ambitions. Together with Gimv, it wants to accelerate its international growth and broaden its fields of expertise through a combination of internal growth and buy-and-build. Projective Group has a clear goal: a turnover of 100 million euros by end of 2023 with a Europe-wide team of 800 employees (c.45 million euros and 350 employees today).

Stefan Dierckx, founder and CEO of Projective Group:Projective Group has reached a level where further international expansion through acquisitions can turbo-charge our group’s growth. With its 40 years of experience, Gimv is the perfect partner to embark on this new adventure. Gimv specializes in supporting companies that demonstrate innovative strength, entrepreneurship and ambitious growth plans. They help build those plans in order to accelerate expansion. And that is exactly what we at Projective Group want to achieve.”

Ruben Monballieu, Partner Sustainable Cities team Gimv adds: Projective Group is a reference in the realisation of (digital) transformation processes, in a strongly-growing B2B service market. We look forward to working with Stefan Dierckx and his team to accelerate the company’s growth trajectory and actively engage in buy-and-build.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. No further financial details on this transaction are being published.

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