Bridgepoint takes majority stake in Inspired Thinking Group

Bridgepoint

• Team ITG has 1,000+ employees across the UK, Europe and America, with its sights set on global growth

• Clients include some of the world’s most recognisable brands such as GSK, Heineken, Jaguar Land Rover and PUMA

(London, United Kingdom – 28 March 2022) – Bridgepoint has acquired a majority stake in fast- growing Inspired Thinking Group (Team ITG) from previous shareholder Equistone Partners Europe (Equistone) for an undisclosed sum. Bridgepoint’s investment will support the existing management team to deliver the next phase of Team ITG’s development internationally, focused on U.S. growth with its cloud-based marketing technology and marketing services.

Headquartered in Birmingham, UK, with over 1,000 employees across offices in Europe and America, Team ITG is transforming the way global brands operate their marketing. Founded in 2009, the company has already become the ‘go-to’ solution for many major corporations, including some of the world’s most recognisable brands: GSK, Jaguar Land Rover, Heineken, PUMA, Currys and many more.

Team ITG is a technology-led, multichannel marketing activation business. Its disruptive marketing technology (martech) platform, CanopyCloud, is supported by its 24-hour creative production studio and award-winning client services ranging from strategy, creative and creative production, to delivery, performance marketing, TV, film and photography. This blended model of technology and services allows Team ITG to rapidly deploy bespoke solutions built around individual client needs; all aimed at delivering efficiencies and creating fast, agile marketing partnerships that produce impressive results across all channels.

Simon Ward, CEO of Team ITG, commented: “Our success has been built on revolutionising the way marketers work, liberating them from tedious administrative tasks through our integrated ecosystem of game-changing technology and world-class creative services. Designed by marketers for marketers, our martech platform is highly innovative, refreshingly intuitive, and extremely powerful. GSK, one of our many global clients, recently described our CanopyCloud platform as ‘the future and heart of their content operations.’

“We would like to thank Equistone for its fantastic support in developing our business over the past four years. And now, our relationship with Bridgepoint is another brilliant milestone in our journey as we grow globally. We have the team and the resources to deliver even more powerful results for our clients across the world while also developing a host of exciting new partnerships.”

Emma Watford, partner and co-head of Bridgepoint’s investment activities in the UK, said: “Team ITG is a successful marketing operations services business with a compelling software offering, CanopyCloud. It operates in a very large, growing and fragmented market that benefits from the increasing need for automation driven by the shift to digital and personalised marketing. We’re excited to be backing the team at a crucial time as they scale their technology offering and become increasingly global – areas where we can provide the necessary expertise to accompany them on this next stage in their journey.”

Whilst Equistone has sold its majority stake, the firm has reinvested in Team ITG through its Reinvestment Fund. This reflects Equistone’s ongoing support and confidence in the executive team, the driving force behind the next stage of Team ITG’s growth.

Paul Harper, Partner at Equistone, said: “We are proud to have partnered with Simon and the team during this exceptional phase of the company’s development, comprising strong organic and acquisitive growth. We are also delighted to be reinvesting in Team ITG as a minority shareholder and look forward to continuing to support the business’s ambitious global growth strategy.”

Bridgepoint was advised on the deal by Alantra, JEGI Clarity, Allen & Overy, EY and Bain & Company. Team ITG and Equistone were advised by GP Bullhound and Eversheds Sutherland.

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EQT Private Equity and Verdane to sell Forsta to Press Ganey

eqt
  • EQT Private Equity and Verdane to sell Forsta, an industry-leading global provider of customer experience and market research technology, to Press Ganey
  • Forsta was formed through the merger of Confirmit and FocusVision in March 2021, creating a full-service provider of qualitative and quantitative customer experience solutions
  • Under Verdane and EQT Private Equity’s ownership, Forsta has been transformed into a scaled technology platform serving over 5,000 customers in more than 100 countries around the world

EQT and Verdane are pleased to announce that the EQT Mid Market US fund (“EQT Private Equity”), together with the Verdane Capital IX fund (“Verdane”) have agreed to sell Forsta (the “Company”) to Press Ganey, a leader in patient, member, employee and consumer experience across the healthcare ecosystem.

Headquartered in London, U.K., Forsta is a leading provider of customer experience and market research software and services to enterprise customers and market research professionals. Forsta provides solutions in Quantitative (including Surveys & Reporting), Qualitative (including Digital Qual & Live Video, Video Insights), and Voice of the Customer / Voice of the Employee segments, to help deliver intelligence with clarity, confidence, and impact.

The company now known as Forsta was born in 2021 out of a shared thesis at EQT and Verdane of creating an integrated quantitative and qualitative offering for market research agencies and corporate customers. The move was achieved by combining Verdane-owned Confirmit, which Verdane merged with its portfolio company Dapresy in 2020, with FocusVision, acquired by EQT Private Equity in 2015.

The combination doubled the size of the business to create scale for increased investment in product development and go-to-market, while further shifting the business mix towards software. The combined company was subsequently rebranded as “Forsta” to unify the brand strategy and create an integrated go-to-market approach, focused on delivering holistic human insights.

Hajo Krösche, Managing Director within EQT Private Equity’s Advisory Team, said, “Our investments in Forsta’s digital backbone and people have resulted in a compelling technology offering and a track record in human experience solutions, which will serve as invaluable assets to the combined platform going forward. We are excited to have found a long-term home for Forsta in Press Ganey, a company and team with whom we have had a strong relationship for many years.”

Pål Malmros, Partner at Verdane, said, “Forsta will now make the next generation of patient and customer experience better and truly human-focused through its world-leading customer experience and market research technology, allowing Press Ganey to make a quantum leap in its ‘experience of care’ technology solution. Press Ganey’s relationship to Forsta dates back to the Confirmit years, and this event marks the culmination of a growth journey the Verdane team originally set out on in 2017 through our investment in Dapresy. We want to thank the Forsta and EQT teams for an excellent partnership that we now look forward to continuing with Press Ganey.”

Kyle Ferguson, CEO of Forsta, said, “With the critical support of EQT and Verdane, we have created and scaled a comprehensive platform for human experience insights. We look forward to partnering with Press Ganey and to leveraging our world class technology and expertise to accelerate growth across the combined business.”

The transaction is subject to customary conditions and approvals, and is expected to close in H1 2022.

Jefferies acted as financial advisor and Sidley Austin LLP acted as legal advisor to Verdane, EQT Private Equity and Forsta.

Contact for EQT
US media inquiries: mathilde.milch@eqtpartners.com, +1 (917) 510-6626
European media inquiries: press@eqtpartners.com, +46 8 506 55 334

Contact for Verdane
Verdane press office: press@verdane.com, +46 76 27 28 100

About EQT
EQT is a purpose-driven global investment organization with more than EUR 73.4 billion in assets under management across 28 active funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas with total sales of approximately EUR 29 billion and more than 175,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.

More info: www.eqtgroup.com
Follow EQT on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram

About Verdane
Verdane is a specialist growth equity investment firm that partners with tech-enabled and sustainable European businesses to help them reach the next stage of international growth. Verdane can invest as a minority or majority investor, either in single companies or through portfolios of companies, and looks to deploy behind three core themes; the Digital Consumer, Software Everywhere and Sustainable Society. Verdane funds hold €3.6bn in total commitments and have made over 135 investments in fast-growing businesses since 2003. Verdane’s team of 100 investment professionals and operating experts, based out of Berlin, Copenhagen, Helsinki, London, Oslo and Stockholm, is dedicated to being the preferred growth partner to tech-enabled and sustainable businesses in Europe.

More info: www.verdane.com
Follow Verdane on LinkedIn

About Forsta
Forsta is an Experience and Research Technology Platform that gathers and analyzes data, and translates the findings into shareable actions to inform decision making and drive growth. Forsta’s technology is designed to discover, analyze and share smart insights packed with real action potential, and help organizations better understand the full Human Experiences of their audiences.

More info: www.forsta.com

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o9 Solutions Raises $295 Million From Strategic Investors to Continue its Growth Across Industry Verticals & Markets

General Atlantic

General Atlantic, Its BeyondNetZero Venture, and Generation Investment Management Join KKR as Investors in o9, Valuing the Company at $2.7 Billion

o9 Solutions, a leading enterprise AI software platform provider for transforming planning and decision-making speed and quality in companies across industry verticals, today announced that it has received equity investments totaling $295 million from General Atlantic, including BeyondNetZero, its climate investing venture, Generation Investment Management, a pure-play sustainability investment manager, and existing investor KKR. This significant investment will help o9 build on its momentum and accelerate growth for its AI-powered Integrated Business Planning platform it calls the “Digital Brain” across industry verticals and markets. It will also help o9 drive continued innovation in R&D, industry knowledge models and partner ecosystem development that will help companies implement o9’s game-changing platform faster and realize greater value.

Today, leading companies across varied industry verticals that include retail, consumer and industrial products manufacturing, high-tech and semiconductor, life sciences, automotive, telecom, and oil and gas leverage o9’s Digital Brain platform for transforming their supply chain, commercial and integrated business planning capabilities. These companies are using o9’s Digital Brain platform to build a live, digital model of enterprise data and knowledge that helps them detect demand and supply risks and opportunities, forecast demand more accurately, and evaluate what-if scenarios all in real time. By matching demand and supply intelligently and driving greater alignment and collaboration between customers, internal stakeholders and suppliers across the integrated supply chain, clients can realize significant value from their commercial plans and decisions while making measurable positive impact to the environment.

“We have an unprecedented opportunity in front of us,” said Chakri Gottemukkala, Co-founder and CEO of o9. “Demand and supply volatility and complexity has been growing and the pandemic has only accelerated the challenges companies face in meeting customer service and financial goals. At the same time, there is significant pressure on boards and executives from customers and employees to also drive meaningful improvements in sustainability goals. And we believe that o9 is poised perfectly to help companies deal with these mega trends with a differentiated, proven platform.

Executives are increasingly seeing that transforming planning and decision-making capabilities need to be more agile, and integration is the most mission critical, high-value initiative going forward. And because global supply chains are the majority source of environmental impact, we believe transforming planning is key not just for improving P&Ls, but also the health of the planet. The new investments and strategic partnerships with General Atlantic’s BeyondNetZero and Generation Investment Management, along with our established strategic partnership with KKR, will help us accelerate this sacred mission of making the o9 Digital Brain the most value-creating enterprise platform.”

General Atlantic’s BeyondNetZero and Generation Investment Management join KKR as investors in o9, valuing the company at $2.7 billion. This marks an increase from the $1 billion valuation in April 2020 at the time of the company’s first-ever external investment led by KKR, which is also participating in this funding round. This capital raise follows a record year during which the company reported a greater than threefold increase year-over-year in annual recurring revenue (ARR) from new customers.

“Not only is an agile, intelligent and resilient supply chain one of the most important growth accelerators, it also inherently leads to a reduced carbon footprint – especially for organizations that operate on a global scale,” said Sanjiv Sidhu, Chairman and Co-Founder, o9. “A sustainable supply chain requires companies to digitally transform their planning and decision-making capabilities. o9’s Digital Brain platform makes us the partner of choice for companies across the world and we are pleased and honored that General Atlantic’s BeyondNetZero and Generation Investment Management recognize this at such a pivotal phase of our growth trajectory.”

“We believe that o9 is uniquely positioned at the intersection of technology, supply chain, and sustainability,” said Tanzeen Syed, Managing Director, General Atlantic. “The business fits squarely within our theses at General Atlantic and BeyondNetZero to support companies that are leveraging innovation to tackle some of the most pressing issues in the world. o9 helps large organizations transform their costly, complex and resource-intensive supply chains into profitable and environmentally sound models – playing a critical role in enabling them to work toward net zero targets.”

Joy Tuffield, Partner in the Growth Equity strategy at Generation Investment Management, said, “Generation’s brand is predicated on the belief that long-term commercial opportunity is synonymous with sustainable outcomes. We believe the best businesses stand for something significant. Sustainability and supply chain issues have never been more important. o9 is one of the rare companies that we believe can help global enterprises leverage the power of digital technologies to deliver on both imperatives. We are excited by the commitment of o9 to be an enduring company with a positive influence on the world, in both what the company does and how it operates.”

To learn more, contact o9 here.

About o9 Solutions, Inc.

o9 offers a leading AI-powered Planning, Analytics & Data platform called the Digital Brain that helps companies across industry verticals transform traditionally slow and siloed planning into smart, integrated and intelligent planning and decision making across core supply chain, commercial and P&L functions.

With o9’s Digital Brain platform, companies are able to achieve game-changing improvements in quality of data, ability to detect demand and supply risks and opportunities earlier, forecast demand more accurately, evaluate what-if scenarios in real time, match demand and supply intelligently and drive alignment and collaboration across customers, internal stakeholders and suppliers around the integrated supply chain and commercial plans and decisions. Supported by a global ecosystem of partners, o9’s innovative delivery methodology helps companies achieve quick results in customer service, inventory and resource utlilzation and ESG and financial KPIs while building a long-term, sustainable transformation of end-to-end planning and decision-making capabilities. For more information, please visit www.o9solutions.com.

About BeyondNetZero, the Climate Investing Venture of General Atlantic

The BeyondNetZero team seeks to invest in growth companies delivering innovative climate solutions and aims to help them achieve scale. BeyondNetZero looks to identify companies that have the potential to meet and exceed net zero emissions targets, with a focus on decarbonization, energy efficiency, resource conservation and emissions management. BeyondNetZero combines General Atlantic’s growth equity experience with a global team of proven climate investors, advisors and industry executives, including Lord Browne of Madingley, who serves as Chairman of BeyondNetZero. This diverse team of experts brings decades of experience in both addressing climate-focused problems and building pioneering growth companies. For more information on BeyondNetZero, please visit the website: https://beyond-net-zero.com.

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. For more information on General Atlantic, please visit the website: www.generalatlantic.com.

About Generation Investment Management 

Generation Investment Management LLP is dedicated to long-term investing, integrated sustainability research and client alignment. It is an independent, private, owner-managed partnership established in 2004 and headquartered in London, with a U.S. office in San Francisco. Generation Investment Management LLP is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority. www.generationim.com.

Media Contacts

Mary Armstrong & Casey Gunkel
BeyondNetZero (General Atlantic)media@generalatlantic.com

Pixis raises $100M in SoftBank Vision Fund 2-led Series C funding to grow its codeless AI infrastructure

General Atlantic

Pixis (formerly known as Pyxis One), a leading provider of contextual codeless AI infrastructure for complete marketing optimization, today announced it has secured US $100M in Series C funding. Pixis will leverage the fresh funds to help the company rapidly scale its AI platforms and plugins, as well as accelerate expansions across North America, Europe, and APAC.

The Series C round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with participation from new investor General Atlantic, a leading global growth equity firm. Existing investors Celesta, Premji Invest, Chiratae Ventures, and Crimsonox Ventures also participated in the round. With the close of its US $17M Series B round just four months prior, Pixis has raised a total of US $124M to date since its founding in 2018.

Pixis’ AI infrastructure, which leverages self-evolving neural networks, is providing immense value to customers through its codeless AI plugin, enabling AI-powered decision-making for every aspect of marketing. Pixis recently launched its codeless AI plugin after closing, with the belief that a powerful codeless AI infrastructure will help safeguard marketers against inevitable developments that will change the current marketing ecosystem. Looking ahead, Pixis aims to add over 200 customizable self-evolving AI models to the infrastructure it offers and has already introduced close to four dozen AI models since its last funding.

Pixis currently has over 100 customers using its AI products across the world. Customers using the Pixis AI infrastructure have witnessed a 20% decrease in acquisition costs on average, in addition to at least 300 hours of manual work saved per month.

“The web going cookieless, in conjunction with decreasing access to the depth of data that was previously available, is a worrisome situation for marketers. In this environment, it is self-evolving neural networks that are proving to be invaluable assets in countering the disruptions to the marketing landscape,” explained Shubham A. Mishra, co-founder and Global CEO at Pixis. “We are excited to partner with SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and General Atlantic to make codeless AI infrastructure accessible to every market in the world.”

Shantanu Rastogi, Managing Director at General Atlantic, continued, “Pixis is disrupting the marketing space with a self-learning codeless AI infrastructure that serves a mission-critical function in the marketing tech stack. The AI plugins and platforms solve key customer problems and are improving business outcomes. The Pixis platform demonstrates the power of global entrepreneurship, and we are proud to support the team’s ambitions of continued expansion.”

SoftBank Vision Fund 2’s investment in Pixis confirms that in a cookieless world, Artificial Intelligence could be the big differentiating factor for brands. “Marketing is one of the largest spend categories for companies but many of its decisions are still driven by intuition rather than data,” said Priya Saiprasad, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. “Pixis has developed an AI-enabled, end-to-end digital marketing solution that equips teams with cutting-edge data science to automate and improve core processes, from budget allocation to real-time campaign optimization and reporting. We are excited to partner with Shubham and the team to support their mission to make marketing data-backed, intelligent, agile, and effortlessly scalable in the new cookie-less world.”

About Pixis (formerly Pyxis One)

Pixis is a California-based technology company that provides codeless AI infrastructure to enable customers to scale accurate data-driven marketing. The company’s codeless AI infrastructure currently comprises over four-dozen proprietary AI models that are deployed across an ecosystem of products and plugins. Pixis is on a mission to provide marketers with robust plug-and-play AI products without them having to write a single line of code.

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. For more information on General Atlantic, please visit the website: www.generalatlantic.com.

 

Media Contacts

Mary Armstrong & Emily Japlon
General Atlanticmedia@generalatlantic.com

Sana Javaid
Pixisprforpixis@bospar.com

Audax Private Equity Announces Strategic Investment in Integrate

Audax Group

Audax Private Equity (“Audax”) today announced it has completed a strategic growth investment in Integrate.com, Inc. (“Integrate” or the “Company”), a leader in B2B Precision Demand Marketing, an emerging category that helps B2B marketers develop omnichannel demand strategies and drive marketing ROI. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Integrate connects data, channels, technology, and team members to create intelligent buyer and account journeys and deliver Precision Demand Marketing at scale. Its core offering, the Demand Acceleration Platform (“DAP”), centralizes, connects, and elevates multichannel B2B buying experiences to help accelerate demand and convert leads to revenue. In 2021, Integrate’s B2B marketing customers processed over 14.5 million marketable and compliant leads through their governance engine.

“We look forward to partnering with Audax and continuing our momentum following this exceptional year of growth,” said Jeremy Bloom, co-founder and CEO of Integrate. “We believe Audax’ expertise and track record of building value will position us well to capitalize on the sizeable and growing core market opportunity, as well as adjacent verticals and geographic expansion opportunities. We are thrilled to have Audax’ support as we continue to develop our product set and grow our customer base.”

“Integrate’s differentiated SaaS-based workflow product provides unique value by replacing the expensive need for an in-house or agency-based, labor-intensive solution,” said Tim Mack, Managing Director at Audax. “With companies allocating more of their marketing budgets to digital channels, Integrate offers demonstrable ROI for their customers, making them an essential partner to their customer base. We’re excited to work with Jeremy and the rest of the Integrate team to help support the Company’s further growth and value creation.”

“Integrate’s solution helps B2B marketers solve complex challenges across a variety of demand generation channels. By helping to power account-based, buyer-driven omnichannel marketing strategies, the platform has proven itself to be an invaluable resource for some of the world’s largest marketers,” said Iveshu Bhatia, Managing Director at Audax. “We’re excited to partner with Jeremy and the Integrate team in their next phase of growth.”

Ropes & Gray served as legal counsel to Audax and Goodwin Proctor served as legal counsel to Integrate. Integrate was advised by BrightTower, a New York based investment banking firm focused on software, information, and technology enabled services.

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3TS Capital Partners Exits SALESmanago to SilverTree Equity and Perwyn

3TS Capital Partners

Vienna, Warsaw, London, 2 December, 2021

3TS Capital Partners, a leading European growth capital investor, announced today that its portfolio company, SALESmanago has been successfully acquired by a private equity consortium composed of SilverTree Equity and Perwyn. SALESmanago is a leading SaaS no-code CDP & Marketing Automation platform. 3TS realized an exceptional return on the investment, as the Company grew revenues over 400% in the 5.5 years as part of the portfolio. This is 3TS’ third exit of 2021.

“We are delighted to have been part of SALESmanago’s journey and to be able to bring strategic guidance at critical inflection points, as the Company scaled revenues over 50% per year.”, said Zbigniew Lapinski, Partner at 3TS Capital Partners. “Greg and the entire team have done an incredible job growing SALEmanago from a local leader to a breakthrough technology and a global challenger in the marketing automation platform segment.

“3TS worked closely with us and supported SALESmanago with operational insights through tremendous growth, as well as during the challenging moments of great change as our Company evolved.” added Greg Blazewicz, SALESmanago’s Founder and CEO.

SilverTree Equity and Perwyn acquired SALESmanago in a nine-digit transaction, which included a growth investment that the Company will use for further expansion. SilverTree Equity is a leading UK-based private equity firm with deep expertise in technology and software businesses. Perwyn is a UK-based family-backed private equity investor.

About SALESmanago

Headquartered in Krakow and founded in 2012, SALESmanago is a leading SaaS marketing automation and Customer Data Platform company. Its solution harnesses the full power of first- and zero-party data, combining advanced analytics and AI automation to deliver highly configurable personalized experiences, across a comprehensive range of natively built and integrated marketing execution channels. SALESmanago’s customers are a mix of large blue chip and mid-size organizations located across Europe, the Americas and Asia and spanning all industry verticals. Customers include Starbucks, Burger King, Pizza Hut, BMW, Toyota, Harley Davidson, Victoria’s Secret, Crocs and T-Mobile.

For more information, please visit www.salesmanago.com

About 3TS Capital Partners

3TS Capital Partners is a technology focused growth capital firm investing across Central Europe. 3TS provides expansion capital for businesses in growth sectors including Technology & Internet, Media & Communications and Technology-Enabled Services. The combination of strong financial backing, strategic value-add and extensive networks form the foundation of the 3TS company-building strategy. Investors in the current and past 3TS funds totaling over €400 million include EIF, Erste Group, Tesi, Cisco, OTP, EBRD, AWS, Sitra, KfW, and 3i among others.

For more information, please visit www.3tscapital.com

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CVC Fund VIII and HPS Investment Partners to acquire stakes in Authentic Brands Group

CVC Capital Partners

World-leading private equity and investment firms, alongside ABG’s existing equity partners, to support the company in its next phase of global growth

Authentic Brands Group (“ABG”), a global brand development, marketing and entertainment company, today announces that funds advised by CVC Capital Partners (“CVC”) and HPS Investment Partners (“HPS”) have signed definitive agreements to purchase significant equity stakes in the company from certain current ABG shareholders. The transaction values the company at $12.7 billion in enterprise value.

“We have known CVC and HPS for many years and are thrilled that they are coming on board as significant stakeholders in ABG. Their commitment is a testament to the exceptional work our team has put forth as well as CVC and HPS’s confidence in our future growth,” said Jamie Salter, Founder, Chairman and CEO of ABG. “The entire ABG team – from our leadership to the director of first impressions – has done an incredible job of building a sustainable and scalable business with a laser focus on brand development, digital innovation, e-commerce, specialty retail, expansion into new verticals and proven business models.”

Since its founding in 2010, ABG has experienced significant growth by implementing a proven playbook that connects strong brands with best-in-class licensees and a network of partners to optimize value in the marketplace. ABG’s portfolio has grown to more than 30 brands that are diversified across the fashion, luxury, outdoor, home, entertainment, events, media and fine arts sectors. The acquisition of Reebok, which closes in Q1 of 2022, will bring ABG’s portfolio to more than $20 billion in annual system-wide retail sales with global distribution in more than 150 countries and highlights ABG’s ability to successfully integrate world-class brands into its unique platform.

“The investments from CVC Capital and HPS Investment Partners are a strong vote of confidence in ABG’s long-term vision and strategic approach,” said Nick Woodhouse, President and CMO of ABG. “We are primed to continue furthering our global presence, acquiring new entertainment and lifestyle brands and driving organic growth for our portfolio.”

“We have followed ABG’s success story for several years and are delighted to be partnering with the company and its investor group,” said Chris Stadler, a Managing Partner at CVC. “The power of the ABG platform is evident in its growth to date, and we believe the company is only beginning to realize the full benefit of its scale and diversification. We look forward to working with Jamie, Nick and the talented team at ABG to create even greater value together.”

“ABG has shown that its unique business model can successfully innovate and grow brands across a broad spectrum of consumer categories, and we are excited to leverage CVC’s experience in the consumer, retail and media and entertainment sectors to support the company’s growth ambitions,” said Chris Baldwin, a Managing Partner at CVC. “We plan to work closely with the ABG team to execute on their strategic priorities, particularly around international expansion, given our extensive global footprint and experience in local markets around the world.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Jamie and his outstanding team, who we have known for nearly a decade, to support ABG’s ongoing development and growth strategy as it continues to lead the market in the brand licensing arena, underpinned by a highly differentiated and innovative acquisition and brand management platform,” said Scot French, a Governing Partner of HPS.

BlackRock Long Term Private Capital will retain its position as ABG’s largest shareholder, which it has held since 2019. Simon, General Atlantic, Leonard Green & Partners, GIC, Brookfield, Lion Capital, Jasper Ridge Partners and Shaquille O’Neal will continue to hold significant equity positions in the company.

In connection with the transaction, BofA Securities, Inc. was the M&A advisor for ABG. BofA Securities, Inc. and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC also acted as financial advisors for ABG. Latham & Watkins LLP acted as legal counsel for ABG.

Upon closing of the transaction, which is expected in December 2021, CVC and HPS will join ABG’s Board of Directors.

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Ardian provides Berlin Brands Group with additional growth capital

Ardian

Berlin / Frankfurt am Main, September 1, 2021 – Ardian, a world leading private investment house, announces today that it is providing additional growth capital to Berlin Brands Group (“BBG”), a global e-commerce company based in Berlin, through its fifth generation of Expansion Funds. Over the course of the transaction, Ardian will once again become a minority shareholder in BBG and support the company during its next growth phase alongside majority shareholder and CEO Peter Chaljawski, as well as BBG’s new and second largest shareholder, Bain Capital.

Berlin Brands Group is a pioneer in direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand marketing. The multi-brand company sells a range of over 3,700 products under 34 own brands and via 100 online channels across 28 countries. The brands encompass the household appliances, consumer electronics, gardening and fitness equipment segments, including Klarstein (klarstein.de), auna (auna.de), blumfeldt (blumfeldt.de) and Capital Sports (capitalsports.de).

As a key part of its next growth phase, BBG launched a comprehensive M&A roll-up strategy in 2020 focusing on acquiring, integrating and scaling e-commerce brands across its platform. Ardian supported the group’s management in implementing this strategy and now plans to further contribute to establishing BBG as the leading global D2C consolidator.
Ardian was already invested in BBG via its third generation of Expansion Funds from July 2015 to September 2021.

“We have benefitted greatly from Ardian’s expertise as a reliable investment partner in recent years. We are therefore thrilled that Ardian will also accompany us during our next growth phase.” PETER CHALJAWSKI, Founder and CEO of BBG

“BBG continues to show significant growth potential and we fully support the company’s strategy, as well its excellent management team led by Peter Chaljawski. We look forward to continue our successful partnership.” MARC ABADIR, Managing Director in Ardian’s German Expansion Team

ABOUT ARDIAN

Ardian is a world-leading private investment house with assets of US$120bn 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 800 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 BERLIN BRANDS GROUP

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 every day 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’.

Press contact

ARDIAN – CHARLES BARKER CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS

Peter Steiner

ardian@charlesbarker.de Tel: +49 69 79409027

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Nauta exits from TAPTAP Digital, a leading advertising technology and marketing intelligence software platform in Spain and Latin America

  • bd-capital’s operational expertise and international capabilities will support the TAPTAP team as they continue to disrupt the digital advertising market by accelerating growth among agencies and advertisers through new solutions and technology, while continuing growth in international markets.
  • As part of the new partnership, Nauta Capital will exit from TAPTAP Digital.

MADRID, LONDON – 11 November 2021 – bd-capital, the pan-European, operationally-led private equity firm, has made its latest investment into TAPTAP Digital, a leading advertising technology and marketing intelligence software platform in Spain and Latin America. This is bd-capital’s first investment in Spain.

TAPTAP was founded in 2010 by Alvaro del Castillo. The business has developed its own software platform called Sonata that helps deliver relevant advertising content to consumers while protecting their privacy. It aggregates and cross references multiple sources of location data, which helps advertisers to increase brand awareness, build purchase interest and boost consideration.

A key changing pattern of consumer behaviour is the desire of people to receive relevant advertising while maintaining privacy; TAPTAP technology delivers this solution. The TAPTAP proprietary technology is also very well-placed for upcoming structural trends in data protection and privacy regulations. This is because the software connects multiple data ecosystems and performs complex analytics without needing to rely on unique user identifiers.

The management team of TAPTAP is led by Founder & CEO Alvaro del Castillo, who will remain invested in the company. Commenting on the transaction, Alvaro said: “We are excited to be partnering with the bd-capital team. The alignment since we first met in February 2020 is very strong. Through its differentiated partnership approach, I am sure that bd-capital can help us consolidate our presence in Spain and Latin America and expand our solutions to new markets”

Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Partner and Head of Southern Europe at bd-capital, commented, “We cannot think of a better company in which to make our first investment in Spain. TAPTAP has shown an impressive growth trajectory and is today uniquely positioned in the advertising and marketing technology space”.

Francesc Casabella, Operating Partner at bd-capital and the new Chairman of TAPTAP’s Board, added: “TAPTAP is run by an exceptional and very talented group of people. We look forward to partnering with Alvaro and his team to support the next phase of growth”.

This latest investment into TAPTAP follows bd-capital’s recent investments into SportPursuit, a leading online private sales club in UK and Germany focused on sports, outdoor and active lifestyle products, Symprove, the gut health products business, and Ascenti, the UK’s leading provider of physical and mental wellbeing services. All four investments follow a consistent strategy of investing in companies where changing patterns of consumer behaviour and technology disruption are creating growth opportunities.

bd-capital was created by Richard Baker, former FTSE CEO and Chairman, and Andy Dawson, former Advent International Investment Partner, and takes an operationally-led approach to its partnerships with businesses. Since launching in 2019, the bd-capital team has grown to 18 people, 6 of whom are former CEOs with experience of growing mid-size businesses in the European market.

TAPTAP and its shareholders were advised by Gómez-Acebo & Pombo and Osborne Clarke (legal). bd-capital executed the transaction in close partnership with advisory teams from Uría Menéndez (legal), Deloitte (financial and tax), Accenture (commercial, technology and data security), Marsh (insurance and W&I advisory) and a number of industry experts.

About bd-capital:

bd-capital is a European firm designed to implement the next evolution of operationally-led investing: business leaders and private equity investors working in full partnership with company stakeholders. The firm targets control or co-control investments in European mid-market businesses with strong growth potential. The firm’s strategy is to invest in businesses where changing patterns in behaviour and technology disruption are creating growth opportunities.

For more information about bd-capital, visit the firm’s website at www.bd-cap.com

 About TAPTAP Digital:

TAPTAP is a leading provider of omnichannel advertising solutions and location-based marketing intelligence to media agencies and large advertisers. It operates on the top part of the purchase funnel, helping brands to increase awareness, build purchase interest and boost consideration. Its proprietary technology (Sonata) aggregates and cross references multiple sources of location data, connecting online and offline environments and creating 360º audiences for omnichannel campaign activations and measurement. It has become the Demand-Side Platform (DSP) of reference in Spain and Latin America for leading media agencies and large advertisers.

For more information about TAPTAP Digital, please visit www.taptapdigital.com

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Batch – Our investment in leading push notification (web and mobile) provider

Created by Simon Dawlat and Antoine Guénard in 2015, Batch is recognized on the market and is growing rapidly and steadily thanks to its new generation CRM platform allowing brands to make their customer journeys mobile centric. It has 70 employees spread between Paris and Lyon and over 500 customers, including most media outlets, many key accounts, service companies, and startups as well as 30% of its customers being international – from the UK and Germany.

This €20-million funding round, announced today, will enable Batch to develop three key projects: the creation of 170 new positions and strengthening its unique corporate culture, optimizing and building-up its technological platform and opening new offices in Marseille, London and Berlin.

A key investment in Orange Venture’s strategy
The mobile-first CRM platform offers a holistic vision of the customer and their journey, meaning omnichannel strategies can be implemented. This participation is perfectly in line with Orange Ventures’ investment strategy, which is based on the desire to support future global tech champions that aim to assist the responsible digital transformation of companies and society. The partnership between Orange Ventures and Batch will provide agile and structured access to Orange ecosystems and commercial business units.

An ambitious development in the coming years
Using this funding, Batch’s first priority is to strengthen its corporate culture by investing in projects devoted to its employees, such as management and financial performance transparency, decision-making processes, work from home as well as gender equality and parenthood. The start-up aims to have 150 employees by end 2022, and 250 employees by 2023. This funding will also be used to continue to strengthen and optimize the technological platform while boosting its development and international growth.
“We are delighted with the support from Orange Ventures during this fundraising because we share the same ambitions. But above all, we share strong common values. Beyond the development of our platform and our international growth, this fundraising will allow us to focus on our corporate culture, because people are at the center of our priorities and represent the base of our development,” says Simon Dawlat, co-founder of Batch.
“Batch has managed to position itself as the leader on its domestic market and to develop a corporate culture focused on its employees’ development. In line with its ambition to help develop a new win-win ecosystem between very agile startups and a major group like Orange, Orange Ventures is happy to support Batch to accelerate its international development and continue its efforts to develop a technology that perfectly addresses the companies’ digitalization challenges,” explains Jérôme Berger, President and Managing Partner of Orange Ventures.

About Batch
Batch has developed a multi-channel customer engagement platform designed for the new generation of marketing divisions and focused on the needs of key accounts and scale-ups. Self-financed for over 6 years, with close to 100 employees, Batch raised its first €20 million in 2021 to strengthen its culture, develop its platform and boost its international deployment. The company is based in Paris and Lyon, with offices in several European cities.
For more information: www.batch.com/

Press Release from Batch
Press Release from Orange Ventures (ENG)
Press release from Orange Ventures (FR)

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