Tofte & Company – Investcorp to acquire majority stake in
European online marketplace Ageras
Investcorp Technology Partners, which focuses on tech-enabled investments in the European lower middle-market as part of the Investcorp Group (“Investcorp”), today announces that it has reached an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Ageras A/S (“Ageras” or the “Company”), a fast growing online marketplace matching Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (“SMEs”) and micro-businesses with professional services providers such as accountants and lawyers.
Despite receiving no external investment until now, Ageras grew its revenues by approximately 60% over the last financial year and, in 2016, connected ~16,600 customers successfully. Ageras operates in five markets, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Holland and Germany from its Copenhagen headquarters. The Company has delivered consistent growth by reinvesting cash generated back into the business.
The investment by Investcorp is expected to underpin Ageras’ high standards of service delivered to its customers and partners, and will help to drive continued growth in the Scandinavian market, as well as the Company’s broader international footprint. It will also allow for expansion into new geographies, leveraging Ageras’ strong brand, reputation for dependability and their insights into the professional service market.
In a market estimated to be worth up to 22 billion euros annually, Ageras has risen to the top so quickly because of relentless focus on customer satisfaction on both client and professional service providers’ side. By using technology and a deep understanding of its market Ageras has created a superior platform expanding rapidly.
“It has been a pleasure collaborating with Tofte & Company,” says Rico Andersen, CEO of Ageras. “We looked at different advisors within the segment but thought that the strong technology expertise and sector specific extensive deal making skills would give us the best process. Our platform is all about the match and we were after the right match for us in terms of an investor that understood our business at a level where they could provide extensive value-add as well as financial power to provide continuous support during our growth path. We clearly found that match in Investcorp and I am excited about the journey lying ahead.”
“I was at the outset very impressed with the Company that Rico and Martin (co-founder) has build on a bootstrap basis but during the process I got even more impressed by the skill set of this young management team. I very rarely see a company being driven so professionally and KPI-based and I cannot wait to follow the journey as Ageras continues to grow fueled by an amazing management team and a tier-one investor group behind them. Investcorp proved a deep understanding of the business from the beginning and their extensive experience in working with fast-growing, founder-owned businesses in the technology space as well as their very analytic approach will make them a valuable partner to Ageras,” says Thomas Tofte, Managing Partner of Tofte & Company.
“Ageras’ unique combination of customized service and high automation positions it perfectly to address the market for connecting SMEs with accountants and lawyers. Its best-in-class levels of customer satisfaction coupled with recurring sales into its partner base have allowed it to secure a leading market position in Europe. These fundamental business strengths, coupled with an outstanding management team, make it an ideal candidate for Investcorp to partner with,” says Gilbert Kamieniecky, Managing Director of Investcorp’s technology investments in Europe. “It has also been a pleasure working with Tofte & Company that impressed us with the sector knowledge and substantive deal making skills creating a good deal for everyone involved.”
Ageras is a Copenhagen-based technology company with a vision to create transparency in the accounting and legal industry. As an online marketplace, Ageras facilitates the right solution for a growing user base of 100,000 SME’s and individuals. Ageras has already expanded to 5 European markets and a 60% revenue growth last year without previous external equity funding.
Investcorp is a leading global provider and manager of alternative investments, offering such investments to its high-net-worth private and institutional clients on a global basis. Led by a new vision, Investcorp has embarked on an ambitious growth strategy to double assets under management (“AUM”) in the medium term. The Firm continues to focus on generating investor and shareholder value through a disciplined investment approach in three lines of business: corporate investment, real estate and alternative investment solutions (formerly known as hedge funds), together with the recently added credit management business.
As at December 31, 2016, the Investcorp Group had $10.4 billion in total AUM, including assets managed by third party managers and assets subject to a non-discretionary advisory mandate where Investcorp receives fees calculated on the basis of AUM.
Since its inception in 1982, the Investcorp Group has made over 170 corporate investments in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East and North Africa region, including Turkey, across a range of sectors including retail and consumer products, technology, business services and industrials, and more than 400 commercial and residential real estate investments in the US, for in excess of $53 billion in transaction value.
The Investcorp Group employs approximately 390 people across its offices in Bahrain, New York, London, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Doha, and Singapore. It is publicly traded on the Bahrain Stock Exchange.