Finc3 sale to Fortress Brand
Parklane Capital advised the shareholders of the digital marketing group Finc3, headquartered in Hamburg on its successful sale to Fortress Brand, a leading full-service marketplace accelerator based in New York City which is backed by Trivest Partners, a Florida-based private equity group. With Finc3 joining forces with Fortress Brand, the companies become one uniquely global organization offering worldwide D2C e-commerce services that helps brand partners strategically grow on Amazon and other e-commerce marketplaces on a global scale. As exclusive financial advisor, Parklane supported the shareholders of Finc3 in the sales process.
Finc3 joins the Fortress Brand family of companies which includes New York-based School House, a leading creative agency known for their cut-through branding strategy and dynamic storytelling. Supported by its partnership with Trivest Partners, a Florida-based private equity group, as well as significant organic growth in its own core business, Fortress plans to continue to accelerate its vision through acquisitions and strategic brand investments.
"E-commerce — whether via marketplaces, D2C channels or in a B2B context as well as CRM are becoming increasingly international businesses. That's why we already work internationally for most Finc3 clients — for many even on several continents," reports Jan Bechler, co-founder of Finc3. "Modern e-commerce needs to be thought of globally and implemented regionally," adds co-founder Tim Nedden.
Fortress CEOs and brothers Matt Beer and Alex Beer state, “This marks a monumental day in the history of Fortress. As part of our mission to continue to be a meaningful partner to our clients, we’ve taken a big step across the Atlantic Ocean to partner with the Finc3 Group to offer our brand partners full-service Amazon and digital capabilities expanding from Europe to Japan. From our humble first office to a worldwide organization, we have the deepest gratitude for our team and our clients and welcome every member of the Finc3 Group into our family of companies.”
Finc3 founders Jan Bechler, Tim Nedden, Björn Sjut, as well as the entire management team, are staying on board and have exchanged the majority of their shares for equity stakes in Fortress Brand.
Founded in 2014, Finc3 is one of the leading European online marketing agencies whose capabilities include digital marketplace marketing, CRM, data analytics, and business-to-business (B2B) performance marketing under their own group of companies Finc3 Commerce, Finc3 Marketing Services, and BizMut Marketing. Finc3’s team of data-driven digital marketing experts has forged longstanding deep relationships with its clients that stretch across multiple business verticals including brands like Unilever or Bosch, global service providers, and some of the world’s fastest-growing technology companies like Mailchimp, Asana or Pipedrive. With offices in Hamburg and Bratislava, Finc3 supports the growth of multinational clients representing more than $1 billion of the retail value on the marketplaces it supports.
Fortress Brand is a global digital marketplace accelerator that represents acclaimed brands across a multitude of industries, including beauty and personal care, health and wellness, and consumer product goods. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in New York, Fortress, along with its family of companies, School House and Finc3, offers its clients a dynamic suite of best-in-class digital services at any stage in their brand's lifecycle including full-service marketplace management, strategy and creative services, 360-degree performance marketing, data analytics, and international strategy all under one roof. With an extensive roster of client partnerships including Glow Recipe, Youth to the People, and HUM Nutrition, the agency's core strength is to help brands grow their e-commerce business across all global channels including Amazon and other e-commerce marketplaces. Fortress has been recognized as one of Inc.'s 5,000 Fastest-Growing Companies in 2020 and 2021 and also trusted by Amazon as a verified agency partner.
Investment into DevelopX by Bencis
Parklane Capital has advised the shareholders of business building and digital transformation specialist DevelopX on winning Bencis as a new shareholder in the company. Together with Bencis, DevelopX plans to push the international expansion of its business.
Parklane acted as the exclusive financial advisor to the DevelopX shareholders in the competitive process with national and international financial investors and strategists. The company builder TruVenturo and the operational management will continue to have a significant stake in the company and look forward to continuing the growth path together with Bencis.
DevelopX was founded in Hamburg in 2019 and currently employs over 190 people at five locations in Germany, Poland and Portugal. By combining business building and digital consulting expertise with software development and nearshoring capacities, the company offers a 360° digital consulting portfolio. The broad customer portfolio includes a variety of international companies from various industries.
Bencis is an independent private equity investment firm that helps entrepreneurs and management teams achieve their growth goals. The company prefers to invest in companies from various sectors with an operating result of up to €50 million and a strong position in their respective markets in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. Bencis is currently investing in >25 companies employing a total of around 9,500 people.
eccelerate sale to mindcurv
Parklane Capital advised the shareholders of the digital commerce consultancy eccelerate on its successful sale to Mindcurv, the new-generation digital architect and commerce experience provider. eccelerate is a multi-award winning European digital consultancy boutique with a focus on digital commerce. eccelerate’s sister company Valearis, a rapidly growing transaction services consultancy with a strong focus on acquisition candidates in the digital eco-system, was also part of the transaction. As exclusive financial advisor, Parklane supported the shareholders of eccelerate and Valearis in the sales process.
“We are very excited about this next step because, as part of Mindcurv, we can accompany our customers beyond our consulting and due diligence services. Through Mindcurv’s deep technology expertise and delivery competence, we can now follow up our consultancy services with a sustainable engagement model to achieve perpetual digital transformation” said Lennard Grewe, Managing Director of eccelerate and Valearis. Mindcurv CEO, Amjad Liaquat, stated “Since our inception in 2011, we’ve focused on delivering everything our customers need for long-term business success, from our first meeting, to project completion and throughout our partnership with them. Our teams are at the forefront of technology innovation and commerce, and our recent acquisitions extend that expertise at a time when companies need partners they can trust to deliver optimal 360° customer experiences quickly and effectively”.
eccelerate is a highly specialized digital commerce consultancy that promotes growth and innovation within mid-market and international corporations. Founded in 2012, the company is headquartered in Munich, Germany, with another office in Frankfurt, employing more than 30 consultants and digital specialists. eccelerate develops tailored strategies and digital business models concepts and supports clients in defining and implementing digital growth/ value creation and transformation agendas. Over the last few years, eccelerate has built up a strong reputation, particularly in the DACH and European markets, and has received several awards from Wirtschaftswoche and BrandEins, among others.
Valearis is a Transaction Services Consultancy that helps both financial as well as strategic investors in the assessment of potential investment targets. Valearis’ sweet spots are small-to mid-cap size funds and strategic investors investing in targets with enterprise valuations ranging from €50m to €500m. The Valearis team accompanies clients from pre-deal outside-in evaluations and sector research to buy-side or sell-side commercial-, digital- and IT due diligence.
Mindcurv, backed by GENUI and Primepulse, develops digital solutions that have a r/evolutionary impact on companies, processes, and user experiences. Founded in 2011, the company is headquartered in Essen, Germany, with offices throughout Germany and in the Netherlands, Spain, and India, employing more than 570 people. Mindcurv creates digital customer experiences using modern technologies, cloud infrastructures, and data to enable companies to respond faster to opportunities, changes, and challenges in the market. Mindcurv is a certified member of the global MACH Alliance and a partner of modern technology and public cloud providers.
adzLocal sale to PINOVA Capital
Parklane Capital advised the shareholders of mar-tech specialist adzLocal on its successful exit to PINOVA Capital. adzLocal is the leading marketing-as-a-service provider for SMEs in Germany. The company has experienced strong growth for many years, is highly profitable and currently serves more than 2,000 clients.
As exclusive financial advisor, Parklane supported the shareholders of adzLocal in the competitive sales process. Special focus was placed on the preparation of the business plan, the strategic positioning, the structuring of the transaction and the contract negotiations with national and international financial investors and strategists.
The founder Dietrich Wedegärtner, the investors and the management reinvested in the company as part of the transaction and are looking forward to continuing adzLocal's successful growth together with PINOVA.
About adzLocal GmbH
adzLocal was founded in 2009 by Dietrich Wedegärtner and currently employs over 40 people in Hamburg. adzLocal supports more than 2,000 hyperlocal small and micro businesses in acquiring new customers using an online marketing mix consisting of Google AdWords campaigns, contact-optimised landing pages and contact tracking. The comprehensive proprietary software stack enables adzLocal to offer its clients effective online marketing to acquire attractive new customers at predictable and low costs starting from a monthly advertising budget of €300.
About PINOVA Capital
PINOVA Capital is an independent private equity firm investing in high-growth technology companies in German-speaking regions. PINOVA Capital focuses on “Mittelstand” companies with sales between €10 million and €75 million in the sectors industrial technology and information technology, characterized by significant growth potential, sustainable competitive advantages and a strong market position in their niche.
Sovendus sale to Paragon Partners
Parklane Capital advised Sovendus founder Oliver Stoll and Michael Kofluk on their sale and significant reinvestment in Sovendus alongside new majority owner Paragon Partners. Bregal Unternehmerkapital realizes its investment, after having supported the company since 2015.
For Parklane Capital the continued work for the Founders is proof of the excellent relationship for many years, having advised them on the initial deal with Bregal and subsequently on various add-on acquisitions.
Sovendus is the leading provider of tools for checkout-based online marketing in Europe with over 1,200 partners. The core product Sovendus SALES connects shops via Sovendus' closed voucher network, generating reach, new customers, and transactions. Sovendus SELECT enables its partners to generate incremental revenues through the marketing of special offers on their checkout page. The generation of high-quality newsletter subscribers and email marketing on Sovendus’ distribution list complement the product portfolio. Sovendus was founded in 2008 in Karlsruhe and today employs around 120 people.
About Paragon Partners
Founded in 2004, Paragon is one of the leading independent private equity firms in Europe, with more than EUR 1.2 billion of equity under management. Paragon works closely with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth and operational excellence. The investment portfolio covers various industries and currently comprises 14 companies. The firm is based in Munich, Germany.
celebrate company private placement to EMZ
Parklane Capital advised celebrate company, the leading European online supplier of personalized stationery and photo products, and its shareholder on the successful sale of a minority share to EMZ. The company's valuation in the triple-digit million range confirms its consistent success in recent years. In the process of the transaction, the management team also had the opportunity to increase its share in the company. The heart and initial foundation of celebrate company is the love brand "kartenmacherei". Parklane acted as celebrate company’s exclusive financial advisor and supported the company during the entire sales process throughout the COVID-19 pandemic with special focus on the strategic positioning of the brand as well as the approach of potential investors and negotiating the deal terms. The mandate further demonstrates Parklane Capital's outstanding track-record with transactions in the
Celebrate company was able to perform strongly in 2020 with growing total revenues and an increase in EBITDA despite pressure from COVID-19 on some of its core segments. Together, celebrate company and EMZ aim to further boost the company’s organic growth and to expand regional and product focus through a buy & build strategy.
About celebrate company
Since its foundation in 2010, the celebrate group has become the European market leader for personalized greeting cards. In addition to stationery and photo products, celebrate apps offers photo cloud solutions that can be used to share images and turn them into high-quality print products in just a few steps. The original root of the celebrate company stems from the brand "kartenmacherei". With a broad portfolio of over 200,000 products ranging from personalized wedding invitations to calendars and wall art, "kartenmacherei" stands for loving design, high-quality products, and exceptional online user experience. The company has recently increased its revenue to over 50 million Euros and has withstood the COVID-19 impact on its wedding and party segments further growing its EBITDA. In the process, the company has also expanded to roughly 300 employees and advanced its product portfolio and regional expansion.
EMZ is a leading European investment company with offices in Paris and Munich. Its activities focus on investments in medium-sized companies alongside founders, family shareholders, and managers. EMZ is majority controlled by its own employees and invests the money of institutional investors from Europe. EMZ specializes in investments of between 10 and 150 million euros and has recently also invested in the bootstrapped spice-startup Ankerkraut.
Enowa merger into Convista Group
Parklane Capital successfully supported business and IT consultancy enowa AG and its shareholders on its recent merger into ConVista Group, a leading global business and IT consulting firm.
The merger further strengthens ConVista's position as a leading partner for change in digitalization. With the addition of enowa, ConVista Group is not only expanding its range of services but is also taking a big step towards becoming a transformation partner for digitalization. The expanded range of services includes business consulting and specialist consulting, IT and SAP consulting as well as implementation, software development and products, application management and German-speaking nearshore. As a result, customers are therefore offered holistic end-to-end projects from a single source.
Together with enowa, ConVista Group employs over 1,000 people and generates a turnover of approximately 140 million euros.
Enowa LLC, serving clients in the North American market, was not part of the transaction.
enowa AG is a highly specialized business consultancy focused on digital transformation in the industrial and insurance sectors. The company was founded in 2002 by Carsten Börner and has more than 300 employees. The company headquarters are located in Rottendorf near Würzburg with branch offices in Munich, Hamburg, Düsseldorf and internationally in Basel (Switzerland), Vienna (Austria), Shanghai (China) and Baltimore, Philadelphia, Los Angeles (USA).
ConVista Group is a leading global business and IT consulting firm focused on providing services to clients in the insurance, finance, energy, telecommunications, automobile and retail industries. Founded in Cologne in 1999, ConVista currently employs about 650 employees in 15 locations across 3 continents.
Yieldkit sale to Waterland
Parklane Capital advised YIELDKIT, a leading global platform for in-text advertising, content monetisation and performance marketing, and its shareholders on the successful sale of a majority stake to Waterland Private Equity. Parklane acted as YIELDKIT's exclusive financial advisor and supported the company throughout the entire sales process with special emphasis on preparation of the business plan, the strategic positioning of YIELDKIT as well as the approach of potential investors and negotiating the deal terms. The successful deal once again demonstrates Parklane Capital's outstanding expertise in transactions within the tech space.
With a workforce of 30 employees, YIELDKIT generated revenues of €33 million in 2020. Together with founder Oliver Krohne, CEO Daniel Neuhaus and tech entrepreneur Lars Hinrichs, Waterland plans to additionally boost YIELDKIT’s organic growth and to develop the software platform through a buy & build strategy towards market leadership.
YIELDKIT was founded in 2009 in Hamburg, Germany by Oliver Krohne. The platform offers both digital publishers and advertisers a straightforward and simple solution for optimised execution of performance marketing strategies while boosting sales and increasing traffic. YIELDKIT works with over 60 performance networks and has built up a base of more than 45,000 active advertisers that can be deployed on over 374,000 domains. Globally, YIELDKIT delivers content to over 80 million users every month and is currently active in over 160 countries. This makes the company a hidden champion in marketing technologies. In terms of regional split, the largest revenue contribution comes from the DACH region, followed by the UK, other European countries, USA, Brazil, India and Russia.
Waterland is an independent private equity investment group that supports entrepreneurs in realizing their growth ambitions. Waterland currently manages € 8 billion of investor commitments. With substantial financial resources and committed industry expertise, Waterland enables its portfolio companies to achieve accelerated growth both organically and through acquisitions. Waterland acts as an active shareholder in its portfolio companies. To date, Waterland has made investments in over 650 companies.
Emporis sale to CoStar
Parklane Capital successfully advised Emporis on its recent sale to U.S.-based CoStar Group. In the preparation of the planned share deal, Parklane was able to advise Emporis on business planning and framing for the transaction as well as during the contract negotiation phase. Parklane is particularly pleased to have been able to advise in the sale of yet another company to a listed multinational player as part of a cross-border transaction.
Emporis was founded in 2000 as a data mining company with a focus on collecting data on skyscrapers and high-rise buildings. Headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, the company manages one of the largest building communities in the world and markets its global collection of data and photographs of buildings to clients such as Allianz, at&t, BCG, Bloomberg, Wharton Busines School, and many more. Emporis is frequently cited by a host of reputable journals and articles, has developed the annual Emporis Skyscraper Award into an industry standard, and is known to set a standard for information on international skyscrapers and high-rise buildings.
CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSGP) is the leading provider of commercial real estate information, analytics and online marketplaces. Founded in 1987, CoStar conducts expansive, ongoing research to produce and maintain the largest and most comprehensive database of commercial real estate information. The company’s suite of online services enables clients to analyse, interpret and gain unmatched insight on commercial property values, market conditions and current availabilities. STR provides premium data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights for the global hospitality sector. Ten-X provides a leading platform for conducting commercial real estate online auctions and negotiated bids. LoopNet is the most heavily trafficked commercial real estate marketplace online with over 7 million monthly unique visitors. Realla is the UK’s most comprehensive commercial property digital marketplace. Apartments.com, ApartmentFinder.com, ForRent.com, ApartmentHomeLiving.com, Westside Rentals, AFTER55.com, CorporateHousing.com, ForRentUniversity.com and Apartamentos.com form the premier online apartment resource for renters seeking great apartment homes and provide property managers and owners a proven platform for marketing their properties. CoStar Group’s websites attracted an average of approximately 69 million unique monthly visitors in aggregate in the third quarter of 2020. Headquartered in Washington, DC, CoStar Group maintains offices throughout the U.S. and in Europe, Canada and Asia with a staff of over 4,300 worldwide, including the industry’s largest professional research organization.