18 January 2016

Vaadin raises $6M in Funding lead by eEquity

eEquity and Finnish Industry Investment invest $6M in Vaadin, the open source company whose user­interface tools are used in 40% of Fortune­100 companies and by over 150 000 developers worldwide

Vaadin’s business is building components and tools for web application developers. Its products enable businesses to replace most of their desktop applications with standard based web applications that run on all major mobile and desktop browsers. By hiding the underlying complexity of the web standards, Vaadin’s technology speeds up the development process, increases security and allows developers to focus on building business value.

With the new investment, the company intends to boost its R&D and ecosystem development to expand its unique set of developer tools. “The web development ecosystem is going through rapid changes due to emerging web component standards at the same time as both JavaScript and Java as programming languages are taking inspiration from each other“ says CEO Joonas Lehtinen. “With the current product portfolio, Vaadin has a unique opportunity to develop its tooling into the direction future web apps need. With 100+ employees, a solid customer base and being profitable with a turnover of $10M, the company is well set to change the developer experience in the coming years” Joonas says.

“We’ve been following growing Nordic success stories and got Vaadin on our radar early on after our portfolio companies had been using Vaadin to increase productivity among their developers” says Patrik Hedelin, partner at eEquity and previous co­founder of boo.com.

“Vaadin is a market leading server side Java framework with a very strong technology offering which is now ready to be offered on a larger scale. The company has been growing 30% per annum historically under profitability. Vaadin has recently launched the sale of premium tools that has been really well received in the market where we expect the recurring revenues to grow quickly” he summarizes.

Earlier investors in Vaadin include Aboa Venture Management and Finnish Industry Investment. During this round Finnish Industry Investment increases its stake in Vaadin by joining eEquity as investors. The company intends to keep on rapidly hiring more people into its Turku, Helsinki, Berlin and San Jose offices during 2016.

For further information, please contact:
Joonas Lehtinen
CEO, Vaadin
+1 (408) 886­0554
joonas@vaadin.com

Patrik Hedelin
Partner, eEquity
+46 70 545 28 89
patrik@eequity.se

About eEquity
eEquity is currently the leading private equity company for investments in e­commerce and online companies in the Nordic region in terms of both physical products and services. eEquity has invested in the online sector since 2010 and is currently the co­owner of nine companies in the Nordic region. eEquity invests primarily in entrepreneurial led growth companies with the potential to become market leaders. eEquity is backed by European leading family offices and financial institutions.

About Finnish Industry Investment
Finnish Industry Investment Ltd is a state­owned investment company that promotes Finnish business, employment and economic growth through venture capital and private equity investments. The company manages assets amounting to some MEUR 900.

About Vaadin
Vaadin is the company behind the Open Source Vaadin Framework. It is today used in over 40% of the Fortune­100 companies and by over 150 000 developers worldwide. The company employs over 100 persons in its Finnish, Californian and German offices. For further information on Vaadin tools, services and open positions see vaadin.com.

14 January 2016

eleven acquires Parfymeri L and goes omnichannel

Read more (in Swedish)

22 December 2015

eEquity invests SEK 21 million in KidsBrandStore and makes its first investment in the new fund, eEquity III

eEquity, the leading investor in e-commerce and online companies in the Nordics, invests in KidsBrandStore, the largest online store in Sweden within premium clothing for children and youths

The company was founded in 2011 by Peter Markstedt (former professional soccer player in Allsvenskan and Premier League) and Mikael Arnåsen in Västerås. Revenues closed to doubled during 2015 and aims to reach SEK 60 million in revenues in 2016 through continued strong growth online as well as through the opening of a physical store during the second half of 2016.

KidsBrandStore sell premium brands such as Ralph Lauren, Gant and Tommy Hilfiger. The company also has close collaborations with several famous bloggers, among those Pernilla Wahlgren and Charlotte Perelli. Together with these the company has launched several unique clothing collections sold on the website.

eEquity’s investment helps to support the company in the upcoming further expansion in the Nordic region, both online and through physical stores. The focus will be on building KidsBrandStore to a market leader in its niche in the Nordic countries by having the most relevant product range for the customers with quick delivery and the best customer experience.

”We are now taking a new step in the company’s development and will continue to offer our customers the finest and best children and youth clothing with a strong focus on customer satisfaction and timely delivery. We see great benefits in getting eEquity as an owner, both through the great expertise they bring with them as well as through their previous experience from building leading omnichannel companies in the Nordic region. We must now take the next step in our development and broaden the range further, expand geographically and become a leader in several markets in our niche” says Mikael Arnåsen, CEO and co-founder of KidsBrandStore.

”We see great potential in KidsBrandStore and are convinced that the company can and will grow to several hundred of millions in revenues and continue to be the natural destination when you want to purchase the most popular brands of children and youth clothing. It’s impressive how the company has managed such a high growth organically under profitability since start. We will support the company with our knowledge and extensive experience from ecommerce companies such as Royal Design, Footway and Caliroots” says Magnus Wiberg, partner at eEquity.

For more information, please contact:
Magnus Wiberg
eEquity III AB
Phone: +46 735 375 000
E-mail: magnus@eequity.se

Mikael Arnåsen
KidsBrandStore
Phone: +46 72 746 70 43
E-mail: mikael.arnasen@kidsbrandstore.se

About eEquity
eEquity is currently the leading private equity company for investments in e-commerce and online companies in the Nordic region in terms of both physical products and services. eEquity has invested in the online sector since 2010 and is currently the co-owner of nine companies in the Nordic region. eEquity invest primarily in entrepreneurial led growth companies with the potential to become market leaders. eEquity is backed by European leading family offices and financial institutions.

About KidsBrandStore
KidsBrandStore is the leading online retailer within children and youth clothing in Sweden. The company was founded in 2011 by Peter Markstedt and Mikael Arnåsen and is based in Västerås.

26 october 2015

Pitch your business for eEquity at NES Malmö 4-5 November!

Read more here

7 september 2015

eEquity III reaches first close

eEquity, the leading growth investor in Nordic Internet companies completes the first closing of its latest fund, eEquity III, at EUR 60 million, supported by existing and new European Institutional investors

eEquity III will build upon the successfull investment strategy implemented in eEquity II, providing growth capital to proven, fast growing and profitable Nordic Internet companies active within the internet retail and services sectors.

eEquity works actively with its portfolio companies to support them in becoming Nordic market leaders by accelerating growth organically and via selective add-on acquisitions. The firm’s approach to value creation was most recently demonstrated by the exit of WhiteAway which generated returns in excess of 4.5 times invested capital without leverage. Value creation was achieved through launch across the Nordics, increased product assortment, private label and two add on acquisitions leading to an increase in revenues from DKK 150 million to more than one billion at exit after 3.5 years. IRR amounted to 76%.

The portfolio in eEquity II has experienced an average annual growth rate of 60% since date of investment until today. Royal Design (home decoration) has in three years gone from SEK 90 million to approx. 5 times sales under profitability by expansion to more markets, increased product assortment and favorable add on acquisitions of Cervera franchise stores and Rum 21. Footway (shoes) has in four years gone from SEK 3 million to approx. 280 million by building a strong consumer brand, increased product assortment and favorable add on acquisitions of Heppo, Brandos and RunForrest. Footway is also profitable.

Patrik Hedelin, Partner at eEquity, said: “We are very proud of reaching the first close of eEquity III with the support of both existing and new investors. Given our sector focus on online business models in general and internet retailing in particular it has proven very valuable for the entrepreneurs to access the comprehensive competence and expertise within eEquity and our group of companies. The closing of eEquity III provides us with a solid platform to further capitalize on our strong proprietary deal flow and enables us to continue deliver strong returns to our investors.”

Legal advisors to eEquity were O´Melveny & Myers LLP in London and Cederquist in Stockholm.

For additional information, please contact:

Patrik Hedelin
patrik@eequity.se
+46 70 545 2889

About eEquity

Established in 2010 with the support of international institutional investors, eEquity is today the leading private equity investor for proven entrepreneurs with established companies within the Nordic internet retailing segment. The firm´s portfolio currently includes companies such as Royal Design, Footway, Eleven, Caliroots and Outdoorexpert. eEquity was founded by Magnus Wiberg and Patrik Hedelin as a continuation of their work in the online distribution sectors since the early 1999.

1 september 2015

eEquity invests in Outdoorexperten and plan for Nordic expansion

eEquity, the leading investor in e-commerce and online companies in the Nordics, are investing in Outdoorexperten. The company, selling sport and outdoor products online, has shown strong growth and been profitable since inception.

Outdoorexperten is one of the leading online players in the sports and outdoor segment. As an example, the company has over 5 000 products for hiking only. The company was founded in 2005 by Pierre Breznik in Västerås and has successfully grown under profitability. Outdoorexperten currently operates omnichannel sales through the website and a physical store in Västerås, with brands such as Lundhags, Haglöfs, Klättermusen, Bergans, Woolpower and Garmin. The company’s vision is to maximize outdoor experiences and to be in the forefront in presenting and selling news within the segment.

The eEquity investment will support the company in the upcoming Nordic expansion. The focus will be on building a market leader within the segment in the Nordic countries, mainly through having the most relevant product range together with quick delivery and the best customer experience.

“We are very pleased that we have so many satisfied and repeat customers, the entire company has a strong focus on customer satisfaction and all employees work with it every day. We love nature and want to maximize the experience there. We see great benefits in getting eEquity as an owner, partly because they bring great expertise and partly through their previous experience from building leading omnichannel companies in the Nordic region. We must now take the next step in our development through broaden the product range further and expand geographically to become a leader in several markets within our niche” says Pierre Breznik, CEO and founder of Outdoorexperten.

“We see great potential in Outdoorexperten where we believe the company will become the market leader in its field in Scandinavia within a few years. The company has grown organically since inception and has always been profitable, which we see as clearly positive. We will support the company with our expertise and extensive experience in e-commerce and help lift it into a billion revenue company within a few years” says Felix Erhardt, partner at eEquity.

For more information, please contact:

Felix Erhardt
eEquity AB
Phone: +46 725 101 625
E-mail: felix.erhardt@eequity.se

Pierre Breznik
Outdoorexperten
Phone: +46 700 929167
E-mail: pierre@outdoorexperten.se

About eEquity
eEquity is currently the leading Swedish private  equity company for investments in e-commerce and online companies in the Nordic region in terms of both physical products and services. eEquity has invested in the online sector since 2010 and is currently the co-owner of eight companies in the Nordic region. eEquity invest primarily in entrepreneurial growth companies with the potential to become market leaders. eEquity manages capital for European institutional investors.

About Outdoorexperten
Outdoorexperten is one of the leading online players in the sports and outdoor segment. The company was founded in 2005 by Pierre Breznik and has its headquarters in Västerås. The company has during its 10 years grown organically to its current level of revenues of just under 80 million and has always been profitable. Outdoorexperten’s vision is to maximize outdoor experiences and be in the forefront in presenting and selling news within the segment.

8 june 2015

eleven.se acquires beauty.theyouway.com

beauty.theyouway.com, selling beauty products online, was acquired by Aftonbladet in April 2013. Since then, the company has become an important player in the Swedish e-commerce market.

eleven.se has since the start in 2004 been a first mover within the beauty segment, today offering the customers more than 900 brands within beauty, hair and skin care as well as fragrance. With passion for e-commerce and beauty products, eleven.se has helped the beauty industry to develop online.

“We are very positive to the acquisition since they, like us, has a great dedication for beauty products. The acquisition strengthens our market position, at the same time as we get to continue the great work that beauty.theyouway.com has put down throughout the years. Our goal is to give our customers the best customer experience, a complete assortment and to be the obvious destination for the latest within beauty” says the CEO and founder of eleven.se.

The acquired business will be a part of the current organisation within eleven.se, which means that the beauty.theyouway.com name will no longer be used and the plan is to cover the product assortment at eleven.se going forward.

The editorial page The You Way is not affected by the sale and will continue to be managed by Schibsted Publishing.

Company information
eleven AB, founded in 2004 by Michael Gegerfelt, is an authorised dealer with a product assortment covering more than 900 brands and 30 000 items from the most popular and prestigious brands within the beauty segment.

The company is headquartered in Stockholm with the central warehouse in Västervik. The management includes Michael Gegerfelt (CEO), Fredrik Junefelt (CFO) and Hannes Hasselrot (CPO). Majority owners are Michael Gegerfelt, eEquity AB and Verdane Capital.

27 march 2015

New Chairman in Royal Design

RoyalDesign.se is the leading e-commerce player in the Nordics within design, furniture and home deco. The company has grown rapidly under profitability since the start 15 years ago, and have recently elected Fredrik Grevelius as new Chairman, thereby strengthening the Board with valuable experience and expertise.

“We started in 1999 and have been profitable since day one. At the same time we have grown rapidly both organically and through acquisitions. We have now reached a size where the Board wants to strengthen the expertise further and where Fredrik Grevelius is an important piece of the puzzle. He has many years of experience as auditor, financial analyst and CEO for a public company and his knowledge will be very valuable going forward.” says Hans Bengtsson, CEO of Royal Design Group Holding AB.

“As a financial analyst and professional investor I have been evaluating many companies within the retail sector and when I was asked about the role as Chairman at Royal Design Group Holding AB the decision was easy. The starting point is a well managed, rapidly growing and profitable company that still, after 15 years, is perfectly relevant. The company combines e-commerce with physical stores in a competitive way and given the attractive customer offering as well as the fantastic growth potential I see a great opportunity to be part of a continously fast growing and profitable company.” says Fredrik Grevelius, new Chairman of Royal Design Group Holding AB.

Fredrik Grevelius was until October 2014 CEO of the publicly listed investment company Öresund. Prior to that he worked as financial analyst at, among others, ABG Sundal Collier, Danske Securities and Carnegie Investment Bank after working as an auditor at Öhrlings Reveko. He currently works with private investments and sits on the boards of Acne Studios Holding, Carnegie Holding, HomeMaid and Nordiska Bostäder

For more information, please contact:

Hans Bengtsson, CEO Royal Design Group Holding AB
e-mail: hans.bengtsson@royaldesign.se
Phone: 0708-20 29 65

9 march 2015

Footway acquires running shoe specialist Runforest

Footway today announces the acquisition of the running shoe specialist Runforest. By adding additional assortment, contacts, knowledge and customers, the aim of the acquisition is to further strengthen Footway’s position as the leading shoe shop online where sport shoes is an important and strong category.

Runforest is a small and niched player that in short time has managed to build a loyal customer base. Runforests catalog is addressed to the conscious running shoe user that has been able to buy their favorite shoes at favorable prices and good service. The sales rate is about SEK 20 million per year.

The acquisition of Runforest is the latest step in the consolidation of the Nordic market, which Footway began with the acquisition of Heppo in 2013, followed by the acquisition of Brandos in 2014. Runforest adds additional products and expertise in the important running shoe segment and is expected to sharpen Footway’s offering within the sports shoe department in the fight for the conscious and engaged consumers.

Footway and their central warehouse in Helsingborg will offer Runforests existing customers not only an additional 30 000 models in the range, but also the fastest deliveries, a 180 day return policy, free shipping, free returns and personal customer service.

“Runforest has done a fantastic job of building a loyal clientele with a focus on running in a short period of time. The market for running shoes is exciting and in combination with our large focus on the customer experience and service, we believe the deal will strengthen our position in the segment by delivering an even better customer experience for each unique customer”, says Daniel Muhlbach, founder of Footway.

For more information, please contact;

Daniel Mühlbach, CEO
E-mail: daniel.muhlbach@footway.com
Phone: 070-9999343

Louise Liljedahl, Press
E-mail: louise.liljedahl@footway.com
Phone: 0736-40 93 50

8 january 2015

Mister Spex secures $40m investment

Mister Spex is Europe’s largest online optician and the investment will be used to support the Company’s domestic and international growth plans.

Read more (in English)