To say the year 2020 was undoubtedly tough would be an understatement. The pandemic forced the majority of people to commence working from home while companies faced numerous dilemmas. However, most companies that survived the tough times are stronger than ever, and investors are on the lookout for new opportunities as well. The same sentiment was reflected with the polish company InPost SA’s notable IPO as its stockholders sold 35 per cent of InPost for €2.8B in Europe’s biggest listing so far this year.
InPost becomes Europe’s biggest IPO since 2018
InPost has become Europe’s biggest IPO since 2018 as its investors raised a whopping €2.8B for its shares. The company was listed on the Amsterdam market as its stockholders eyed investment from the city’s tech-savvy investors. Advent International, Templeton Strategic Emerging Markets Fund and PZU Fundusz are the company stockholders, which sold 175 million existing shares of the company, each at €16, which is the top end of its initial range, the company says, reports Bloomberg.
As per FT, ahead of the IPO, three notable investors BlackRock, Capital World Investors and Singapore’s GIC committed to buy €1.03bn worth of the company’s shares. The IPO was initially planned for Friday, but it happened on Wednesday as the company hastened the listing by two days because of “significant investor demand”.
“We have a clear vision – to become Europe’s leading out-of-home automated solution for e-commerce, and a focused plan to help us get there. Our listing represents not the end, but the beginning of the next step in this journey. InPost is positioned at the heart of the rapidly growing e-commerce market and is primed to benefit from the flywheel effect which drives an accelerating increase in consumer and merchant adoption of our APMs. We see great potential to build our presence across Europe as more markets recognise the advantages our APMs have for both merchants and consumers,” says Rafał Brzoska, Group Chief Executive Officer of InPost
From leaflets to automated lockers
InPost was started back in 1999 by Rafał Brzoska, who used it for leaflet distribution. With the IPO, Brzoska has become a billionaire as he holds a 12.2 per cent stake in the company. Currently, InPost offers self-service lockers for its customers that can be used to arrange delivery and collection of parcels. At the end of 2020, the startup owned 12,254 automated parcel machines via which 249 million deliveries are said to have been handled. Advent acquired the business in 2017 as part of a push into the e-commerce market.
“We have plans to expand and replicate our business from Poland to the U.K., France, Spain and Italy, and the expansion would be fully financed with our own resources and cash generation,” Brzoska said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.
On 13 January 2021, InPost announced its intention to launch an offering and list on Euronext Amsterdam. According to reports, the company picked Amsterdam for its listing to reflect its international expansion plans.
Amsterdam-based Factris, a fintech startup that buys unpaid invoices from businesses, providing instant capital, recently closed a funding round with the private debt fund Dexteritas for €5M. Dexteritas is a Dutch private debt fund that offers flexible alternative financing to companies in the Netherlands.
This debt funding supplements the recent €50M senior debt facility provided by NNIP.
Use of the funds
According to Dexteritas, on recognising growth opportunities with Factris’s tech-driven approach to financing, it quickly embraced the opportunity to finance the fintech company. This new funding partner will enable Factris to further grow in volume, allowing them to offer their financing to even more businesses.
The raised capital will also enable Factris to support more factoring companies, acquire loan portfolios, and free up trapped investment capital, propelling them forward to become one of the biggest working-capital providers to SMEs in the EU.
Understanding Factris’ solution
Founded in 2017 and currently led by CEO Brian Reaves, Factris is on a mission to provide quick, low-cost working capital to European SMEs through financial technology with personalised guidance.
For example, risk is a significant problem faced by small businesses. When a business factors unpaid invoices, they sell it to a factoring company for a specific fee and the latter provides them with quick capital.
Factoring is a financial transaction and a type of debtor finance in which a business sells its accounts receivable (i.e., invoices) to a third party (called a factor) at a discount. A business will sometimes factor its receivable assets to meet its present and immediate cash needs.
However, this funding involves risk and this is where Factris aims to make this issue a thing of the past. This is what attracted Dexteritas to Factris – its high liquidity and secure financing..
Instead of relying on humans to slowly and incompletely understand the risk involved, Factris uses Artificial Intelligence and has automated the process to quickly and accurately assess the risk of a financial case, thus allowing them to fund more SMEs while also preventing financial loss.
Factris’ CEO Brian Reaves sees this as a major step towards helping struggling SMEs, who have been hit especially hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reaves comments, “Factris has always been focused on helping SMEs. As the pandemic drags on, so does its detrimental effects on small businesses. But thanks to the funding from Dexteritas, we can help finance even more SMEs in these challenging times.”
Dexteritas is a private debt fund that offers flexible alternative financing to Dutch companies. With a focus on medium-sized companies, Dexteritas offers tailor-made solutions for growth financing.
In September 2020, the company raised €50M in debt financing from AB ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of the Arab Bank. Existing investors including Speedinvest, Optima Investments, and other high net worth investors also participated in the Series-A equity funding round. In the same month, the company also bagged €5M to expand its operations and business reach.
Prior to that in March 2020, the fintech startup received €1.4M in funding from the EU for the development of an automated risk-management system. And, in November 2018, Factris raised €1.4M in its Seed round of funding from Speedinvest.
In January 2019, Factris acquired Lithuanian firm “Debifo” for an undisclosed amount with an aim to become the biggest company in accounts financing and services.
June 4, 2019 should have been one of the happiest days of my life.
At 11:30 a.m., a press release hit the wire announcing that the cybersecurity company I had spent more than eight years building was being acquired by a larger cybersecurity player.
What’s not to love about a successful exit? I’d be set financially, the investors who had given us $ 70 million would make money, and the technology we created would get new legs in an organization with broader reach and resources.
Still, I had regrets. For one thing, I initially hadn’t wanted to sell. (More on that later.) For another, I was nagged by the feeling that our company had fallen short of its true potential, and that the reason was me — specifically, several rookie mistakes I made as a first-time entrepreneur.
I don’t stew about those errors any longer. In fact, I believe my miscues at my first startup will help define my career from here on out. That’s why, as I grow my next company, I’m thinking about not only the things I want to do but those I’d never do again.
Here are five of them.
Trying to do too much myself
In management theory terms, I was a “pacesetter.” I’d be the first to jump into any project or task, I’d execute it as quickly as possible and I expected everyone else to keep up. I thought that was how a startup leader acted — super helpful and scrappy.
But it came at a big price: disempowerment of the team. I was hoarding not only control — nobody felt like they personally owned anything — but also the institutional knowledge that needs to be spread around as a company grows. I became a human GPS: People could follow my directions, but they struggled to find the way themselves. Independent thinking suffered.
I became a human GPS: People could follow my directions, but they struggled to find the way themselves. Independent thinking suffered.
After a few years, I had a frustrating sense that I had all the answers and no one else did. Well, no wonder.
I’m now leaving the pacesetting to NASCAR and marathons.
Thinking people can read my mind
I believed all I had to do was say something once and everyone would get it. I became irritated when that didn’t happen. “We talked about this three months ago,” I’d bark. Intimidated team members would say to themselves, “Yeah, but we really only got 50% of it.”
JumpCloud, Denver, Colo.-based identity access company, raised another $ 25 million to its $ 100 million in Series E funding. BlackRock led the round and was joined by investors including H.I.G. Growth Partners, OurCrowd, and General Atlantic.
Read more here.
The post [OurCrowd in Fortune] The biggest unicorn in Europe appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.