Providence Strategic Growth and Verdane Invest in Hornetsecurity
London, Oslo and Hanover, 30 July 2020. Providence Strategic Growth (“PSG”), the growth equity affiliate of premier asset management firm Providence Equity Partners (“Providence”), and Verdane, the specialist Northern European growth equity investor, announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for an investment in Hornetsecurity Group (“Hornetsecurity”), a leading European provider of cloud-based email security and data protection, whereby affiliates of PSG become new shareholders in the Company whereas Verdane re-invests.
Hornetsecurity provides a range of best-in-class products designed to protect businesses against the latest and most sophisticated cyber threats – including malware and spear phishing. Its flagship offering, 365 Total Protection Suite, is specially developed for Microsoft 365 and can be seamlessly integrated into businesses’ existing email platforms. Hornetsecurity serves both small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) and larger enterprises, with differentiated product ranges tailored to a range of security needs and team sizes. Since its launch in 2007, Hornetsecurity has sustained strong growth momentum and now employs 200 people serving over 40,000 customers, and has offices in Germany, Spain, Argentina, the US, and the UK.
Daniel Hofmann, Founder and CEO of Hornetsecurity, said: “Today’s transaction represents a strong vote of confidence in our team, product offering, and business model. We have built a solid technological platform since launching in 2007, expanding our geographic footprint and winning significant customers along the way. With the support of PSG and Verdane, we are now well-positioned to accelerate our growth and enhance our technology. We look forward to working together to deliver even greater value to our customers, partners, employees, and the communities in which we do business.”
Dany Rammal, Managing Director at Providence Strategic Growth, stated: “Hornetsecurity bears all the hallmarks of PSG investments: it is a cutting-edge technology service built and led by strong talent, with a compelling value proposition to blue chip customers, and market leadership in the DACH region. We are pleased to be partnering with Verdane, the founder and the management team on this transaction and look forward to working together to scale up the business organically and through strategic M&A.”
Emanuel Johnsson, Partner at Verdane, said: “It has been a true pleasure working with the team at Hornetsecurity since our initial investment in 2016, having successfully completed four bolt-on acquisitions and expanded operations internationally. We are now pleased to re-invest and, together with PSG, support the management team in the next phase of growth.”
Dr. Alex von Frankenberg, Managing Director of High-Tech Gründerfonds, commented: “We congratulate the management team, Verdane and PSG to this transaction. For HTGF it has been a perfect journey: starting with a seed investment back in 2007, we have had the privilege to support the management team in building a leading European email cloud security provider and now we are happy to hand over to growth investors PSG and Verdane. With their support the company is poised for further international growth and we wish all parties involved all the best for the next steps.”
ACXIT Capital Partners acted as exclusive financial advisor to Hornetsecurity GmbH and its shareholders in this transaction.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Daniel Hofmann stated: “ACXIT Capital Partners identified and secured the most suitable combination of investors for us and executed the transaction in a professional and efficient manner. We enjoyed the cooperation and would like to thank the entire team for their contribution to this transaction.”
About Hornetsecurity Group
Hornetsecurity is a leading German email cloud security provider in Europe, which protects the IT infrastructure, digital communication, and data of companies and organisations of all sizes. The security specialist from Hanover provides its services worldwide via 9 secure datacentres. The product portfolio covers all important areas of email security, including spam and virus filters, legally compliant archiving, and encryption, as well as defence against advanced threats like CEO fraud and ransomware. With around 200 employees, Hornetsecurity is represented globally at 11 locations and operates in more than 30 countries through its international distribution network. The premium services are used by approximately 40,000 customers including Swisscom, Telefónica, KONICA MINOLTA, LVM Versicherung, DEKRA and Claas.
About Providence Strategic Growth
Providence Strategic Growth (“PSG”) is an affiliate of Providence Equity Partners (“Providence”). Established in 2014, PSG focuses on growth equity investments in lower middle market software and technology-enabled service companies. Providence is a premier global asset management firm that pioneered a sector-focused approach to private equity investing with the vision that a dedicated team of industry experts could build exceptional companies of enduring value. Since the firm’s inception in 1989, Providence has invested in more than 200 companies and is a leading equity investment firm focused on the media, communications, education and information industries. PSG is headquartered in Boston, MA, with offices in London and Kansas City.
Verdane is a specialist growth equity investment firm that partners with ambitious Northern European tech-enabled businesses to help them reach the next stage of international growth. Verdane pioneered portfolio acquisitions in Northern Europe in 2003, and announced a complementary fund strategy entirely dedicated to direct investments in 2018. Verdane’s eight funds hold €2bn in total commitments and have made over 120 thematic investments into category leaders within in digital consumer, energy & resource efficiency and the software industry. Verdane’s team of 55, based in Berlin, Copenhagen, Helsinki, London, Oslo and Stockholm, is dedicated to being the preferred growth partner in Northern Europe.
ACXIT Capital Partners is a leading international corporate finance and financial advisory firm for mid-market clients and entrepreneurs in Europe and beyond. Since 1998, we offer our clients comprehensive corporate finance advisory services including M&A and capital markets advisory as well as restructuring, debt and strategic advisory. As an independent, privately owned firm we maintain offices and representations in Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Zurich, Hong Kong and New York as well as strong alliances in the UK, France and India.
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