Catalyst Romania Fund and Gecad Group invest over €1M in Romanian cloud invoicing company, Smart Bill
Catalyst Romania Fund and Gecad Group have invested over €1 million in Smart Bill, the leading cloud invoicing company in Romania.
Catalyst Romania, the leading private equity growth and venture capital fund in Romania, financed by Jeremie programme, announced a joint investment in Smart Bill together with Gecad Group.
Launched in 2007 by three Romanian entrepreneurs from Sibiu, Smart Bill is the leading online invoicing software in Romania. The Company serves more than 33.000 clients issuing one million invoices a month, with a total processed business volume of more than 2 billion euros per year. In 2014 Smart Bill launched the cloud invoicing product for Romania, giving access to multiple users simultaneously for invoicing and issuing other documents in less than 30 seconds. Furthermore, the platform provides mobile functionality through smartphones and tablets, and integration with other applications while maintaining the highest security level for its customers.
„Smart Bill is on a strong growth trajectory and has impressed us with their unique combination of a talented team, specific expertise and innovative approach. We are keen to help Smart Bill accelerate its growth and further strengthen its position in Romania.” mentioned Marius Ghenea, 3TS Catalyst Romania Investment Director.
„For Smart Bill, this investment means going to the next level. Along with the capital increase, a big gain is the fact that we will have the opportunity to work with Marius Ghenea and Radu Georgescu, two renowned and experienced entrepreneurs in building succesful companies. Our objectives for the next years are to strengthen our leading position on the invoicing and cloud management market in Romania and also to pursue other opportunities, like e-invoicing and even penetrate other markets” added Radu Hasan, CEO of Smart Bill.
Catalyst Romania is the first private equity and venture capital fund designed for Romania, mainly funded by the European Investment Fund (EIF), through the JEREMIE initiative, as part of the Sectorial Operational Programme “Increase of Economic Competitiveness” 2007-2013, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Catalyst Romania supports local SMEs from the Technology, Media and Telecom sector, with investments in the range of 200.000 Euro up to 2.000.000 Euro. Together with EIF as the largest contributor of Catalyst, there are also other investors in the fund : BT Asset Management (BTAM), a company member of Banca Transilvania, 3TS Capital Partners and some other private investors. The Fund is managed by 3TS Capital Partners (http://www.3tscapital.com),one of the leading European technology private equity and venture capital firms.
JEREMIE (“Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises” or “Joint European Resources for Micro to medium Enterprises in”) is a joint initiative of the Directorate-General for Regional Policy of the European Commission and the European Investment Bank Group (which includes European Investment Fund), which aims to improve access to finance for SMEs in the European Union. In Romania, the JEREMIE Holding Fund is financed by the European Regional Development Fund in the Sectoral Operational Programme “Increase of Economic Competitiveness”, Priority Axis 1 “An innovative and eco-efficient production” – Key Area of Intervention 1.2. “Access to finance for SMEs”. In Romania, apart from private equity, the JEREMIE initiative has so far supported almost EUR 200m in new SME loans through the guarantee facility implemented through three local banks and has recently launched a funded risk sharing instrument operated with four Romanian banks.
The main mission of the European Investment Fund’s (EIF) , part of the European Investment Bank, is to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. To do so, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment. EIF’s total net commitments to private equity funds amounted to over EUR 8.8 bn at end 2014. With investments in over 500 funds, EIF is a leading player in European venture due to the scale and the scope of its investments, especially in high-tech and early-stage segments. EIF’s guarantees loan portfolio totaled over EUR 5.6bn at end of 2014, positioning it as a major European SME guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor.
For more information about EIF, check http://www.eif.org/
About GECAD Group
Gecad Group invests in companies with high growth potential, which have innovating capacity and can offer new ideas and products on their markets. GECAD Group focuses mainly on software and hi-tech companies, including security software, cloud technologies, eCommerce and E-payment. The main criteria for an investment is a credible technology roadmap in developing innovative products with global market potential. Among others, GECAD Group succesfully exited three major investments: RAV Antivyrus who was bought by Microsoft in 2003, Gecad E-payment International who was bought by Naspers in 2010 and Avangate who was bought by Francisco Partners,a private equity company, in 2013.
For more information please visit http://www.gecad.com/
About Smart Bill
According to the financial indicators, Smart Bill is the most successful online invoicing software in Romania. Launched in 2007, the solution offered by the company was purchased until now by more than 33.000 clients form the SMEs, PFA sphere, who invoice monthly more than 1 million invoices at a yearly value of more than 2 billion euros. Smart Bill offers the management of the whole invoicing process and inventory management operations. In the last two years the company has reinvested from personal resources over 500.000 Euro in the development of Smart Bill Cloud, the newest version of the product. This is accessible on any device connected to the Internet, to as many users as necessary, offering mobility, versatility, accessibility, and high data security to its clients.
About 3TS Capital Partners
3TS Capital Partners is a leading European technology private equity and venture capital firm with offices in Budapest, Bucharest, Istanbul, Prague, Vienna and Warsaw. 3TS targets investments in growth sectors including Technology & Internet, Media & Communications and Technology-Enabled Services. Investors in the 3TS funds totaling over €300 million include Cisco, EIF, EBRD, OTP, Sitra and KfW among others.
Source: 3TS Capital Partners Press Release