NETOPIA Group sells majority stake to Innova Capital
NETOPIA Group, the best known player in the Romanian online payments market, announces the sale of its majority stake to Innova Capital, one of the leading private equity investment funds in Central and Eastern Europe.
NETOPIA, one of the oldest online payment processors in Romania, plays a key role in the local e-commerce market. NETOPIA Group currently provides diversified e-payment solutions and other related services to a portfolio of over 25,000 merchants, mostly in the SME sector. Through the NETOPIA Payments platform, 25% of online card transactions in the local market are processed annually and the mobilePay Wallet app is the first multi-functional digital wallet in Romania, facilitating payments in thousands of online and offline locations. NETOPIA is also a leader in SMS payment solutions, a popular way for low-value payments, especially for purchasing public transport tickets, paying for parking and paying for ID card fees.
In addition to payment solutions, NETOPIA is at the top of SMS messaging services. Through the Web2SMS platform, more than 10 million Romanians have received SMS communications from various companies such as courier companies, financial institutions, online shops and marketing agencies.
“NETOPIA Group has consistently demonstrated its commitment to innovation through payment solutions adapted to the online environment and SMS messaging solutions for digital marketing. With the help of Innova Capital’s team, we want to accelerate the launch of new innovative solutions in an industry as dynamic as the online payments industry. This strategic move will strengthen NETOPIA Group’s position as a leader in the local market, offering unprecedented products and services. We are excited about the prospects of this partnership and are pleased to have reached this point.” said Antonio Eram, co-founder and CEO of NETOPIA Group
“We are looking with great interest at the dynamic developments in the local economy, especially the tremendous growth potential of digital services. We are pleased to be able to make an investment in one of the most respected leaders among modern payment solution providers in the second largest market in Central and Eastern Europe. We want to leverage all our experience gained so far in the financial services industry to support NETOPIA’s growth and further strengthen its position in the Romanian payment solutions market,” said Krzysztof Kulig, Senior Partner at Innova Capital.
As is usual in such transactions, the closing of the transaction will take place after obtaining approvals from the relevant authorities.
The acquisition of a majority stake in the NETOPIA Group is the first transaction undertaken by the Innova/7 fund. The first round of fundraising by Innova/7 was completed in August 2022 with a result of more than €220 million.
About NETOPIA Group
NETOPIA is a Romanian group of companies founded in 2003, comprising NETOPIA Payments, mobilPay Wallet, web2sms and Kartela. NETOPIA Payments is the most used online payment processing platform in Romania and Web2SMS is one of the most used platforms for SMS digital marketing services. Currently, more than 25,000 businesses in the e-commerce industry use NETOPIA Group’s services and solutions: mobile payments, online transactions with bank cards or via SMS, SMS marketing or mobile phone card top-ups.
About Innova Capital
Innova Capital is an independent private equity fund manager based in Poland, investing in majority buy-outs in medium-sized companies operating in Central and Eastern Europe. Since its establishment in 1994, Innova Capital has invested almost EUR 1.9 billion in nearly 70 companies in 10 countries in the region. Innova has been recognized by the Polish Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (PSIK) as the PE management firm of 2020.
About Nine O’Clock
Nine O’Clock was the first exclusively daily publication to appear in English language in Romania. The first issue of the Nine O’Clock newspaper came out 32 years ago. On October 9, 1991 a group of foreign-policy Romanian journalists came up with the initiative to release, for the first time in Romania’s history, a publication solely in English. From 2023, the new owner of the newspaper is Mihai Manea.