Founders of the Primeon startup bought back shares from 2 investment funds and took over 100% control over the company. This is a unique MBO (Management Buy Out) transaction on the Polish VC market, one of the largest in the pre-seed round.
The sale of 100% shares in Primeon is one of the largest exits in the history of AIP SEED and another profitable exit for Inovo Venture Partners. At the same time, this type of MBO is an unusual transaction for the Polish VC market. (According to Startup Poland Foundation, over 70% of exits are the shares sales to another fund, a strategic investor or an IPO.)
“This is the 45th exit and another large transaction for the AIP Seed portfolio. We’ve had other great returns, such as a 22-fold return on investment in startup CallPage and a 10 times return on Opony. In each of these two cases, the value of shares sold exceeded 1 million PLN”, said Dariusz Żuk, founder and CEO of AIP Seed.
“It’s another profitable investment exit for Inovo this year (next to ECC Games). We are happy with this transaction because it allows our investors to return their money. What convinced us to invest in Primeon was a strong team of founders, a good outlook on the education market, and a very low rate of churn among customers, which proved the high quality of the product.” – adds Tomasz Swieboda, managing partner in Inovo Venture Partners
The total amount of funds invested by both funds in the startup in 2014 was nearly PLN 1.5 million. Since then, the company’s leading product – the LangLion platform, enabling the effective organization of language schools, has become a strong player in the global education market. Currently, it is used by over 400 users from 20 countries around the world, including in the USA, Mexico, Argentina, Great Britain, Spain, Germany and Russia. The company has 7 employees. Development plans assume further foreign expansion and strengthening of the leadership position in Poland.
“When we started talks with AIP and Inovo, we were still looking for an effective business model. The money we got from the funds allowed us to test various sales and marketing strategies, maintain a dynamic growth in Poland and developing on foreign markets. After 5 years from the investment we were able to buy out the company. We hope that this will significantly accelerate the further development of LangLion”, said Patryk Chmielewski, President of Primeon.