It’s all too easy to underestimate the contribution of venture capitalists in the growth of companies that want to expand. In addition to their capital contribution, they provide active support and expertise to the company in which they invest. Thus, while encouraging dynamism and innovation, private equity also provides companies with concrete resources to ensure their growth and continuity. Leveraging their experience, these investors are able to take an objective look at the company they intend to invest in. Their follow-up and collaboration with the company management also favours the growth and progress of the companies supported in this way.
Three top winners
The winners, in three categories, are the best from a selection of three nominees. The Venture category honours young companies that, with the support of a venture capitalist, develop and market an innovative product or service. The Growth category is for companies that are starting or expanding their business through organic growth or an acquisition strategy, and are doing so with a financial partner that is not aiming for a takeover. The Buy-out category is for companies whose transfer and growth are secured by the joint action of management and a venture capitalist with a controlling interest.
“The winners, as well as all the other nominated companies, illustrate how private equity can facilitate the rapid growth of Belgian companies, without losing sight of a long-term vision. Deliverect, Odoo and Abriso-Jiffy are perfect examples of companies that, with the help of their managers, staff and private investors, have been able to realise their potential without making concessions in terms of sustainability or quality. This is the raison d’être of the Private Equity Awards: to highlight the companies with high growth potential and the ambition of those who are driving them”, says Joëlle Starquit, President of the BVA.
Venture Company of the Year: Deliverect
Deliverect, a fast-growing SaaS company, connects delivery platforms and food companies around the world. To better manage delivery and collection activities, Deliverect integrates meal and food ordering platforms directly into the cash management system, thereby removing the need for re-keying orders and the often costly errors that this leads to. Established in 2018 and headquartered in Ghent, Deliverect employs over 200 people.
The company’s award-winning title is explained by its impressive growth in a very short time. With a presence in 38 countries, Deliverect has great opportunities to become a global player in its field. The delivery and collection management solution developed by Deliverect is an essential tool for the catering sector, the importance of which was underlined during the pandemic.
Other nominees in the category were AgomAb Therapeutics and Imcyse.
Growth Company of the Year: Odoo
Odoo is a suite of open source business applications for all business needs: CRM, e-commerce, accounting, inventory, point of sale, project management, ... Odoo has more than 7 million users in over 120 countries. The company, which has over 1,700 employees, has been in existence since 2004 and is based in Grand-Rosière in Walloon Brabant.
In the eyes of the jury, the dynamism and resilience that Odoo has shown in recent years was one of the determining factors in winning the award. The quality of its products, which are cutting-edge but also very user-friendly, also played a role in the decision. Finally, it is a company with a solid base in Belgium that is making an international impact via its presence around the world.
The other nominees in this category were UgenTec and Univercells.
Buy-out Company of the Year: Abriso-Jiffy
Abriso-Jiffy has grown from a purely local player into a leading European group specialising in sustainable protection and insulation materials for the packaging and construction sectors. Founded in 1985 and headquartered in Anzegem, the group has around 1,500 employees across 15 production centres in 11 European countries.
The jury’s choice was based on the quality of Abriso-Jiffy’s journey: a successful reorientation, followed by the entry of Bencis Capital and the takeover of Jiffy, and finally a flawless exit. It is also worth noting that the entire trajectory was achieved with the help and support of a motivated team. In addition, ESG criteria are firmly embedded in the company’s business model, making Abriso-Jiffy a perfect ambassador for the Private Equity Awards.
In addition to Abriso-Jiffy, the nominees in this category were Corialis and Circet Benelux.
Sustainability a priority for private equity
Venture capital investments are increasingly conditional on a positive societal impact. By stimulating the growth of companies, they contribute to the creation of jobs for the benefit of society as a whole. In addition, the sector pays a great deal of attention to sustainability, with the active consideration of ESG factors being an important criterion in the decision to invest in a company or not. Elements such as energy consumption, climate, health and good corporate governance are therefore important factors throughout the investment process. It is therefore no coincidence that the nominated companies share a number of ESG assets, such as a strong potential for job creation, openness to diversity, sustainable management of resources and raw materials, and better health care.Didier Beauvois, Head of Corporate Banking and Member of the Management Committee of BNP Paribas Fortis, says: “As a co-founder of the Private Equity Awards, this is the fourth time we have participated in the organisation of this event. On the one hand, we want to highlight successful Belgian companies with strong growth potential, and on the other hand, we want to demonstrate that private equity can help companies to grow. It is not only innovative scale-ups that are in need of external investment to make the transition to a more sustainable model. These are investments whose return only becomes clear in the longer term. That is why, in our role as a banker, we believe it is our mission to assist companies in their efforts through our private equity offering. In this way, we make a positive contribution to the Belgian economy and to society as a whole. To achieve this, we are providing additional resources and intend to double our private equity portfolio to €1 billion by 2025.”
Press contacts :
Pierre Demaerel, Secretary General BVA: +32 475 62 80 27
Valéry Halloy, Spokesperson BNP Paribas Fortis: +32 475 78 80 97
The Belgian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (BVA) is the representative association of venture capitalists in Belgium. The BVA is the contact point for anyone who wants to know more about these investors and the private equity and venture capital market in Belgium.
Founded in 1986, the BVA currently has 134 members, all national and international investors providing venture capital to companies in Belgium. The associate members of the BVA are professional players or companies interested in this type of investment.
BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity
BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity, the private equity arm of BNP Paribas Fortis, has been active in the Belgian private equity market since the 1980s. Today BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity supports successful medium-sized companies through minority stakes and mezzanine financing. BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity also acts as an investor in venture capital and private equity funds operating in the Belgian market. BNP Paribas Fortis' direct holdings include Studio 100, JAC, eTheRNA, Penne, Quality Assistance and PointChaud.