For Release: 15 of June, 2015
JEREMIE-financed and 3TS backed Catalyst Romania invests over €1 million in
cloud software business 123ContactForm
Catalyst Romania, the leading private equity growth and venture capital fund dedicated to Romania, whichsupports SMEs in Technology-Media-Telecom (TMT) sector, has acquired a minority stake in123ContactForm (www.123contactform.com), a Timisoara headquartered business which provides web forms and surveys for companies and NGOs globally. This capital increase will help 123ContactForm to develop new products, increase marketing efforts, and expand its team of 42 people.
123ContactForm started in 2010, developing an easy-to-use software for form builders. The initial team consisted of Florin Cornianu (CEO) and Tudor Bastea (CTO). In 2011 the company raised an angel investment from Adrian Gheara, who joined as an advisor and board member. Based in Timisoara, 123ContactForm provides simple tools for building web forms with rich functionalities, ranging from design options to payment and data management. Distributed as cloud based SaaS (Software as a Service), the solutions are used by clients mainly in the English speaking markets of USA, Canada, UK and Australia and Spanish language markets across the globe.
„123ContactForm is a solid, well-managed, fast growing company and has great potential to grow further globally. The investment represents a great fit for Catalyst Romania, supporting a high growth Romanian technology company with established global sales of bespoke software products. We are happy to support 123ContactForm’s further growth and have confidence in its continued success.” , stated Marius Ghenea of Catalyst Romania.
„We have managed to grow and double the turnover year by year, all with our own resources and by bootstrapping. However we understand that a strong venture capital investor can help us to maximize our potential. Therefore we are very pleased to have the experienced team of 3TS Catalyst Romania joining us, sharing the risks, providing financial support, expertise and strategic guidance”, concluded Florin Cornianu, founder and CEO 123ContactForm.
Catalyst Romania is the first Romanian private equity fund and venture capital fund mainly funded by the European Investment Fund (EIF), through the JEREMIE initiative, as part of the Sectoral Operational Programme “Increase of Economic Competitiveness” 2007-2013, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Prior to 123ContactForm Catalyst Romania Fund has invested in Avocatnet.ro, Simartis Telecom, www.elefant.ro and Green Horse Games. The fund targets local SMEs active mainly in the TMT sectors with investments ranging between 500.000 EUR and EUR 2 million. Along with the EIF, whose contribution through JEREMIE makes it the largest investor, BT Asset Management (BTAM, member of BT Financial Group), 3TS Capital Partners, and other private investors have made capital commitments to Catalyst Romania Fund. The Fund is advised by 3TS Capital Partners (www.3tscapital.com), which is one of the leading private equity and venture capital firms in Central and Eastern Europe.
“We are very happy with the expansion of the investment portfolio of Catalyst Romania. And we are confident the new investment provides a positive signal to the SMEs that the JEREMIE financed fund is a valuable resource for financial support and strategic guidance, available to help businesses grow in technology, media and telecommunication industries”, added Hubert Cottogni, Head of Mandate Management at EIF European Investment Fund.
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 European Investment Fund’s (EIF) central mission 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. In this role, 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 7.9bn at end 2013. With investments in over 435 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 in over 300 operations at end 2013, positioning it as a major European SME guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor.
For more information about EIF, check www.eif.org.
About 3TS Capital Partners
3TS Capital Partners is one of the leading private equity and venture capital firms in Central and Eastern Europe operating across the whole region through offices in Bucharest, Budapest, Istanbul, Prague, Vienna and Warsaw. 3TS primarily targets expansion capital and buyout investments in high growth sectors including Technology & Internet, Media & Communications and Technology-Enabled Services. Our focus is on Growth Capital into companies which are or can become regional leaders or global challengers. We are specialists in cross border expansion: supporting local firms becoming regional leaders, helping companies expanding into the CEE region or taking innovative products and services to global markets. Investors in the 3TS funds totaling over € 300 million include EIF, EBRD, Cisco, OTP, Sitra,EBRD, KfW and 3i among others. For further information, please visit www.3tscapital.com
Tel: +40 722 230 925
Tel: +40 721 323 759