Utrecht, June 25 2020 – Rabo Frontier Ventures (“RFV”), the strategic investment fund of Rabobank, is investing in fast-growing online accounting and bookkeeping marketplace Ageras. Part of the deal that is effectuated today is the acquisition of Tellow by Ageras Group as part of its international expansion plans. Together, Rabobank and Ageras will further explore possibilities of jointly developing accounting and financial services for SME’s.
Tellow is a fast-growing accounting tool for freelancers and one of the portfolio companies of Rabo Frontier Ventures. The company started as an internal innovation project at Rabobank but spun-out from the bank in 2018. Tellow offers an advanced accounting tool for freelancers that enables freelancers to focus on their job instead of bookkeeping. The company grew quickly as an independent company and now reached its next stage in its journey as part of the Ageras Group. Tellow will continue to offer its services under its own brand name.
“It’s great to have witnessed the Tellow journey from corporate project to more independency and now successfully being acquired by a much larger group, Ageras. Based on the new foundations we believe the group, including Tellow, is well positioned to continue the growth and further strengthen its market share. Therefore we have also invested in Ageras as from our point of view Ageras has the right approach in this segment of the market”, said Jeroen van Doornik, managing partner of Rabo Frontier Ventures, who will join the board of Ageras Group.
Since its foundation in 2012, Ageras connects SMEs and microbusinesses in Scandinavia, Western Europe and the U.S. with professional service providers such as accountants and bookkeepers. The company grew out to the largest European marketplace for accounting services and is currently active in six markets. Investcorp, a leading global private equity firm, acquired the majority of Ageras in 2017 with the clear vision to internationalize the Group, by offering a complete set of accounting and financial services to small and medium sized enterprises. Since 2017, Ageras expanded its ecosystem actively through acquiring Danish accounting software firm Billy, servicing small and medium-sized companies, and by developing Meneto, a fully automated bookkeeping tool for micro companies. Ageras is on its way to become the leading platform for SMEs by offering multiple value added services throughout different market. Based on this ambition, Ageras has now acquired Tellow, RFV will use its current equity stake in Tellow plus an additional investment to acquire a minority position and a board seat in Ageras group.
”Ageras Group will continue to invest in Tellow in order to create a combined ecosystem which can deliver 360 degree accounting services for small and medium-sized companies in the Netherlands”, founder and CEO of Ageras Group, Rico Andersen, explains. ”By expanding our ecosystem to new countries, where we supplement the Ageras marketplace with accounting software, we are expanding the concept of Ageras by giving business owners more than just the service of an accountant. Our customers like our ecosystem in Denmark because we can serve them throughout their entire life cycle. Now we expand this to the Netherlands.” – Andersen claims.
Rabobank: partner in the journey to come
Gilbert Kamieniecky, Managing Director at Investcorp, sees the collaboration with the major European bank Rabobank as an important milestone for Ageras on their international growth-journey as Ageras Group is preparing to offer small and medium-sized companies financial services such as integrated banking, credit cards, business accounts, financing, and more.
“Rabobank is a strong and credible partner, who with us and the founders will contribute positively to scaling the Ageras ecosystem internationally within the financial sector. ”
– Gilbert Kamieniecky explains.
Gilbert also points out that the increased focus on Open Banking combined with AI and machine learning, will automate and optimize broader parts of companies’ manual processes within accounting and banking services.
”We have a clear ambition of being the technical front-runners in our market, which can help the accounting and financial services sectors by automating time-consuming and manual tasks. Rabobank is a key player in this field which – due to their insights and expertise – connects directly to the fintech part of our business model. This makes Rabobank and the team of Rabo Frontier Ventures a very exciting partner”, Gilbert Kamienecky explains.
Rabobank and Ageras
RFV and Rabobank see Ageras as an interesting partner and intermediary in the SME financing market. Rabobank is interested in exploring further possibilities of jointly developing financial services for the SME/micro company lending market in the Netherlands and leveraging the power of digital channels.