Seed investor HTGF and HCS sell their stakes in Hornetsecurity GmbH to growth equity investors

July 30, 2020

  • Perfect exit with very substantial returns for High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) and HCS Beteiligungsgesellschaft GmbH (HCS)
  • Growth equity investors Providence Strategic Growth (PSG) and Verdane acquire stakes
  • Hornetsecurity’s leadership team to remain on board
  • Transaction subject to antitrust clearance

HTGF invested in Hornetsecurity back in 2007, shortly after the company was founded, while HCS came on board in 2017. The two investors were quick to foresee the increasingly important role that data security would come to play. They were won over by the team and their idea – developing purely cloud-based solutions from day one. Today, Hornetsecurity Group is one of Europe’s leading providers of cloud-based email security and data protection, with over 200 employees and more than 40,000 customers.

We have been at Hornetsecurity’s side for over 13 years and are pleased with the outcome of our investment. The company has shown outstanding development – and that’s down to the performance of the founders and the highly motivated team. But now is precisely the right time for Hornetsecurity to take the next step on its growth journey. And in PSG and Verdane, two renowned growth equity investors, they have found exactly the right partners to accompany them. It shows that successful exits are indeed possible even during the current situation.

Dr. Alex von Frankenberg, Managing Director at HTGF

The transaction marks HTGF’s sixth exit since the start of the coronavirus crisis.

With the new investors Hornetsecurity is very well positioned for further and accelerated growth. HCS had joined Hornetsecurity after the company had convinced us with its team and business model at the HTGF PIC in spring 2017. This is a successful investment for HCS and I am personally pleased that I was able to accompany the development of Hornetsecurity from its foundation – most recently as Chairman of the Advisory Board.

Holger Heinen, Venture Partner at HCS Beteiligungsgesellschaft GmbH

Accompanied by the two growth equity investors, Hornetsecurity will now transition to the next phase of its growth journey, turning its focus to stepping up its activities on international markets.

Through their investments in recent years, HTGF and HCS have been pivotal in enabling us to achieve strong growth in a short space of time and become a leading provider of cloud-based email security. They’ve been a huge help as a dedicated sparring partner with excellent connections. And that’s something that we’re very grateful for. With PSG and Verdane, we are writing the next chapter of our success story and will embark on the next step in our growth journey. Our focus will be on expanding our global presence and continuously refining our services.

Daniel Hofmann, Founder and CEO of Hornetsecurity Group

The transaction was supported by ACXIT Capital Partners on the sellers’ side. The financial terms of the exit agreement were not disclosed. The press release by Providence Strategic Growth and Verdane Invest is available here.

About Hornetsecurity Group
Hornetsecurity is a leading German email cloud security provider in Europe, which protects the IT infrastructure, digital communication, and data of companies and organisations of all sizes. The security specialist from Hanover provides its services worldwide via 9 secure datacentres. The product portfolio covers all important areas of email security, including spam and virus filters, legally compliant archiving, and encryption, as well as defence against advanced threats like CEO fraud and ransomware. With around 200 employees, Hornetsecurity is represented globally at 11 locations and operates in more than 30 countries through its international distribution network. The premium services are used by approximately 40,000 customers including Swisscom, Telefónica, KONICA MINOLTA, LVM Versicherung, DEKRA and Claas.

Media contact:
Micha Beyersdorf
+49 (0) 511 515 464-117

About HCS Beteiligungsgesellschaft GmbH
Founded in 2003, HCS is a German investment company that focuses on – preferably long-term – investments in companies in the fields of AI, IoT and cybersecurity. The management team has many years of experience in the top management of medium-sized companies in various sectors, including MDAX companies, and has invaluable expertise in supporting organisations in the phase of market entry, growth, new business development and company succession. The regional focus of activities is in Germany and Austria.

Holger H. Heinen, Venture Partner
T.: +49 1517 500 31 69

About High-Tech Gründerfonds
High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is a seed investor that finances high-potential, tech-driven start-ups. With around EUR 900 million in total investment volume across three funds and an international network of partners, HTGF has already helped forge almost 600 start-ups since 2005. Driven by their expertise, entrepreneurial spirit and passion, its team of experienced investment managers and startup experts help guide the development of young companies. HTGF’s focus is on high-tech start-ups in the fields of digital tech, industrial technology, life sciences, chemistry and related business areas. To date, external investors have injected over EUR 2.5 billion into the HTGF portfolio via more than 1,600 follow-on financing rounds. HTGF has also successfully sold interests in more than 100 companies.

Investors in this public-private partnership include the Federal Ministry For Economic Affairs and Energy, KfW Capital, and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft e.V., as well as the companies ALTANA, BASF, BAYER, B.Braun, Boehringer Ingelheim, Robert Bosch, BÜFA, CEWE, Deutsche Post DHL, Dräger, Drillisch AG, EVONIK, EWE AG, FOND OF, Haniel, Hettich, Knauf, Körber, LANXESS, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, PHOENIX CONTACT, Postbank, QIAGEN, RWE Generation SE, SAP, Schufa, Schwarz Gruppe, STIHL, Thüga, Vector Informatik, WACKER and Wilh. Werhahn KG.

High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Dr. Ulrich Schmitt, Senior Investment Manager
T.: +49 (0) 228 82300 050

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