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Nebula

Nebula

NEBULA – From early venture 2007 to trade sale exit in 2017

Rite invested in Nebula in year 2007 when the company was in its early growth stage and had a turnover of 6 MEUR. At that time, web and server hosting was still considered an unattractive market due to low barriers to entry and price pressure.

At Rite, we were impressed by Nebula’s high degree of operational excellence, the level of automation in all parts of the business, the scalability of the recurring-revenue business model, and the growth potential of the underlying market. The entrepreneurs had built a small but well-run business. They wanted a partner that could support them in taking the company to the next level. They also wanted to free up some liquidity by selling some of their shares.

To continue growing the company, Rite worked closely with the entrepreneurs and management to support and provide both strategic and operational advice. In 2010, when two of the three founders felt it was time to move forward in their careers, Rite bought their shares and increased its ownership to 80% of the company. In 2013, the Swedish, stock exchange listed investment firm, Ratos, acquired the majority of Nebula while Rite remained as an active minority owner and continued to support the company, implementing a number of value-generating strategic initiatives.

In 2017, the Swedish, stock exchange listed telephone company and mobile network operator, Telia Company, acquired all the shares in Nebula for MEUR 165 (enterprise value). Nebula had developed to a leading ICT service company in Finland with more than MEUR 35 in turnover with very good profitability and was still growing fast at a CAGR of over 20%. The company had made 18 smaller acquisitions, however the majority of the growth from 2007 had been organic.

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Skincity

SKINCITY – A profitable online growth star dedicated to customer experience

Rite invested in Skincity in 2014 when the company was in its early growth stage and had a turnover of 34 MSEK and were profitable.

At Rite, we were impressed by the founders, Annica Forsgren and Mikael Kjellman, the high level of customer satisfaction as well as the positioning Skincity had in the professional skincare market niche. The entrepreneurs wanted a partner that could support them in taking the company to the next level.

After investing, Rite worked closely with the entrepreneurs to create the right internal structure to build the company´s strong position, brand value, and high level of customer satisfaction. Value creating initiatives have involved short- and long-term strategy, reporting, internal processes, and building of a management team.

At the end of 2017, the Swedish family owned business conglomerate Axel Johnson acquired 70% of the shares in Skincity. Skincity had a turnover of around MSEK 279 and an EBITDA of MSEK 12 and had developed into an online skincare clinic with a leading position in the professional skincare market, while maintaining very high levels of customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. Rite remains as minority owner and continues to have an active role in the Board and close cooperation with management.

Skincity is currently focusing heavily on international expansion outside of Sweden. Norway and Finland are now prioritized markets as well as UK which Skincity entered in 2018 by acquiring the well-run UK-company Effortless skin.

Verkkokauppa.com

VERKKOKAUPPA.COM – The largest e-commerce company in Finland

In 2009, Rite invested in the Finnish e-commerce company Verkkokauppa.com. Until then, Verkkokauppa.com had experienced difficulties finding an investor. Investors were afraid of the home electronics market with its intense competition and diminishing margins.

Despite the tough market conditions, we were impressed by Verkkokauppa.com and its founder. Verkkokauppa.com was (and still is) the e-commerce market leader of Finland with one of the most well-known brand names in Finland. By focusing on delivering a great customer experience, by having an almost maniacal focus on cost-efficiency and by building a unique IT-backbone supporting operations the company had managed to grow very fast while being profitable. All of this, in a sector where most of its competitors saw its businesses decline and were losing money.

Following the investment, Rite engaged actively with Verkkokauppa.com’s founder and CEO, Samuli Seppälä, to further strengthen all parts of the company to enable growth and to prepare for a future IPO. Besides pure strategic and operational support, such as inventory management, recruitments and product category expansion, Rite also engaged in securing working capital financing and developing the Board.

Starting with the preparations already in 2012, Verkkokauppa.com was listed at First North at Nasdaq OMX Helsinki in April 2014. Verkkokauppa.com is still growing fast with a turnover of MEUR 432 in 2017 and is Finland’s largest e-commerce company and the strongest internet brand in Finland after Facebook and Google. Outside Finland, the company is often described as the Amazon of Finland.

In 2017, Samuli Seppälä decided to step down as CEO to pursue a pure board role. Both Rite and Samuli continue to work closely as active owners, and Christoffer Häggblom, Managing Partner of Rite, continues as Chairman of the Board.