Ageras Enters Into an Exclusive Agreement with Societe Generale to Acquire Shine and Become One of the Leading European Providers of Banking and Accounting Software for SMEs

  • Banking
  • 19.06.2024 07:50 am

Ageras, a leading provider of accounting software, banking, and admin tools for more than 300,000 active SME customers in France, Germany, The Netherlands and Denmark, today announced that it has entered into an exclusive agreement with Societe Generale to acquire Shine, a leading French SME fintech. This transaction, fully in line with Ageras’ strategic plan announced with the successful €82 million raise in April 2024, would be the company’s largest acquisition to date and its eighth overall.

Reinforcing Ageras’ offering and leadership in Europe and France

With the acquisition of Shine, Ageras would strengthen its position as a leading European provider of banking and accounting software for SMEs, expanding its foothold in France, a core market for the Danish-founded fintech since its entry in 2021 with the acquisition of the leading pan-European invoicing software Zervant.

Upon completion of the transaction, the addition of Shine’s banking product would enable Ageras to service the entire lifecycle for French small businesses, from company formation to invoicing, accounting and daily banking and payments. In addition, Shine’s expertise and technological leadership within banking would strengthen Ageras’ banking activities across Europe.

This transaction would represent one of the potential two major acquisitions that Ageras is targeting to build a pan-European champion in banking and accounting software, ahead of a potential IPO in 2026. In its 2023 annual report, Ageras reported €31.7 million in revenue, a 53% increase year-on-year, marking its first profitable year.

“This would be our largest and most significant acquisition to date, moving us closer to achieving our ambition of building the ultimate financial hub for small businesses across Europe. When completed, the combination of Shine’s excellent banking product with our broad banking, accounting and business software, would enable us to deliver a complete offering of key financial solutions in France, mirroring our success in other core markets. We are truly impressed with what the Shine team has built and are looking forward to welcoming the team and together building the leading financial player for SMEs in France and across Europe,” said Rico Andersen, CEO of Ageras, which he co-founded with Martin Hegelund in 2012.

Shine: a leading fintech for SMEs in France

Founded in 2017 to make the lives of the self-employed and small businesses easier, Shine rapidly became a leading fintech in France. Societe Generale became a majority shareholder in Shine in 2020.

Much more than a business account, Shine also offers a « co-pilot » solution to provide a full daily banking service to SMEs with adjacent features, such as invoicing, payments and company formation. Serving more than 100,000 customers, Shine has been recognized for its stellar customer support by being awarded “Best business bank” by ESCDA in 2024. The company is regulated as a payment institution by the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (ACPR), the French financial regulatory authority.

“I am proud of what the Shine team has built over the past years and would like to thank Societe Generale for the confidence and their solid support. Shine is offering a superior business banking product with transparent pricing, a great user interface and top-quality support, which is loved by our customers, yielding a strong market position. ⁠Invoicing, accounting and daily banking are becoming more and more connected, and under the Ageras umbrella, we would be able to offer a state-of-the-art, comprehensive offering that simplifies the daily life of small businesses in Europe. We are excited to begin this new chapter and take our business to the next level,” commented Shine’s CEO Jean-Baptiste Sciandra.

Number of small businesses in France has doubled in 10 years

The SME market in France is growing. The country has approximately 4.2 million SMEs, accounting for 99.9% of all businesses. Their numbers increased by 7.7% between 2020 and 2022 and approximately doubled from 2012 to 2022.

“Ageras was founded with a vision to enable success for small businesses by allowing them to run their business, ideally spending zero minutes on administration. Most business owners struggle with an overview of their business, managing their cash flow and various reporting obligations. The acquisition of Shine will allow us to provide a best-in-class product to French SMEs,” added Rico Andersen, who himself started his first company with co-founder Martin Hegelund at age 17.

Ageras is mainly backed by Investcorp since 2017 with other shareholders including Lugard Road Capital (Luxor Capital), Rabobank, Lazard, Tryghedsfondet, Back in Black and CIBC.

Ageras would take over all the activities operated by Shine, as well as all employees of the entity.

This transaction will be subject to applicable social procedures, usual suspensive conditions, and the approval of the competent financial and regulatory authorities.

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