Made in emerging Europe: Abris/Orbitvu, Hyperhuman, Wisby, LHV/EveryPay

Emerging Europe’s start-up scene is thriving: new money and new ideas are coming onto the market all the time. To keep you up to date with the latest investments, innovations, movers and shakers, each Monday Emerging Europe brings you a round-up of the region’s start-ups which recently closed financing rounds, sealed partnerships, or dropped new innovations.

Abris Capital acquires a majority stake in Orbitvu, automated product photography solution provider

Central European private equity investor Abris Capital Partners has acquired a majority stake in Orbitvu, a global leader in automated product photography solutions for the e-commerce sector.

Founded in Poland in 2010, Orbitvu provides a one-stop-shop solution for visual content creation and management via compact photo studios and software. This helps save time and money needed for content production and post-processing.

Orbitvu captures still and 360-degree product images as well as live model videos for a range of sectors such as apparel, consumer goods, luxury, home and garden and B2B manufacturing.

E-commerce brands and retailers such as Avon, Festool, Hermes, New Balance, Rossmann, Oriflame, Bershka, Mitsubishi Electric, Lidl and MediaMarkt rank among Orbitvu’s existing blue-chip clients.

Abris Capital Partners is an independent private equity fund manager focused on the mid-market in Central Europe. Established in 2007, Abris seeks out and partners with successful mid-market companies in the region, giving such businesses a chance to benefit from an input of fresh capital and management expertise at both strategic and operational levels.

”As online sales continue to grow globally and more companies transition to e-commerce channels, more effective tools are needed to automate the production of visual content,” said Sylwester Urbanek, investment director at Abris Capital Partners.

“Orbitvu’s products perfectly meet the needs of this new reality and we believe that together with the highly experienced founders and team, we will successfully implement our strategy of introducing further innovative technological solutions into the product photography market,” Urbanek added.

Over the years, Orbitvu has grown to become a global player in photography automation, with clients in more than 50 countries across six continents. The company’s solutions are backed by proprietary in-house technology IP, giving Orbitvu a significant competitive edge.

Abris aims to support Orbitvu’s ambition to further expand its sales and marketing operations as well as to grow its product offering. There may also be potential for M&A opportunities to further strengthen the company’s competitive position.

Hyperhuman: Romanian health and fitness start-up announces late-seed round to boost expansion

Romanian start-up Hyperhuman, a smart video content company for the health and fitness industry, has announced a new investment round to raise 700,000 euros and power up its global expansion.

The late-seed round was led by Sparking Capital and joined by Early Game Ventures, the two tech funds participating with a total of 400,000 euros. Both funds already invested in Hyperhuman’s pre-seed round in December 2020, which amounted to 500,000 euros.

The remaining 300,000 euros to complete the current round is to be raised through SeedBlink, the online investing platform for European tech start-ups.

In a press release, Hyperhuman stressed that the round was opened to allow the company “to grow and expand even faster”.

“Hyperhuman’s mission is to make the world’s health and fitness video content universally accessible and reusable,” reads the press release.

Hyperhuman was founded by ex-Fitbit product leaders and is a Google for Startups 2021 graduate. It is an omnichannel content platform helping to make content creation fast and easy.

Fitness trainers, instructors, coaches and physiotherapists can use it to create video workouts in minutes with no video editing skills needed. According to the company, thousands of businesses on 3 continents have been using their product.

“It’s rewarding to be trusted by thousands of health and fitness professionals after only a few months since we launched the first version of our product. Now we want to take it to the next level,” said Bogdan Predusca, Hyperhuman’s CEO and co-founder.

“We see a huge demand both from digital and traditional health and fitness businesses to scale their content production and distribution capabilities. This late-seed round will speed up our growth and help us expand our offering to serve these businesses in our key prospective markets,” added Predusca.

Wisby: Estonian label-printing start-up raises 400,000 euros in venture capital

Estonia’s Wisby, an online label-ordering and printing platform for food and beverage sector, has raised 400,000 euros in venture capital.

The company says it will use the funding round to revolutionise the printing sector. The funding has been raised via Icebreakers VC, a venture capital company from Sweden.

Wisby is one of Europe’s first online label-ordering platforms that can connect production partners with buyers across the continent.

The idea behind the platform is to bring together core printing partners to cover a range of printing needs, mainly from within the European food and beverage sector.

According to Wisby, the thus-created pool of competitors is wide enough to give customers ample choice and enable up to 25 per cent lower printing costs.

The initial phase of the solution offers three main features: automated pricing and ordering for customers, a passive income sales channel for producers, and a CRM solution for communication, tracking, and storing data about orders.

According to Wisby’s CEO Kaspar Pälli, the printing industry is in urgent need of automation as it is still mired in a dated approach to communication between producers and customers.

“Our ambition is to bring together the core of European label manufacturers on to our platform, and to grow into the number one ordering platform for the printing industry,” Pälli said.

According to various forecasts, as much as 80 per cent of orders in the printing sector are likely to move online by 2025. Pälli believes this presents the perfect opportunity for Wisby to capitalise on.

LHV Group set to acquire fellow Estonian company EveryPay to expand into payment services

Estonia’s LHV Group, a banking and financial services company, is reportedly about to acquire a fellow Estonian company EveryPay, a payment gateway platform.

According to LHV, the companies have already agreed to the deal, which will be in line with LHV’s strategy to expand into payment services. LHV will buy all the shares in EveryPay for 8 million euros.

LHV Group has described the contract as a share exchange transaction which will also give EveryPay’s shareholders new shares issued by LHV.

The purchase price and the conditions for increasing share capital are to be announced to the shareholders of LHV Group in the near future.

EveryPay advertises as the best payment gateway for smart, easy and secure payments. The platform connects banks and e-commerce companies with modern payment methods, such as card payments and open banking payments. It also offers automatic payments, mass payments, standing payments and LinkPay payments.

EveryPay processes over 15 million payments annually, with approximately 70 per cent of all Estonian online card transactions made through the platform.

The acquisition is to signal LHV’s new strategy to move into e-commerce, a segment the company sees as rapidly growing. The company believes acquiring EveryPay is a smart move as developing its own payments gateway to a similar technological and security specification would require far greater resources.

“Payment collection business related to e-commerce, such as online card payments and open banking payments, are rapidly increasing in terms of the Estonian retail banking segment,” said LHV’s CEO Madis Toomsalu.

Photo: Orbitvu official Facebook page.

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