Gimv and Iris Capital invest in Planetveo, the on-line travel specialist for tailor-made holiday packages

(lifePR) ( Antwerpen, )
Gimv and Iris Capital, two major private equity investors in Europe, announce a joint investment of EUR 15 million in Planetveo (www.planetveo.com), an on-line travel agency specialised in tailor-made, long-haul holiday packages.

As a result of this investment, Gimv and Iris Capital, which are investing equally, become reference shareholders alongside the two managing founders, Geoffroy de BECDELIÈVRE and Mathieu BOUCHARA, as well as other members of the company's management and Alven Capital.

Geoffroy de BECDELIÈVRE, CEO of Planetveo, states: "We are very pleased to welcome Gimv and Iris Capital as new investors. Their confidence in our company confirms the relevance of our strategy and business model. We have had extensive discussions with the management of Gimv and Iris, and fully agree on the company's vision, the market and the strategy in order to become the leading provider of personalised on-line holiday packages. The quality of these two new investors, their know-how and their network (including internationally) will enable us to expand and start a new growth phase as ambitious as the previous one. I would also like to thank Alven Capital for proving its continued confidence by remaining a significant shareholder and continuing to share our journey."

The Planetveo group was founded in 2007. In a short period of time, it has succeeded in becoming a benchmark on the market for tailor-made long-haul holiday packages to Asia, Africa, the Pacific region and America. Thanks to an offering that combines genuine discovery and novel encounters with local cultures, the company has grown very rapidly. It posted a turnover of more than EUR 40 million in 2012, which represents an increase of 83% compared to the previous year, in one of the most profitable travel sectors. The company has a workforce of about 170.

The expertise of its specialist advisors on each of the destinations offered allows Planetveo to provide its customers a fully personalised service. The group can also rely on an excellent sales organisation thanks to an extremely efficient platform and information system and an exceptional Internet referencing system.

Geoffroy DUBUS, Partner at Gimv, added: "Planetveo's profile fits particularly well in our Consumer 2020 platform strategy, which focuses on companies with a clear vision of consumers' future needs - products, services, purchasing behaviour - and anticipates them due to their strong capacity for innovation. The group has a skilled, experienced management team and has high growth potential in terms of both capturing market share and enhancing its offer. Planetveo uses an exemplary ROPO (Research Online, Purchase Offline) model. We are very happy to be able to support the company in becoming a leader in the sector."

Erik de la Rivière, Partner at Iris Capital, said: "In an on-line travel market that is becoming increasingly mature and concentrated, the management of Planetveo has proven that the combination of an excellent Internet presence and agility, quality offering and efficient sales organisation can transform the market. In just a few years time, Planetveo has become a major player in the highly attractive market segment of tailor-made holiday packages. We share the management's vision and ambitions, which entail continuing the strategy of rapid growth and increasing market share to become a leading player in the sector. We are especially pleased to have the opportunity to participate and help in this exciting new growth phase."

ABOUT IRIS CAPITAL

Iris Capital is a pan-European venture capital fund manager specializing in digital economy. Since its inception in 1986, the Iris Capital team has invested more than €950 million in more than 220 companies. Iris Capital targets opportunities in service or technology companies, seeking growth capital in order to realize their strategy. It provides active support to its portfolio companies on the basis of its strong sector specialization and experience, and has offices in Paris, Düsseldorf, San Francisco, Montreal, Riyadh, Dubai, Beijing and Tokyo. In 2012, Iris Capital has entered into a strategic partnership with Orange and Publicis to manage their joint venture initiative.

More information on Iris Capital can be found on www.iriscapital.com

ABOUT ALVEN CAPITAL

Alven Capital is an independent Paris-based venture capital firm managing 250M€. Alven Capital invests in rapidly growing companies with a focus on media, web and services. Alven Capital has already invested in more than 70 companies in Europe like Companeo, SeLoger.com, Lengow, Newsweb/Boursier.com, Drivy, MonShowroom, Liligo, Splendia, MobPartner, eBoutic.ch, Planetveo, Qosmos, Mailjet, Webhelp, JolieBox/Birchbox, iAdvize, Gemmyo, Mention, etc.

More information on Alven Capital can be found on www.alvencapital.com
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