WITH NEW INVESTORS ON BOARD, WISHCARD EYES FURTHER GROWTH EXPANSION. EMZ PARTNERS TOGETHER WITH IK PARTNERS AND OAKLEY CAPITAL AS CO-INVESTORS INVESTS IN WISHCARD TECHNOLOGIES GROUP, THE LEADING PLAYER FOR B2C MULTI-BRAND GIFT VOUCHERS AND B2B GIFT CARDS IN THE DACH REGION
The consortium around EMZ Partners (IK Partners and existing investor Oakley Capital) invests in Wishcard Technologies Group, the leading provider of B2C multi-brand gift vouchers and B2B gift cards in the DACH region.
The transaction enables both the founding and broader management teams to regain a majority position in the company after a successful and continued partnership with Oakley Capital. As part of the change in ownership, Dr. Andreas Betzer will be established as new CEO. He brings extensive expertise in the retail sector and areas such as digitalisation and internationalisation to the group. Previously, Dr. Betzer co-initiated the Lufthansa subsidiary “Miles&More International” and as CEO, significantly contributed to its success. Further, he also held a senior management role in “PayBack LTD” from its start-up phase up until its eventual sale.
EMZ Partners and its co-investors will hold a minority stake and support Wishcard’s future growth by jointly focusing on expanding the service and product offering as well as pursue further international expansion.
Founded in 2014, the company quickly developed into the leading provider of B2C multi-brand gift vouchers and B2B gift cards in the DACH region. As of today, Wishcard offers one of the largest brand selections on the market with a network of over 500 highly-regarded redemption partners, including Amazon, Google, Apple, IKEA, and Zalando. Wishcard distributes its cards through various sales channels which include a network of more than 110,000 retail outlets, including Aldi, Rewe, Lidl, Edeka, Rossmann and MediaMarkt and its own e-commerce store. It also sells directly to its sizable B2B customer base. Since incorporation, Wishcard shipped more than 60 million vouchers to B2B and B2C customers in the DACH region and Italy.
Wishcard’s strong positioning and brand in the gifting and reward market, benefits from secular tailwinds, including a significantly underpenetrated B2C market in Europe, the growing demand for flexible incentive solutions in B2B businesses and a general trend towards sustainable gift ideas which generate little packaging waste.
“We are truly impressed by the rapid development that the Wishcard team has made in such a short time period and the positive regard their offering already enjoys amongst consumers. The portfolio clearly provides added value to customers, as evidenced by the significant growth rates in recent years and the high level of customer satisfaction. The market for flexible and sustainable gift and reward solutions will continue to show an attractive growth profile in the future. Wishcard is best positioned to continue to benefit from the continued penetration of the market segment. Furthermore, the very entrepreneurial culture and enthusiasm of all employees appealed to us a lot. We are looking forward to working together with Dr. Betzer, Verena Argauer and the broader team to bring joy to even more people using Wishcard’s sustainable gift ideas”, says Klaus Maurer, Partner in EMZ Partners’ Munich office.
Verena Argauer, COO since 2020, adds: “We are immensely proud of the development Wishcard has already undergone over the past years and we have even more ambitious plans for the future. In this context, we are convinced that EMZ can make a valuable contribution as an external sparring partner, especially in internationalisation and portfolio expansion. The dialogue with EMZ is characterised by mutual trust and we are very pleased to welcome EMZ as one of our new long-term partners.”
The parties have agreed to maintain confidentiality regarding the terms of the transaction. EMZ Partners was advised on the transaction by L.E.K. Consulting (Commercial), Latham & Watkins (Legal, Corporate, and Structure), Deloitte (Financial, Tax, and Pension), Houlihan Lokey (Debt Advisory) as well as Goodwin (Legal, Finance).