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Main Capital acquires a majority stake in HYPE Innovation

April 8, 2019,
by volcanic

Düsseldorf, 8th of April, 2019

Main Capital has acquired a strategic stake in HYPE Innovation, a Bonn-based provider of idea and innovation management software. With its highly scalable solutions, HYPE Innovation helps its customers to connect and empower people to increase revenue, save costs, improve processes, and master the digital transformation.

Founded as DaimlerChrysler spin-off in 2001, HYPE Innovation has grown to a leading software specialist in the fast-growing enterprise innovation software market. With its approx. 120 employees, HYPE Innovation’s offering supports customers harnessing the collective intelligence of employees, customers, and partners by collecting and managing ideas and turning them into business cases. The company currently serves a well-diversified and global blue-chip customer base with 220+ customers across various industries, such as Airbus, BASF, Bayer, Bombardier, Bosch, Continental, Deutsche Post DHL Group, Fujitsu, Liebherr, Mattel, Munich RE, Nokia, Osram Roche, Saudi Aramco, Siemens, ThyssenKrupp, Toyota, Volvo, Volkswagen. HYPE Innovation is profitable and has a healthy growth rate.

The ongoing digitalization has led to shortening innovation cycles and new technologies have constantly been reshaping industries and business models. To remain competitive, efficient communication among employees across business units, their empowerment for specific projects and the involvement of external stakeholders in innovation management processes increasingly become mission-critical. Industry analysts expect the growing pressure to innovate will increase the number of organizations making use of smart idea and innovation management solutions and thus spur the overall market growth in the years to come.

Looking forward, Main Capital will actively support HYPE Innovation in maintaining its strong growth momentum by further internationalizing the business and extending the value proposition for its customers. Besides organic growth initiatives, strategic add-on acquisitions will be an important pillar of the joint growth strategy to complement the innovative product and services portfolio, further broaden the geographical footprint as well consolidate the strong market position.

Partnership HYPE Innovation - Main Capital
Dr. Enno Scholz (CEO & Co-Founder of HYPE Innovation):
"Since the introduction of our flagship product HYPE Enterprise in 2004, we have grown our revenues every year for 14 years in a row, at a clip of 23% annually. 2018 was another record year, with 30% growth in order entry. We are proud to be considered a thought leader in innovation management, and to support more than 220 active enterprise customers around the globe.

Over several years, we have built a software solution for managing innovation that can be rolled out to large and demanding clients with minimal adaptation. However, we don’t just throw software over the wall. We have a world-class consulting team of experienced professionals who help HYPE Innovation’s customers successfully manage the change in mindset that is necessary for introducing a sustainable long-term innovation program into their organizations.

Our customers and partners see Main Capital’s investment as further validation of our successful strategy, and as further strengthening our leading position in the innovation management space. I personally feel that Main Capital’s transparent, respectful, hands-on culture mirrors the mindset we have at HYPE Innovation.”

Dr. Frank Henningsen (CTO & Co-Founder of HYPE Innovation):
“As the job descriptions of innovation management professionals evolve and expand, so do the capabilities of HYPE Enterprise. Over the last years, we saw a rising need for HYPE Enterprise to support innovation teams in areas such as strategic foresight, technology scouting, startup relationship management, crowdfunding, supplier innovation, and open innovation.

To support these needs, we have built an offering that integrates our own technology with the capabilities of our strong and proven partners, who are leading providers of innovation technology and services. Clearly, it is an exciting prospect to be able to draw upon funds from Main Capital to pursue strategic M&A opportunities in the innovation management sector and adjacent markets.”

Dr. Hans-Christian Perle (Managing Director of Kennet Partners):
"HYPE has shaped innovation management with its intelligent and decentralized approach and has found the right partner in Main Capital to further strengthening its market position. We are delighted that we have accompanied HYPE Innovation as a partner on its path to become a global innovation solution leader in all these years. Particularly we would like to thank the HYPE management for the trusting and constructive cooperation in recent years and wish HYPE Innovation and Main Capital every success in the coming years.”

Charly Zwemstra (Managing Partner of Main Capital):
“We have regularly been in touch with HYPE Innovation’s management team since 2014, built up mutual trust, and closely followed the organizational development. Over the last years, HYPE Innovation has demonstrated an impressive growth trajectory, while simultaneously transforming the business towards a strong recurring profile. Notably, recurring revenues grew with a CAGR of approx. 27% between 2015-18. With its best-in-class products, HYPE Innovation is well-positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for idea and innovation management software solutions. Beyond this, we see attractive inorganic growth opportunities for HYPE Innovation to further expand its product offering and broaden the geographical footprint and size of the group.”

Global technology investment bank Drake Star Partners acted as exclusive financial advisor to HYPE Innovation and its shareholders on this transaction.

About Main Capital
Main Capital is a strategic investor with an exclusive focus on the software sector in the Benelux, Germany and Scandinavia. Within this sector, we are the most specialized party in management buy-outs and later-stage growth capital for strategic acquisitions. Main Capital has approximately € 400 million under management for investments in mature but growing software companies in the Netherlands and Germany. An experienced team of professionals manages these Private Equity funds from offices in The Hague and Düsseldorf.

In addition to HYPE Innovation, the current investment portfolio of Main Capital consists of growing (SaaS) software companies such as cleversoft (Germany), Enovation, SDB Ayton, GOconnectIT, JobRouter (Germany), Inergy, MUIS Software, artegic (Germany), OBI4wan, b+m Informatik (Germany), Ymor, Onguard, Sharewire, SecondFloor, Sofon and ChainPoint. Main Capital also has an interest in managed hosting provider Denit. Main Capital has a long-term perspective with the intention to build larger strong software groups. Former successful Main Capital group companies include among others Roxit, Axxerion, and Regas.