Ageras Pushes Into Europe’s Largest Market, Buying German Neo-Bank Kontist
Rapidly expanding its all-in-one fintech cockpit for small businesses with an aggressive M&A strategy and $100M war chest, this acquisition gives Ageras the dominant SME bank in Europe’s biggest economy.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark–(BUSINESS WIRE)–July 28, 2022–
Ageras Group-whose suite of financial and accounting software powers more than one million small businesses across Europe and North America-announced today that it has acquired Kontist, a Berlin-based neo-bank focused on the complex accounting and banking needs of Germany’s growing populations of microbusinesses and self-employed workers.
“This acquisition is a critical step in Ageras’ growth,” said Ageras Co-founder and CEO Rico Andersen. “Kontist has created the best product in Europe’s largest market. It’s a one-stop financial shop for approximately 50,000 German small business owners today, and it’s perfectly positioned to become the go-to financial platform for future generations of small business owners in need of modern banking and accounting tools.”
Founded in 2016 by fintech veteran Christopher Plantener as Germany’s first neo-bank focused on freelancers and the self-employed, 150-person Kontist has developed a reputation for its modern business banking and its highly sophisticated digital tax and accounting software.
Kontist offers self-employed and microbusiness owners bank accounts, payment cards and accounting features, as well as tax returns calculation and filing, all via its app. Also, Kontist’s bank accounts automatically calculate relevant sales and income taxes and set aside estimated taxes due, among other services designed to protect business owners amid Germany’s uniquely complex tax laws.
“Under Ageras, we will be able to benefit from an international accounting & financial ecosystem and continue to foster our position as the number one financial services and tax player for the self-employed,” said Kontist Co-CEO Benjamin Esser. “With annual growth rates of nearly 100% over the past few years, we have only scratched the surface of what is a tremendous opportunity.”
Post-acquisition, Ageras’ run-rate revenue will rise approx. 40% and climb closer to the company’s milestone of €30 million annually. Kontist’s employees will join Ageras’ 200, bringing its total headcount to 350 employees based in Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, the US, Finland and Poland. Kontist Founder and Co-CEO Christopher Plantener will continue working for Kontist under Ageras.
Kontist is the third acquisition made by Ageras in the last 12 months. Part of Ageras’ aggressive expansion strategy, the fintech startup with roots in Copenhagen has raised more than $100 million in a series of funding rounds since early 2021. After first launching as a marketplace for small business owners to find accountants in Denmark in 2012, Ageras has expanded far beyond into a suite of fintech tools for freelancers and microbusiness owners. Something like a financial “cockpit” for small businesses, Ageras’ products-Salary, Zervant, Billy-offer payroll, invoice and accounting software services in Europe and North America.
“Our acquisition is an investment in the future of work,” said Ageras Group Co-founder and CEO Rico Andersen. “Kontist’s founders understood when they created the company that old banks and accounting software no longer work in a Germany where there are millions of microbusinesses. And as more Germans choose to become self employed, no company is better positioned to become their bank of choice than Kontist. And we see major future growth opportunities and immediate benefits for Ageras’ current customers who will get expanded access to Kontist’s sophisticated German tax software.”
Andersen added: “Buying Kontist not only gives us the strongest product in Germany but also fits into our long-term plan. Our strategic focus remains combining accounting and admin with financial services–which is what Kontist has perfected. We will leverage Kontist’s technology to help us accelerate our services to self-employed and microbusiness owners across a dozen other markets in Europe and North America.”
About Ageras Group
Ageras Group was founded in 2012 by serial entrepreneurs Rico Andersen and Martin Hegelund, who between them have 25 years of experience building internet companies. Ageras’ vision is to enable success for small businesses by simplifying their administration. By integrating its solutions into a single “cockpit” for invoicing, accounting, payroll and banking, it enables entrepreneurs to focus on running their businesses. Ageras began as the online marketplace Ageras.com (matching SMEs with accountants) and has expanded into a 350-person company offering a complete ecosystem of tools and services for SMEs. Today, Ageras Group offers cloud-based accounting software through the products Zervant, Billy and Tellow, banking through Kontist and payroll software through Salary. In late 2021, the group launched an embedded fintech service that directly provides financing options to its customers through its software. Ageras’ solutions have been used by more than one million small businesses across Europe and the U.S. The company is backed by Investcorp, Rabo Frontier Ventures (Rabobank) and Lugard Road Capital (Luxor Capital), among others. For more information, visit www.ageras.group.
Kontist is Germany’s first fintech with a focus on the self-employed. Kontist’s mission is to make the everyday working life of self-employed and freelancers easier and to give them more financial security and control. Through just one app, self-employed people can manage their banking, accounting, tax affairs and communication with the tax office. Kontist, co-founded in 2016 in Berlin by Christopher Plantener, employs approximately 150 people, most of whom have many years of freelance experience and developed the product together.
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220727005847/en/
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