WeTransfer raises €35 million and joins forces with HPE Growth to accelerate development of its workflow tools and grow its user base beyond 50 million
AMSTERDAM, 19 August, 2019 — WeTransfer, the company that supports creativity with tools to move ideas, today announced it has raised €35 million in a Series B round led by European growth equity firm, HPE Growth, with significant participation from existing investors Highland Europe.
After six years of profitability, WeTransfer pursued a secondary funding round, in which some existing stakeholders' shares were sold, to tap into the teams at HPE and Highland Europe and their experience building high-growth companies. Jonne de Leeuw, of HPE, will replace WeTransfer co-founder Nalden on the company’s Supervisory Board, joining Bas Beerens (Founder, WeTransfer), Irena Goldenberg (Highland Europe) and Tony Zappalà (Highland Europe).
Founded in 2009 as a well-designed file sharing service for the creative community, WeTransfer prioritizes ‘offline’ values, such as trust, transparency, and ethics. Its tools help creative people without breaking their flow. In addition to launching mobile app Collect (4M monthly users), last year, WeTransfer acquired immersive sketching tool Paper® (25M downloads) and collaborative presentation tool Paste® (40,000 active teams) and expanded its US presence from LA to New York City.
The original file transfer product has driven WeTransfer’s growth to over 50M users, who send more than a billion files each month. Leveraging HPE's expertise, WeTransfer will emphasize recruiting the best talent to develop its tools faster.
"The opportunity to partner with HPE was too good to miss,” says Gordon Willoughby, CEO of WeTransfer. “Our ambition is to be behind every great idea, and since acquiring Paper and Paste we’ve seen rapid adoption of our tools globally. HPE recognize the value we provide and want to help us continue to scale quickly. We have an exciting product road map for the autumn, so having HPE join us, together with Highland Europe, gives us the stability and skills we need.”
Jonne de Leeuw, HPE, says: “WeTransfer has demonstrated tremendous organic growth since inception, and has developed a committed, loyal following, particularly amongst the global creative community. We’re keen to provide the resources and support to help the company further build and refine its unique product strategy and market position. We see an opportunity for the company to address an even broader audience, while continuing to grow profitably at scale.”
“Highland Europe saw WeTransfer’s potential at an early stage and we’re thrilled to deepen our involvement today. Last year’s acquisition of Paper and Paste, plus the development of powerful new user tools, solidifies WeTransfer’s leadership.” - Irena Goldenberg, Highland Europe.
About HPE Growth
Established in 2010, HPE Growth is a leading European investment firm focused on expansion/growth capital investments in technology companies throughout Northwestern Europe with committed capital in excess of EUR 500 million. HPE invests in high-growth software, internet-enabled, mobile and fintech businesses that have the option to further leverage their proven technology. Typically, HPE aims to deploy about EUR 10 to 40 million in equity per transaction. By bringing in additional equity and active support, HPE acts as a catalyst to expansion and enables portfolio companies, such as Tiqets, Uberall, eGym and PPRO, to execute on their vision of securing market leadership. For more information about HPE Growth, please visit: www.hpegrowth.com.
About Highland Europe
Highland Europe invests in exceptional growth-stage software and internet companies. Active in Europe since 2003 as Highland Capital Partners and formally launched in 2012, Highland Europe has raised over €1 billion and has invested in companies such as Adjust, ContentSquare, eGym, Featurespace, GetYourGuide, Huel, Malwarebytes, MatchesFashion, NewVoiceMedia, Nexthink, Smartly.io, Wolt and Zwift. Highland’s collective history of investments across the US, Europe and China includes 46 IPOs and 19 billion-dollar-plus companies. To learn more, visit:www.highlandeurope.com.
WeTransfer makes tools to move ideas. Founded in 2009 in Amsterdam as a simple, well-designed file sharing service for the creative community, WeTransfer has grown to include tools that scale across the creative spectrum, including editorial platform WePresent (with 3M monthly readers), mobile app 'Collect by WeTransfer' (with 4M monthly users), quick slide-making tool Paste® (with 40,000 active teams), immersive sketching tool Paper® (with more than 30M downloads), and the original web platform with 60M monthly users and over a billion files sent each month.
From the beginning, WeTransfer has prioritized bringing “offline” values - trust, transparency, and ethics - online. This means having a responsible data policy and tools that don’t distract people from their creative flow. WeTransfer has pioneered a new means of online advertising, resulting in the platform’s full-page wallpapers, designed by our award-winning in-house creative studio. Advertisers include industry-leading brands like Apple, Saint Laurent, Google, Balenciaga, Samsung, Netflix, Adidas, and Squarespace.
Since its founding, WeTransfer has proudly supported the creative communities and given up to 30% of advertising space to support the arts, donating over 5 billion impressions in 2017. Through our ongoing advertising grant program and content platform, WePresent, we have partnered with hundreds of groundbreaking artists and organizations, including Björk, King Krule, FKA twigs, Ryan McGinley, Ami Vitale, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the UN Development Program, the World Wildlife Foundation and the Prince Estate. In 2016, WeTransfer launched the world’s first free Masters of the Arts in design thinking with the University of the Underground and Worldwide FM, the global radio station run by legendary BBC DJ Gilles Peterson.
Following a $25 million investment from Highland Europe in 2015, WeTransfer opened a US office in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, to add to the Amsterdam headquarters. In 2018, WeTransfer acquired popular creative apps Paper® and Paste® and expanded its US presence to New York City.