The EQT Mid Market Europe fund (“EQT” or “EQT Mid Market”) has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority stake of Freepik Company (“Freepik” or “the Company”) from its founders and management team, who will remain as minority owners. Freepik’s management team, including the Co-Founders, Alejandro and Pablo Blanes and Joaquin Cuenca, will continue to lead the Company, building on its strong track record of growth and product innovation.
Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Málaga, Spain, Freepik supports 32 million monthly visitors in over 200 markets through a high-quality and curated library of over 10 million graphic resources, including icons, vectors, photos, and templates. Freepik transformed the visual content and online graphic design market, thanks to its innovative freemium business model, yielding a superior price-to-quality value proposition. The business model is based on a unique, data-driven approach to content sourcing and creation, leveragingconsumer demand insights from 5 billion downloads to date.
The Company, which operates under the Freepik, Flaticon and SlidesGo brands, is today the global leader in its space and is the largest freemium provider of digital visual content in the world. Freepik’s growth is evidenced by a rapidly expanding community of 20 million registered users who are supported by a network of over 450 in-house freelancer graphical designers and a strong external contributor base.
Freepik’s underlying market is supported by fast-growing, digital-first industries, including game design, social media and digital advertising. These segments have proven to be resilient, through downturns and recessions and are backed by favorable secular megatrends, such as the increasing shift to digital advertising, the global democratization of content production through social media and the surge in mobile media and online gaming.
EQT will support Freepik’s accelerated growth and continued pursuit of commercial excellence by investing in the Company’s proprietary content library, and its UX and tech platform, including AI and tool integration capabilities. Moreover, by leveraging EQT’s digital expertise and global presence, Freepik plans to further penetrate existing markets, such as US and Asia, ultimately, aiming to become the market leading and go-to platform for online content creators and functional users around the world.
Victor Englesson, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Mid Market, said: “We are impressed by Freepik’s achievements and EQT is proud to partner with its Co-Founders to help achieve its full potential. Freepik is supported by numerous positive secular megatrends and represents a truly thematic investment, which fits strongly with EQT’s focus on growth investments and partnerships with world class management teams.”
Joaquin Cuenca, Co-Founder of Freepik, said: “We are very excited to partner with EQT and look forward to working together. EQT’s digital and sector expertise, global platform, combined with local presence across Europe, the US and Asia, as well as its extensive network of advisors will be key to our future success and of great value for the strengthening of our management team.”
Carlos Santana, Managing Director at EQT Partners and Head of EQT Private Equity in Spain, concluded: “Freepik is the leading freemium player and go-to platform for online creators and functional users. EQT looks forward to supporting Freepik’s continued growth trajectory and its plans to further cement the Company’s global leading market position. The acquisition of Freepik demonstrates EQT’s long-term commitment to Spain, even in tougher times, and the ambition to support local businesses in becoming global.”
Alejandro Blanes, Co-Founder of Freepik, said: “We couldn’t be more thrilled at the prospect of partnering with EQT. They have a proven track record of helping founder led and tech companies, like ours, successfully take the next step of their journey. We have always had the ambition of leaving a positive mark in the creative industry; we are now better placed than ever to deliver on that.”
In line with the commitment to invest in sustainable businesses, EQT will accelerate Freepik’s growth as its supports local and industry technological innovation by underpinning the democratization of digital content. By enabling independent freelancers to monetize their creative work and customers to shift from offline to online digital innovation using its library of digital content, Freepik contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals 8 and 9.
The transaction is expected to close subject to customary approvals in June 2020. The parties have agreed not to disclose the transaction value.