Libelium, a Spanish technology company specializing in IoT, has signed a capital raising deal incorporating investment firm Axon Partners. With the addition of this venture capital group to its shareholding, Libelium receives a supportive boost to its strategic growth.
This deal opens a new stage for the consolidation of Libelium in the sensor device market, having begun activity in 2006 as a spin-off of the University of Zaragoza, led by its two founding partners, David Gascón and Alicia Asín. Gascón’s departure in December 2020 marked the end of an age in Libelium and gave way to a new stage with Alicia Asín at the helm of the company. This was the first milestone of a strategic operation aimed at the organic and inorganic growth of the company, with an eye on the entry of new investment partners. The capital increase guarantees the continuity of the company’s activity, which will remain headquartered in Zaragoza (Spain).
For Axon Partners Group this is the first investment made through its sixth direct investment fund, Axon Innovation Growth IV (FAIG4), the first crossover fund in Spain, and one of the first in Europe to invest in scale-up companies with a high level of innovation and IPO opportunity.
With the investment in this company, Axon is committed to the IoT sector, the technology that, through sensors, captures external data for digital processing. It is a key sector that plays a fundamental role in the digital transformation processes of companies and which the European Commission is staking to be the next great step towards the digitization of society and the economy.
Axon intends to systematize the crossover strategy, which consists of investing in private companies and then seeking an exit to a listed, and preferably alternative, market with a special focus on BME Growth or Euronext.
From now on, Libelium faces two challenges: The expansion of its brand positioning in the international market; and the commitment to invest in all business lines that include technological solutions for applications as diverse as precision agriculture, smart cities or industrial digitization. To this end, it has an ambitious plan to launch new products based on R&D developments, spearheaded by the new engineering team.
Furthermore, the investment is accompanied by a plan to expand the workforce by 30% in 2021 with the recruitment of new professionals who are already being integrated to the current structure.
In terms of turnover, the growth objective is to double current revenues. To achieve this, the strategy includes the acquisition of different companies in the sector that provide new capabilities in artificial intelligence and cloud services, as well as companies offering vertical solutions that can expand the existing product portfolio to reach new markets.
Libelium has already defined a pipeline of international companies operating in verticals that it wants to develop and has identified in Eastern Europe what would be the first acquisition of the inorganic growth plan. Axon will provide much experience in corporate development to enable the execution of this acquisition plan.
In terms of internationalization, Libelium has customers in more than 120 countries. In this new phase, Libelium wants to strengthen its presence in the Spanish market as well as its distribution channel in strategic areas such as North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. In addition, the entry of Axon Partners will serve to reinforce relations between the business and public sectors in Latin America.