Innova Capital acquires majority stake in Romania's NETOPIA Group
Innova Capital, a leading private equity firm in Central and Eastern Europe, will become an investor in NETOPIA Group, the Romanian payment services provider. This deal sees the fund expand its presence in the local financial services market.
NETOPIA, one of the longest-established payment service providers (PSP) in Romania, plays a key role in the local online payments market. The company currently provides services to more than 25,000 merchants, mostly in the SME sector, and is responsible for processing 25% of the country’s online card transactions. NETOPIA also operates MobilPay Wallet – Romania’s first multifunctional digital wallet, which facilitates payments at thousands of online and offline locations. In addition, the company is a leader in SMS payment services, a popular way of settling online microtransactions.
Alongside its payment services, since 2005 NETOPIA has operated Web2SMS, a prominent platform for managing bulk SMS messaging campaigns and transactional communications that is now used by more than 10,000 partners, including logistics operators, financial institutions, e-commerce players and marketing agencies, among others.
The majority stake in NETOPIA Group is not Innova Capital’s first investment in Romania. The fund already holds a stake in PayPoint Romania, a leading operator of consumer payment terminals. The new investment will strengthen Innova’s position in the local financial services market.
“We analyse the local economy’s dynamic developments with great interest, in particular the unwavering growth potential of digital services. We are pleased to be investing in what is a respected leader among providers of modern payment solutions in the second largest market in Central and Eastern Europe. We want to leverage our experience and know-how in the implementation of financial services to support NETOPIA’s growth and further strengthen its position in the Romanian payment solutions market,” said Krzysztof Kulig, Senior Partner at Innova Capital.
"NETOPIA Group has consistently demonstrated its commitment to innovation, driving advancements in digital payments and mobile marketing. With the help of this investment and Innova's knowledge, we look forward to leveraging our extensive expertise to pioneer groundbreaking solutions in the evolving landscape of the payment industry. This strategic move will consolidate NETOPIA Group as a leading player on the Romanian market, offering unparalleled products and services to its expanding customer base. We are thrilled about the future prospects that lie ahead,” said Antonio Eram, co-founder and CEO NETOPIA Group.
The acquisition of the majority stake in NETOPIA Group is the first transaction to be executed within the framework of the Innova/7 fund, the first close of which was announced in August 2022 with a result exceeding €220 million.
As customary, the transaction will be completed after obtaining the approvals from the relevant authorities.
About NETOPIA Group
NETOPIA is a group of Romanian companies founded in 2003, consisting of NETOPIA Payments, mobilPay Wallet, web2sms and Kartela. NETOPIA Payments is the most used online payment processor in Romania and web2sms is the leader in the SMS marketing and information market. Currently, more than 25,000 businesses in the e-commerce industry use NETOPIA Group's services and solutions: mobile payments, online transactions with bank cards or via SMS, SMS marketing or mobile phone card top-ups.