Finnish crowdfunding firm Invesdor buys Austrian peer, seeks M&A

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Helsinki-headquartered Invesdor has agreed to buy Austrian peer Finnest in an all-share deal, hoping the acquisition will spark further consolidation in the fragmented European crowdfunding market.

Invesdor, founded in 2012, is one of the leading equity-based crowdfunding companies in Northern Europe and is among the largest European players outside the UK, but the sector is highly fragmented.

“We are now starting the consolidation game and we are hoping this would spark consolidation interest from others as well,” Invesdor Chief Executive Lasse Makela said in an interview.

“We feel there will be three to five major platforms in Europe and we want to be one of them,” Makela said.

Makela said Invesdor will be looking for further targets after the Finnest consolidation, especially in Northern Europe.

Invesdor said the Finnest deal will expand its presence to German-speaking markets in Central Europe, and add a debt-financing platform to its equity-crowdfunding platform.

Companies have raised a total of over 130 million euros on Invesdor and Finnest combined.

“The merger is a huge step for Invesdor. ... We feel we are jumping to the next league, becoming more relevant to institutional investors, family offices,” Makela said.

Reporting by Tarmo Virki; editing by Jonathan Oatis