Dutch internet company WeTransfer on Tuesday announced it is to receive an investment of $25m (€22m) from Highland Capital Partners (HCP) to help it ‘conquer the American market’.
WeTransfer, which makes possible the free transfer of big files, has 25 million unique users a month who make 70 million transfers, mainly in Europe.
In return for the investment, HCP will receive a ‘small minority interest’, WeTransfer CFO Stefan Verkerk told the Financieele Dagblad. He did not want to say how big HCP’s interest will be because ‘then you can estimate the company’s value which we would rather avoid’, the FD says.
Verkerk did say that WeTransfer has a workforce of 27 and turnover of more than €10m. The company has shown a profit, half from advertisements and half from paying users, for the past two years.
The capital injection is the first the company has received since it was founded in 2010 by the five members of the management team, who financed the start-up out of their own pockets.
WeTransfer says they were not looking for an investor but were approached by HCP. ‘We asked ourselves why we should take money from outside the company,’ Verkerk told the FD. ‘You are just giving control away and letting other people onto the board.’
According to Verkerk, there were approaches from 25 investors, but they chose HCP because they have the same approach to business and offer contact with GoPro, the company with the action camera which is used by ‘thrill seekers’.
WeTransfer places full-screen photos by well-known photographers on its website which are linked to an advertisement. ‘Contact with a company such as GoPro is useful for us if we are to ensure growth,’ according to Verkerk.
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