The well-being technology company Everon is aiming to challenge the big players in the sector with the help of a private equity investor.
Everon specialises in developing technology solutions for elderly care. The company is investing strongly in product development and international growth.
The private equity company Verso became the majority owner of Everon in 2016. According to Markus Merne, CEO of Everon, this gave Everon a boost. The days of penny-pinching were over.
- “Our net sales for the first half of this year doubled from the previous year. We will continue to invest in product development and sales,” says Merne.
Everon’s net sales totalled EUR 2.15 million in 2016. Its number of employees has grown from 15 to 34 since the beginning of 2016, and the company has gained new ground in Sweden through an acquisition. Everon will set its sights on England and Germany next.
- “We have a clear goal. We want to be the main challenger of large international companies,” Merne explains.
“The significance of financing for growth leaps should not be underestimated . Once a private equity investor got involved, we were able to fix our finances in one go and also gained access to resources for growth.”
Companies aiming for strong international growth often suffer from similar hindrances. Everon is no exception.
The company was established 14 years ago and spent its first four years developing technologies. It has created a broad range of well-being solutions, from security services for the elderly to patient information systems.
Merne admits that the financial burden was too heavy for just one person.
- “The significance of financing for growth leaps should not be underestimated. Once a private equity investor got involved, we were able to fix our finances in one go and also gained access to resources for growth. Now we can focus fully on the business side. We have also been able to hire new people. In addition, the Board of Directors has a more professional approach, and we have the resources for acquisitions,” says Merne.
According to Merne, his opinion of private equity investors changed drastically after Verso became the majority owner of Everon.
– “Verso is a responsible investor. They see the big picture.”
According to Mika Suomela, Partner at Verso, the negotiations were carried out in good spirit, even though they took a long time.
– “We saw Everon’s potential. The owner’s personality and the team’s expertise also played a key role. In addition to being extremely competent, Markus has drive,” says Suomela.
According to Suomela, Verso has brought a more systematic approach to sales, in addition to stronger resources. Everon’s Board of Directors is chaired by Jukka Rauhala, Partner at Verso. Everon has benefited from its new majority owner in many ways, particularly when negotiating financing arrangements.
Merne believes that all growth companies seriously seeking international growth should consider involving a private equity company as an owner.
– “Not many companies have the assets to finance international growth and bear the related risks. Having a private equity company as an owner in a growth company should be more of a standard way to proceed. Owning 50 per cent of a successful company is better than owning 100 per cent of zero,” says Merne.