Having invested in the acquisition of new companies over a period of six years in order to expand the Stefanini Group’s portfolio of digital solutions, which today represents 40% of the turnover of nearly BRL 5 billion for 2021, and which could reach 60% in up to two years, Marco Stefanini decided that it was the time to invest in a new business model: starting a venture capital fund to leverage start-ups, domestically-based digital companies or assets that can be digitized. Unlike Stefanini Ventures, which brings together companies in which a multinational holds most of the shares and seeks to offer end-to-end solutions for different verticals, the new model will operate as a totally independent investment fund from the Stefanini Group.
The idea is to attract partners – other capital venture fund or family office – to raise BRL 300 million, which will be used from August onwards, not only to finance projects, but to assist in the development of companies with innovative solutions for the digital world. “Although I act as a manager of the venture capital fund, the fund will keep its independence from the group. In other words, we will leverage businesses even if they do not fit in with what we usually offer”, says Marco Stefanini, founder and global CEO of the Stefanini group.
According to the executive, the decision to start this new fund was arrived at after receiving some requests from clients, who recognize Stefanini as a reference in digital solutions, since as a multinational it has acquired more than 20 companies over the last five years (2016 to 2021) and has produced significant results. In this period, the revenue of Stefanini Ventures increased more than six-fold, with its EBITDA up fifteen times. Another factor that influenced the setting up a risk capital was the increasing demand from start-ups to join the group, which is not always possible because they do not have offerings that fit in with the current model. Every month, we receive between 30 and 40 requests for analysis by the M&A team.
“As an entrepreneur who invests in innovation as a major development pillar for the country, I believe that the fund may attract companies with great business potential, in addition to talented entrepreneurs,” highlights Stefanini.
2021 is turning out to be positive for the capital venture market in Brazil. A survey carried out by the company Distrito, which monitors start-ups and investment funds in real time, reveals that the amount billed by Brazilian start-ups in the first few months of the year – USD 2.35 billion from 207 deals – is already equivalent to about 70% of the total invested in the past.
“The positive scenario for the sector, together with the history of success with the companies that make up Stefanini Ventures’ digital ecosystem, is encouraging us to invest in different business formats, with the emergence of new partners. The venture capital industry in Brazil has room to grow and we are very optimistic about this new project,” added Stefanini.