Swedish Startup Space

Swedish fintech startup Zmarta is for sale – for $120 million

Written by on December 11, 2015

This might become one of the biggest deals of the year in the Swedish tech industry.

“I don’t have any comments for that”, Zmarta Group’s Chairman, Per Arne Blomquist, says when Breakit confronts him with the information that the company is for sale.

The service lets the users compare lending terms from different banks and choose the scheme that is the best fit for their individual situation.

The Ängelholm-based startup, which was called Freedom Finance until a week ago, is looking at very strong numbers for 2015. The company revenue has grown with about 30 percent to almost $30 million the first nine months. That’s more than the total revenue in 2014.

At the same time profits have almost doubled the first nine months to $6.8 million ($3.8 million). That indicates an operating profit of close to $10 million. Based on what this type of company is usually valued at the price tag will probably land somewhere between $120 and $170 million.

A crucial factor for the price is the profit forecast for 2016. If the current owners can argue for the case that profits will reach $12 million next year the company might very go for $170 million. That would make this one of the biggest Swedish tech deals of the year.

According to Breakit’s sources the HIG Capital, which owns Zmarta Group, has started looking for potential buyers. Several venture capital firms have reportedly shown some interest and a deal might be struck within the first few months next year.

Considering the price tag most of the interested buyers will be other VC firms. Breakit’s sources cannot say which ones have been interested but all of the bigger Swedish players like EQT,  Nordic Capital, Altor and Segulah will probably be approached by HIG.

Zmartas fiercest competitor in Sweden is Lendo which is owned by the media giant Schibsted. If the companies merged they would have a very strong position and would probably benefit from administrative synergy.

In conjunction with the new issue of shares worth $330 million Schibsted opened for more possible acquisitions within the digital sector.

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