Private equity buyout firms ('PE') are playing a growing role in the broader European tech ecosystem, but their presence and activities are not yet that well understood within the mainstream tech narrative.
Our success is a result of a commitment to innovation, our customers, our people, and an engaged and diverse corporate culture. For almost 15 years now, Visma has benefited from a supportive and highly knowledgeable private equity investor base which has enabled us to consistently expand our product offering and geographic footprint.
I’d known Øystein Moan and Visma for many years, so when he called in 2006 and asked me if we wanted to invest, I could see this was a special opportunity. Even so, our expectations have been blown away by the scale and duration of Visma’s success. 14 years into our investment (and with many more ahead), it is growing faster than ever, and it’s been a privilege to have been so involved with the company’s journey from $500M to $12B, with so much left to come.
All in all, and to coin a very European term, this "ever closer union" represents a healthy development for the liquidity of European capital and talent markets. The convergence of VC and PE in tech has the potential to create greater optionality in terms of potential paths to liquidity. There is a talent upside too if these worlds come together. A hallmark of PE investors is their network of experienced, tier one executive talent - people that run organisations of thousands of employees, P&Ls of $100s of millions, and products sold into thousands of companies.