Digital Commerce & subsectors
Hampleton’s Digital Commerce practice forms an integrated global group spearheaded by Ralph Hübner, Dr. Jan Eiben, Axel Brill, Jonathan Simnett and Michel Annink, and covers all sub-sectors relating to digital marketing and e-commerce.
Our Digital Commerce specialists have over 80 years' combined experience in marketing communications, digital transformation, online and brick-and-mortar retail, and relationships with the broadest network of acquirers, investors and sellers in the industry.
The team members have advised on a multitude of operational, strategic and transactional projects to some of the biggest names in marketing and commerce including Edeka, Ikea, Kaufland, Kering, Microsoft, Omnicom, Walmart, WPP, Zalando and many others.
Hampleton advised the shareholders of pixi*, an e-commerce order processing and warehouse management software vendor, and arranged the sale of their company to Descartes Systems Group, a leader in on-demand SaaS solutions for logistics-intensive businesses. Neither the North American NASDAQ listed buyer nor the local champion in Germany had heard of each other prior to Hampleton’s introduction. The pixi* / Descartes transaction underscores Hampleton’s understanding, creativity and capabilities in finding the best matches in digital commerce, enterprise software and SaaS.
Carlyle and PayPal's strategic investment in Shopware
Hampleton advised Shopware, a leading digital commerce software solutions provider in the DACH region, on its US$100 million growth capital round from global investment firm Carlyle and PayPal, the global payments and commerce platform.
Headquartered in Schöppingen and led by brothers Sebastian and Stefan Hamann, Shopware offers a holistic omnichannel digital commerce platform that is highly flexible and has a rich set of features, supporting complex B2C, D2C, B2B and services-driven business models. Its platform caters to a highly diversified customer base across a wide range of different industry verticals, focused on sophisticated mid-market merchants but also serving multinational market leaders including Philips, Jägermeister and Aston Martin.
Carlyle and PayPal's growth capital will help drive Shopware's international expansion and the development of new products.
The sale of Loop54 to FACT-Finder, backed by GENUI
Hampleton advised The Loop54 Group AB, the cutting-edge provider of AI search and personalization SaaS, on its acquisition by FACT-Finder, a European leader in e-commerce technology, backed by GENUI, a German investment company founded by renowned entrepreneurs and investment experts.
Loop54 delivers unparalleled accuracy and relevance in on-site search, navigation and personalization with its cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology, GOLEM. Working with small, heterogenous sets of data, Loop54’s AI boosts conversions with unique and responsive customer experiences, trusted by over 170 leading brands and retailers including Office Depot, Notonthehighstreet and Coop Sweden. Combining with FACT-Finder and backed by a seasoned investor in GENUI, this transaction will create a European champion for AI-powered e-commerce personalization.
The sale of Banking Software Company to Portfolion
Hampleton advised Banking Software Company s.r.o., a 300-person strong leading provider of digital banking solutions, on its transaction with PortfoLion Zrt., a leading investor with a track record of successfully investing in Central and Eastern Europe and W.UP with its AI-based digital personalisation platform which complements BSC's portfolio perfectly.
Banking Software Company and its flagship product Digital Banking OS help retail, corporate & investment and wealth management banks to transition from product-centric to customer-centric organizations by allowing them to orchestrate digital cross-channel customer journeys.
The transaction is instrumental in the creation of a new Central European digital banking powerhouse with PortfoLion as financial sponsor, combining the Banking Software Company, operating in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Russia, together with W.UP operating in Hungary and the United Kingdom. The management and shareholders of the Banking Software Company and W.UP all are staying in the combined business.
GRO Capital's strategic investment in Queue-it
Hampleton Partners advised Queue-it ApS, the leading provider of a virtual waiting room SaaS, on a strategic investment by GRO Capital A/S, a leading investor with a track record of successfully investing in Northern European software companies.
Queue-it has built a strong, global portfolio of prestigious clients in the e-commerce, ticketing and public sector space, helping them to capitalize on peak web traffic events such as product launches, ticket onsales and big sales events such as Black Friday as well as the blockbuster economy.
The team at Queue-it will work with GRO Capital to further develop their product offering and expand their global footprint.
The sale of Tradebyte to Zalando
Hampleton Partners advised Tradebyte, an e-commerce integration software provider that connects brands and retailers with its supplier and providers, to Zalando, a Berlin based cross-platform e-commerce company.
Tradebyte uses its SaaS solutions by offering quick, cost effective ways to streamline the digital supply chain process. This transaction will be an effective tool for Zalando to make its mark as one of the leading e-commerce powerhouses.
Tradebyte supports Zalando in fufilling its vision of the Zalando platform as an operating system for the fashion world.
The sale of pixi* Software to Descartes
Hampleton Partners advised on the acquisition of pixi* Software, a leading Germany-based provider of technology solutions for e-commerce order fulfilment and warehouse management, to the Canadian Descartes Systems Group (TSX:DSG) (Nasdaq:DSGX), the global leader in uniting logistics-intensive businesses in commerce.
pixi* brings Descartes a strong foothold in Germany and e-commerce technology for it to sell through its global sales & marketing channels.
The sale of THP to Williams Lea Tag
Hampleton Partners supported Canadian based THP on their path to find its best acquisition partner, Williams Lea Tag, a UK based Advent International owned provider of end-to-end marketing execution services, powered by advanced data analytics and deep digital expertise.
THP has developed a compelling offer, delivering rapid, cost-effective on-demand content and social media solutions very effectively for key players within the food and beverage sectors.
Williams Lea Tag acquired THP to add on-demand digital and social media content capabilities and boost evolution of its global omni-channel proposition.
Digital Commerce Sector Principal
Ralph Ch. Hübner
Ralph is a leading expert in digital marketing and has more than 15 years of experience in consulting, specialising in digital strategy. Ralph has extensive experience with all relevant tools and techniques to improve online success: brand positioning, utilisation of social media and e-commerce performance solutions through onpage and offpage measures.
Dr. Jan Eiben
Jan is based in Frankfurt, Germany, from where he serves clients across Europe with a focus on German-speaking countries. His career over the past 20 years includes extensive experience in international M&A projects on the buy and sell sides in industries including enterprise software, services, digital commerce, healthcare, and industrials. In addition, he also worked as a management consultant advising entrepreneurs in strategy and organizational development projects as well as succession management in family-owned businesses.
Axel Brill is based in northern Germany and has over 25 years' experience in the software industry. Axel co-founded Hoffmann Datentechnik in the late '80s and as its CEO built it out to become Germany's leading workforce management (WFM) solution provider for the retail sector. He sold the company in 2006 to Torex PLC. After helping with the integration, Axel headed off for a three-year sailing tour of half the planet where he photographed undersea wildlife. Following this, he invested in a Danish WFM SaaS vendor and worked as a regional director for the world's leading WFM vendor, Kronos.
Jonathan has been involved in the enterprise technology business for over three decades, managing and turning around existing business and helping management and their investors in fast-growth technology segments to grow, manage change, enter markets, transfer technologies, acquire, merge and sell. He’s worked with large and public infrastructure and system integration companies including: AT&T, Avaya, BroadSoft, BT, C&W, Cisco, HP, Global Switch, GMC, Huawei, Informix, Infosys, Intel, Myriad Group, Novell, IBM, IGT, Nortel, OpenReach, Pace, TCS, and Sybase.
Digital Commerce Report 2H2023
In the latter half of 2022, transaction activity in the Digital Commerce sector dropped from the historically unprecedented highs of Q1 2022. Now, in 2023, deal activity appears to be picking up again.
5 Digital Commerce Deals Defining the Sector in 2023
The newest Digital Commerce report from Hampleton Partners has shown that deal numbers in the sector are on the up and up following a plunge seen in the wake of the pandemic’s M&A boom. And by “up and up”, we mean precisely that. As our report reveals, transactions have risen in a sustained and incremental fashion since the lowest point of the dip in Q32022, when we recorded 442 deals.