Cloud file-sharing service WeTransfer brings in secondary investors

Early shareholders in the technology company sold to a consortium led by HPE Growth Capital via a direct secondaries deal.

Early shareholders in WeTransfer, an Amsterdam-headquartered technology company, have gained liquidity through a direct secondaries sale.

Around €35 million-worth of shares in the file-sharing company were sold to a group of investors led by Dutch expansion capital firm HPE Growth Capital, according to a statement. Cornerstone investor Highland Capital Partners Europe was one of several existing shareholders to grow their positions through the deal.

The shares were sold by a mix of early investors including WeTransfer’s co-founder Dutch blogger and entrepreneur Nalden, according to Manfred Krikke, a partner with HPE Growth.

“We like recurring business models because they give you visibility,” he told Secondaries Investor, speaking about the company’s subscription-based revenues. “The natural growth of the business is also very strong as it’s a bit of a viral product. I send files to you, you have a good experience and then you try it out.”

Founded in 2009, WeTransfer enables the transfer of computer files too large to be sent by email. More than one billion files are sent on its platform each month, according to its website.

HPE typically makes investments of between €10 million and €40 million in growth-stage technology companies in north-west Europe. It has bought shares via the secondaries market before – normally as a small component of a primary fundraising round. The firm has no intention of raising dedicated secondaries capital, Krikke said.

Direct secondaries volumes – the trading of stakes in private companies – reached $19.3 billion in the first six months of this year, compared with $29.3 billion for the whole of last year, according to intermediary NYPPEX Private Markets.