Omnes Capital's investments
Last December, Omnes invested in Captain Tortue, the European leader in direct selling of women’s ready-to-wear clothing, alongside BIP Capital Partners.
We sit down with Nathalie Coppola, Managing Director of Captain Tortue.
After spending 25 years working for UScompanies (Avon and Tupperware), Ifound it very invigorating joining this French family success story to continue its development and double its international success. My challenge is exciting: convincing teams to embark on a bigger journey, by applying the big American groups’ recipes, while maintaining Captain Tortue’s qualitative ingredients. As a Parisian, I did not know anything about the direct selling sector, but I ended up dedicating my entire career to it. It is a fascinating profession because it is deeply human and feminine.
The women who join us have often left their first job to devote themselves to selling our products. We must support them and identify talents capable of leading sales teams and developing their business.
One of the particularities of direct selling is the independent status of our sales force on the ground. As a result, you have to make people want to do things, rather than dictate. I therefore adopt a human management approach, making sure I motivate my teams, coach them and support them towards more autonomy and success. I try to inject good humour and passion in my employees, so that they feel good at work and give the maximum. I also pay particular attention to the age pyramid, to ensure good balance between all generations.
Their curiosity, their desire to understand our business model and their willingness to support us in our internationalization. The Omnes teams are very present and attentive, our discussions are lively and open. Omnes brings us their network and expertise on topics further away from our fields of expertise such as digital transformation for example.
InCa is one of the regional leaders in the construction of built-to-order single-design detached homes, with three strong brands in Nouvelle Aquitaine: Maisons Clairlande, Les Demeures de la Côte d’Argent and Rouquié Constructions. The Group has a wide range of target customers, from first-time buyers to high-end customers. With sales of over 500 homes, the Group achieved turnover of €38 million in 2016.
Thanks to a simple and fun service, "Geevers" can easily give and receive items for free in the proximity of their own homes. Available in Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Lille, Bordeaux, Nantes and Toulouse, GEEV has become an obvious alternative to selling, unnecessary storage and the proliferation of waste in the public space.
Antabio is a private biopharmaceutical company developing novel antibacterial resistance-breakers to treat drug-resistant infections in areas of highest unmet medical need. Two of Antabio’s programs have received Wellcome Trust Seeding Drug Discovery Awards to date: [i] a novel, safe and efficacious inhibitor of bacterial metallo ß-lactamases to be combined with a carbapenem for the treatment of drug-resistant nosocomial infections and [ii] a first-in-class inhibitor of Pseudomonas virulence to be co-administered with standard-of-care antibiotics for the long-term management of chronic respiratory infections. This second program has recently received up to $8.9 million funding from the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X).
Headquartered in Boulogne Billancourt and part of the French marketing and communications sector since 1996, Marquetis has been managed for more than 20 years by Virginie Massa and Evangelos Vatzias. Marquetis operates through its subsidiaries Marquetis One, Marquetis Connect and Marquetis Call. It offers a 360 ° service, ranging from global communication consulting to automated cross-channel marketing in SaaS mode.
Omnes and Ilmatar recently launched a joint venture to build and operate wind power projects in the Nordic region.
Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, I do have some entrepreneurial blood in my veins, but I actually didn’t realize how much until 2011 when I founded Ilmatar. I began my career in 2000 in the venture capital unit of ABB and soon realized that I didn’t enjoy working in a huge international company. I then spent five years in a small Finnish-based venture capital company before setting up my own venture fund in 2005. In 2010, Mikko Toivanen (also Co- Founder of Ilmatar) approached me about investing in the Finnish wind market. I had no experience in the energy sector but my financial background and Mikko Toivanen’s solid history in the electricity transmission and distribution fields were the perfect combination.
Being a good leader is about giving responsibility to others and believing in your team. I was the CEO of Ilmatar from day 1 until 2016, when I stepped down to become Chairman and appointed a new in-house CEO. It proved that my “baby” had grown up and could be run by someone else. I also believe that a good leader needs to be an expert in some areas and to know the other aspects of the business to some degree. This is why I try to keep an expert understanding of the financing and growth issues, whilst keeping a good level of knowledge in other areas, such as business development, engineering, services and operational issues. I believe that finance is a crucial part of driving the development of the wind power industry.
This joint-venture represents a major step in our strategy. Our joint project to construct and operate up to 1,000 MW of wind power positions us as one of the leading players in the European and Finnish subsidy-free wind industries. We met Omnes in 2017 while looking for partners to develop subsidy-free growth, and we immediately appreciated their entrepreneurial spirit, their approach to business partners and their open mindset. We share the same values and we feel that we have enough independence to successfully execute our strategy.
Founded in 2005, the Batiweb Group is France’s number two digital portal bringing building trade professionals together with consumers, predominantly in the home renovation segment. Batiweb is active in three complementary areas – intermediation, media and B2B services. Between 2013 and 2016, the Group more than doubled its revenues and tripled its profitability by developing and enriching its expertise and its new content through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions.
Omnes’ acquisition of a stake in Batiweb lends new impetus to the number-two player in digital relationship building between consumers and professionals in housing renovation.
Founded in 2005, Batiweb Group today is the number-two player in its market, with nearly €10 million in annual revenue and 94 employees. Digital intermediation is a thriving sector, with major penetration potential as just 13% of self-employed professionals use this channel. The Group’s four-year objective is to increase its revenue by 2.5 and quadruple its profitability.
“In six months, we have shown our ability to step up the company’s development,” says Frédéric Mimoun, Director at Omnes. As evidenced by the company obtaining an exclusivity on a strategic acquisition opportunity in an over-the-counter context, signed in July 2017. Seven other deals are under review and Omnes is helping to broaden the range of possibilities outside France, notably in Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK and Germany.
After the implementation of an executive committee, Omnes also helped to strengthen Batiweb’s strategic governance with the selection of two industrial experts for the Strategic Committee.
“Our ambition is to strengthen the Group’s position in its market and help it to become the Airbnb of self-employed professionals, with a complete set of services ranging from appointment making to transaction payments,” says Frédéric Mimoun, Director at Omnes. “Strategic and pragmatic support in which everyone expresses themselves openly. The key is to continuously call things into question, open doors and move forward.”
I immediately felt on the same wavelength as Frédéric Mimoun. His strategic vision perfectly matched what I wanted to do. Batiweb's business model had arrived at a new stage of maturity, enabling us to shift up another gear. And Omnes was quick to confirm the points that were essential for me: a majority position and the possibility at all times to have the necessary cash for financing organic and external growth with no dilution.