ePassi Payments Strengthens Funding With €41.5M Investment

Posted On: 10/11/2019

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HELSINKI, Finland -- ePassi, a leading mobile payment solution for subsidized employee benefits, is bolstering its strategic plan with a growth investment from Bregal Milestone, a pan-European private capital firm, and Risto Siilasmaa's investment firm First Fellow Partners.

Bregal Milestone and First Fellow Partners together are investing €41.5 million in ePassi through a fully equity-funded transaction. The investment by Bregal Milestone is the fifth out of the €400 million fund and marks the second transaction in Finland, and also its second fintech investment this year.

Financial technology founder, Risto Virkkala, will continue to hold a significant stake in the business and continue as chairman of the board of directors. Bregal Milestone will take an active role on the board, and Risto Siilasmaa will act as an advisor to the board. Pekka Rantala, the newly appointed ePassi chief executive, will also co-invest in the transaction. Rantala has years of experience gained in executive roles in an international context. Before joining ePassi, Rantala acted as vice-president, chief marketing officer of HMD Global and, before that, as chief executive of Rovio Entertainment.

"With value-added partners like Bregal Milestone and First Fellow Partners, ePassi is well equipped for our next development phase," said ePassi founder and board chairman. "Our ambition is to continue to lead innovation in our industry for the benefit of our customers, their employees and our merchant partners."

ePassi has a proven track record of expansion in corporate benefit and mobile wallet solutions and has recently signed a number of substantial cooperation agreements with major international players, including Alipay and WeChat.

"Bregal Milestone and First Fellow Partners' investment will help ePassi to grow further, and to utilize opportunities like the new and expanded EU payments services directive for mobile payments," noted ePassi chief executive Pekka Ranala. "The investment will allow us to continue to provide an outstanding service to our customers and partners through enhanced R&D, product development and innovation leadership, and this in turn will help us to attract further international interest."

"We are proud to partner with Risto Virkkala who pioneered a truly differentiated business model with a customer-centric and technology-driven approach," observed Bregal Milestone director Matteo Bozzo. "We look forward to actively supporting ePassi's team to deliver on its exciting innovation roadmap."

The transaction is expected to complete during the fourth quarter of 2019 and is subject to approval by regulatory authorities.

ePassi is widely used in Finland by employers to provide subsidized services to employees through a mobile app, accepted by participating merchants.