Hästnet acquires UK's largest market for pets, Pets4Homes, and welcomes new investors
Stockholm, Sweden – Hästnet announces the acquisition of the UK’s largest pet classified site boasting 4 million users per month. The purchase also includes Petforums, the UK’s largest pet forum for everything related to pets. The acquisition is part of Hästnet’s strategy to become the dominant marketplace in Europe for horses and pets.
Founded in 2005, Pets4Homes has become synonymous with finding its best friend on the internet in the UK, whether it be dogs, cats, horses, fish, birds, reptiles or small animals. By focusing on the sellers meeting strict animal welfare requirements, Pets4Homes has created a safe and secure marketplace with a dominant position. According to the Great British Puppy Survey, every third person in the UK has found their puppy at Pets4Homes, which represents a significantly larger share than any other channel in the country.
In connection with the acquisition, Hästnet takes in new capital from recognized marketplace investors such as Verdane, Otiva (Jonas Nordlander and Filip Engelbert – founders of Avito) and Back in Black, as well as from existing investors.
“Since we bought Hästnet last year, we’ve built a new organization, launched a state-of-the-art platform and apps for iOS and Android, and more than doubled traffic and revenue. We look forward to implementing the same growth agenda for Pets4Homes that shares Hästnet’s incredibly committed and loyal user base. With this group of recognized investors supporting us who have made similar journeys earlier, we will be able to accelerate our already ambitious growth plans”, says Axel Lagercrantz, CEO and owner.
Hästnet was founded in 2001 and has grown to become the Nordic region’s largest marketplace in equestrian sports and to Sweden’s largest hobby site with more than 20 million page views per month. Hästnet makes it easy for a million people who are interested in horses to buy and sell horses, equipment, horse-related services such as co-riders and feed hosts, as well as horse farms in an industry that has a turnover of more than SEK 72 billion per year, according to the National Horse Foundation.
The pace of development has been high for Hästnet where a brand new platform was launched in December, Hästnet’s digital purchase contract was launched in May and Hästnet’s app for iOS and Android was launched in June. Thanks to Hästnet’s large user base, the app quickly climbed to Sweden’s Top 10 most downloaded apps in the app store.
The European horse and pet industry is in the middle of a digitalisation phase. We are convinced both marketplaces have room for further development and growth based on the Hästnet team’s drive and focus on user friendliness. We look forward to contributing with our experience from similar growth journeys with international online-based businesses and marketplaces.
Verdane aims to be the preferred growth partner to tech-enabled businesses in Northern Europe. Verdane funds provide flexible growth capital to ecommerce, software, energy or high-technology industry businesses, through both majority and minority investments in individual companies and portfolios. Verdane funds act as ambitious, active and long-term owners, helping management teams and companies accelerate and sustain growth by leveraging the Verdane advisory team’s capabilities and proven track record in driving business value for companies whose growth is driven by, or connected to, technological development. Verdane funds’ current portfolio includes Boozt, Caliroots, EasyPark, Freespee, inRiver, Lingit and Scanmarket. Verdane has more than 45 employees working out of offices in Berlin, Copenhagen, Helsinki, London, Oslo and Stockholm. For more information, please visit www.verdane.com
Hästnet was founded in 2001 in Lindesberg and has grown to become the largest marketplace in equestrian sport in the Nordic region, a sport that has more than 500,000 active practitioners in Sweden. Since August 2019, Hästnet also owns Pets4Homes, the UK’s largest pet market place with more than 4 million active users per month. Hästnet and Pets4Homes make it easy to buy and sell horses, pets and related equipment and services, as well as horse farms.
Hästnet is owned and operated, among other, by Axel Lagercantz; Eyass Shakrah, COO of Frontier Car Group and Avito; Verdane; Otiva (Jonas Nordlander and Filip Engelbert founders of Avito); Christian Jochnick and Eric Rydman; Back in Black; Per Brillioth and Björn von Sivers at Vostok New Ventures; Torbjörn Folkesson, and Ashley von Heppenstall.