Intermate Group enters into partnership with ECM
Frankfurt am Main/Berlin — German Equity Partners V (“GEP V” or the “Fund”), a fund managed by the independent German private equity firm ECM Equity Capital Management GmbH (“ECM”), has invested in the Berlin-based social media and influencer marketing specialist Intermate Group, consisting of Intermate Media GmbH (“Intermate”) and TRUEMATES GmbH (“Truemates”), through a partnership investment.
The fast-growing social media agency Intermate and the “social first” production company Truemates specialize in the conception and implementation of social media and influencer campaigns on all social platforms as well as the production of the corresponding content. The Group is a leader in Germany, particularly in campaigns and the development of brand channels for companies on the fast-growing social media platform TikTok.
Together with ECM, the company founders Alessandro De Pasquale, Jörn Mecher, Philip Papendieck, Sonja Wolff and Philipp Wolff want to continue the success story of the Intermate Group and expand the enormous potential in the fast-growing area of social media and influencer marketing as well as in social commerce, which is expected to grow about three times as fast as traditional online commerce by 2025. The founders remain substantially involved and will continue to lead and develop the Intermate Group as managing partners. The parties have agreed not to disclose further details of the transaction.
Philip Papendieck, co-founder, partner and CEO of IntermateIn order to position our clients and partners as the strongest players in their industry in the social and influencer market, we will continue to invest in our creative and strategic infrastructure, content studios, recruiting and social talent, as well as in our technology. In addition, we will expand our own formats Daily Pie and the VERTIES, also under the aspect of social commerce and metaverse. With ECM, we have found a partner who, together with us, is rapidly expanding an agency model of the future, both technologically and creatively. The partnership now gives us the tailwind to further maintain and expand the market position we have built up within our seven years of existence.”
Florian Kähler, Partner and Managing Director of ECM (photo), added: “The Intermate Group has an impressive market position in the rapidly growing market for social media marketing in Germany, for which we also see great potential in the coming years. Building on Intermate’s proprietary technology, we want to continue the company’s success story together and expand into new markets and business areas. I look forward to partnering with Intermate Group’s ambitious and dynamic management team.”
Intermate connects successful brands with young generations
on social media platforms
Intermate was founded in Berlin in 2015, initially under the name Insta Media. In 2016, the company was renamed Intermate. With a rapidly growing team, Intermate is one of the leading agencies for social media and influencer marketing in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The company’s strong focus on creators in particular has enabled it to establish an outstanding position in the social space. For influencer selection, campaign planning, and reporting, Intermate uses a complex, proprietary technological ecosystem. Using its unique technology platform, Intermate has significantly accelerated its processes and workflows in these areas, achieving unique and effective social media and influencer campaigns for clients.
In recent years, Intermate has implemented a number of successful campaigns for major clients and international brand companies from all industries, including Volkswagen, Beiersdorf and Deichmann. The production of elaborate formats takes place in the company’s own studio in Berlin Charlottenburg with the spin-off production company Truemates, which focuses primarily on vertical video content. In total, the Group currently employs around 110 people in its two production studios in Berlin and its four office locations in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Vienna. The profitable company has grown rapidly in recent years, doubling its workforce since 2018 and tripling its revenue. Intermate and Truemates and its own formats Daily Pie and VERTIES now operate under the new name Intermate Group.
ECM brings entrepreneurial and strategic expertise, relevant network, and deep experience in implementing growth strategies
The investment company ECM has extensive experience in the implementation of growth and internationalization strategies, which it has already brought to bear in numerous partnership investments. With ECM’s expertise, Intermate plans to continue the pace of growth seen in recent years. The partners see great potential in particular in the structurally growing market for social commerce and in the business with influencer campaigns on the social media platform TikTok, which is gaining strongly in importance. In the German-speaking markets, Intermate is one of the absolute specialists for social media and influencer marketing campaigns on the platform, which is particularly popular with younger generations.
In the coming years, the Berlin-based company intends to build on its leading market position in this area together with ECM and also expand in other European countries. Ambitious growth plans are also being pursued by Intermate, with ECM’s support, to expand other channels such as the self-built and operated platforms Daily Pie, the number one entertainment channel on TikTok, and VERTIES, a content creator award on TikTok presented by the agency. Against this backdrop, the partners intend to adapt Intermate Group’s organizational structures to its highly scaled business and strengthen operational excellence. Beyond organic growth, Intermate Group plans to evaluate suitable add-on acquisitions with ECM’s support.
Great growth potential in social commerce
and with influencer campaigns on TikTok.
The growth plans are supported by the expected dynamic market growth in the coming years. Digital consultancy OMMAX predicts that the German market for influencer marketing alone will grow from €1.1 billion in 2020 to €2.3 billion in 2024. On average, OMMAX expects the market to grow by around 20 percent annually. The reason for the expected leap in market growth is, in particular, increasing social media consumption. In 2021, about 90 percent of all smartphone users were active on social media, each of whom had nearly nine social media accounts on average. The widespread use of social media makes it increasingly attractive for companies to promote their brands on the various platforms with the help of influencer campaigns. They enable them to reach younger generations Y and Z in particular.
GEP V was advised on this transaction by Milbank (legal and structuring), OMMAX (commercial), Ebner Stolz (finance & tax), Houlihan Lokey (debt advisory) and Willis Towers Watson (insurance). Florian Kähler, Tim Krume and Benedikt Müller are responsible for the transaction at ECM. Intermate was advised on the transaction by Lincoln International (M&A) as well as Hyacinth and GLNS (legal & structuring), KPMG (finance) and the tax firm Brunow (tax).
About ECM Equity Capital Management GmbH (“ECM”)
ECM is a trusted partner for medium-sized companies and entrepreneurs in German-speaking Europe. Since 1995, ECM has launched the GEP I‑V equity funds with a total volume of more than €1 billion and is currently investing from the fifth fund GEP V (€325 million). The funds invest primarily in leading medium-sized companies with attractive growth potential in the course of succession planning, partnership investments and corporate spin-offs. www.ecm-pe.de
About Intermate Group (“Intermate” and “Truemates”)
With over 110 employees and offices in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Vienna, the Intermate Group is one of the largest social agencies in DACH. With its own production company Truemates, its own content studios, a holistic in-house developed influencer technology and the influencer and social agency Intermate, the group has been able to establish a leading position in the social market with its strong creator-centric focus.
Through a close connection directly to the platforms and by means of its own technical infrastructure, the Intermate Group offers the complete value chain on social media from a single source: influencer campaigns, creator-centric social media management, content production and performance ads. Through its own inventory and formats, such as the TikTok show Daily Pie with nearly 1,000,000 followers or the VERTIES, the “Oscars” of TikTok creators, Intermate Group can demonstrably bring first-hand social expertise to clients’ strategies and concepts. These now include companies and institutions such as o2 Telefónica, Beiersdorf, Volkswagen, the German Federal Ministry of Health, ALDI Nord and HUAWEI. www.intermate-group.de