Not to be confused with Berlin’s fintech of the very same name, Prague-based Upvest, which helps investors invest in the real estate sector in the form of debt financing, has been acquired by long-time backer Komerční banka, or at least 96% of it. The remaining 4% of the company has been cordoned off and split amongst the original shareholders, CEO David Musil, CTO Petr Volný, and partners Senator Jan Holásek (yes, you read that right, a member of the Senate of the Czech Republic), and Petr Malík.
Both parties declined to comment on the exact figure and the terms and conditions, however, Patrik Nový, director at KB SmartSolutions, a division of Komerční banka, and Upvest's original investor revealed to CzechCrunch that the deal also included a special proviso for founders Volný and Musil. "The transaction has a multi-year settlement and it includes a structure that enables all key parties to be extremely motivated for maximum startup growth, i.e. founders, KB, and Upvest employees."
Founded in 2017, Upvest provides real estate developers with external funding sources, allowing individuals to invest smaller sums than the industry standard. In layman's terms: crowdfunding for real estate projects developments.
Buying in with an 18.9% stake in the company in July 2020 for approximately €570,000 (at today’s market rate), Komerční banka has seen such potential, and business generated by Upvest’s service offering, that a year later they upped this figure to 31.06%. And at one year later, it would appear that the group has grown wearing of pouring glasses of milk, and simply bought the whole cow.
For those of you that are good with numbers, I direct your attention to €570,000 for an 18.9% at 2020's rates. I'll say no more.
“The acquisition of a majority in Upvest represents another big step towards the fulfillment of Komerční banka's vision, which is the development of cooperation with innovative fintechs and start-ups,” commented Komerční banka’s David Formánek. “Our goal is to be able to go beyond the mere provision of banking services. One of the services we focus on in our portfolio is crowdfunding. We are therefore very satisfied that in the framework of the cooperation with Upvest several key points, on the basis of which we decided to go into this segment two years ago, were confirmed.”
Upvest CEO David Musil added, “After more than two years of cooperation it made sense for both partners to transform Upvest into a full-bodied part of the Komerční bank Group. Upvest is going to be specialized and further developed under the wings of the leading Czech banking institution belonging to the Société Générale Group.“