Eurazeo today announced the signing of an agreement by its Small-Mid Buyout team1 to invest in WiiSmile alongside the company’s management team, led by Sylvain Bianchini, Brice Bonnaigue and Jérôme Bourdon.
Under the agreement, Eurazeo is set to become the company’s majority shareholder, with an investment of more than €70 million. NextStage AM, a financial shareholder of WiiSmile since 2020, plans to reinvest a portion of its sale proceeds and will retain a minority stake in the company.
Founded in 2001, WiiSmile gives owners of small and medium-sized enterprises the opportunity to offer “all-in-one” solutions to their staff that promote engagement by improving quality of life for employees and their families.
WiiSmile targets a deep market of more than 400,000 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in France with a need for tools and services that can help them attract, motivate and retain employees. WiiSmile gives the employees of its member companies access to its innovative platform together with support provided by a well-regarded customer service team (net promoter score of 59). They thus enjoy a full range of benefits usually available only to employees of large companies, including a dedicated travel agency, a discount ticketing service for entertainment, sporting events and more, a solution for meal vouchers without fees, a system to reimburse employee expenses for recreational or cultural activities, and personal services. WiiSmile also makes available a complete catalog of online personal development courses and an array of discount offers across a vast network of retail and service partners.
Through its team trained to promote and coordinate the entire offering, its management and customer satisfaction (140 employees in all), WiiSmile offers a user-friendly digital platform along with personalized follow-up services, for both company owners, clients and the employees receiving the benefits, over the entire life of each contract.
From its headquarters in Montmélian, in the Savoie department of southeastern France, and backed by the strength of its sales team spread across all regions of the country, WiiSmile has built up its presence throughout France, where it has served over 8,500 companies and more than 100,000 employees since 2001. In 2021, the company generated annual recurring revenue of approximately €18 million and has delivered growth higher than 25% on average in recent years.
Through its investment, Eurazeo aims to support WiiSmile in accelerating customer acquisition among SMEs in particular and to work alongside the company to build its capacity for innovation, by helping with the development of new services, the creation of new partnerships, and acquisitions of specialist players. Eurazeo is convinced of WiiSmile’s potential to position itself as an expert and trusted partner of choice in delivering employee benefit solutions for smaller companies.
Sylvain Bianchini, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of WiiSmile, commented as follows:
“Eurazeo’s investment in WiiSmile is an important new step to accelerate the growth and development of our business as we advance further along the path we have pursued with passion for more than 20 years: giving owners of MSMEs and their employees access to all the benefits and services considered the exclusive prerogative of larger companies. The team at Eurazeo, which shares our long-term vision of the incredible potential to expand our solutions as well as our commitment to service with a human touch that puts customer satisfaction first, along with an easily scalable technology platform, is the ideal partner for this new chapter in our story. We are also delighted that NextStage AM, which has backed us since 2020, will be remaining at our side over the coming years.”
Pierre Meignen, Managing Director, Eurazeo Small-Mid Buyout, added:
“Since 2001, WiiSmile, its management team and all its employees have been building up unique expertise and know-how as a trusted partner for owners of smaller companies interested in deepening their approach in taking care of their employees. We are very pleased to be supporting them through the next phases of the company’s development, by helping them step up access for SMEs to WiiSmile’s solutions across all of France and by continuing to diversify and expand its offering while protecting what is central to its identity and success: close attention to the real expectations and needs of SME owners and their employees, in order to offer them the best possible service. WiiSmile’s dedication of resources to provide personalized service with a human touch for its executive clients and their employees has made it a leader in a long-neglected market. WiiSmile’s solutions allow SME owners, whatever the size or industry sector of their company, to have a lasting impact on quality of life for their employees. We believe very strongly in the prospects for this business led by Sylvain Bianchini, Brice Bonnaigue and Jérôme Bourdon.”
Julien Potier, Partner, NextStage AM, said:
“We take great pride in having supported the team at WiiSmile for nearly two years. The company has been able to build up its client base among micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in France while expanding its range of solutions, in particular thanks to three acquisitions. We are thrilled to be continuing this adventure alongside Eurazeo as we share the same perspective on WiiSmile’s potential and goals in the coming years.”