25 May 2023
Newsroom > Corporate
The MEDIA Central Group (“MEDIA Central”), a leading provider of data-based 360° drive-to-store marketing solutions, today announced it has combined with ShopFully, a leading European drive-to-store marketing tech platform offering a digital reach of >70 million shoppers for major retailers and brands. This industry-defining transaction was enabled by Stefan Hamacher, founder of MEDIA Central Group, Bregal Unternehmerkapital Funds (“Bregal”), partner of MEDIA Central since 2019, and Highland Europe, which has been a partner of ShopFully since 2015 and will retain a minority investment after the transaction. ShopFully’s Co-Founder and CEO, Stefano Portu, will reinvest in the new group and assume responsibility for all digital businesses within MEDIA Central Group as CEO Digital.
This transaction will have significant strategic benefits, allowing both MEDIA Central and ShopFully to continue to strengthen their digital capabilities and to further accelerate their international development. The combined entity now stands as one of the leading and largest drive-to-store marketing platforms in Europe and beyond, becoming a preferred partner for brands, retailers, publishers, as well as large technology platforms in the transformation of retail marketing.
In a challenging, inflationary environment with increasing margin pressures, a steady customer flow generated through drive-to-store marketing is mission critical for retailers and brands. First founded in 1997, and with growth in every year since then, MEDIA Central Group will now employ over 900 people tasked with managing more than €600 million in customer marketing budgets in over 25 countries. The newly combined entity will leverage the complementary strengths of MEDIA Central, Offerista, Yagora and ShopFully to offer a comprehensive end-to-end suite of innovative drive-to-store marketing solutions for retailers and brands throughout Europe and internationally.
Ingo Wienand, Group CEO of the MEDIA Central Group said, “ShopFully complements MEDIA Central perfectly – both geographically with its leading market positioning in Southern Europe and internationally, and in terms of its highly scalable, AI-driven digital platform which will help to further strengthen our ties with major retailers and brands. The combination with ShopFully marks another major step in our strategy to digitize drive-to-store marketing, which began with the acquisition of Offerista in 2021 and data-science-specialist Yagora in 2022.”
Stefano Portu, CEO of ShopFully and now CEO Digital at the MEDIA Central Group, added, “I am proud of what we have accomplished so far, but the team and I are even more excited about continuing to transform the industry in the years ahead together with MEDIA Central. The combination of these companies forms what we believe to be an undisputed leader in 360° drive-to-store marketing in a market with plenty of untapped potential throughout Europe and beyond. Following ShopFully’s growth and acquisitions, including Tiendeo, we believe this was the natural step in helping to realize our vision of reinventing retail marketing. As CEO Digital of the Group, I am excited to continue working with Benjamin Thym, CEO Offerista Group, and the whole Offerista and Yagora teams, as we further scale our digital platform into new European geographies and internationally”.
Sascha Kaumann, Director Bregal Unternehmerkapital GmbH, added, “Bregal has partnered with MEDIA Central Group and its founder Stefan Hamacher since 2019. Since that time, Bregal and the management team led by Ingo Wienand, have transformed the company to a digital first drive-to-store marketing platform. Bregal is pleased to welcome Stefano Portu and the ShopFully team to MEDIA Central and look forward to partnering together to further scale the digital business across Europe and beyond.”
About MEDIA Central:
Powerful brands for powerful communication solutions: The MEDIA Central Group brings together MEDIA Central, the Offerista Group, the data science experts at Yagora GmbH and MEDIA Central Poland and MEDIA Central Czech Republic under one roof.
The MEDIA Central Group supports its customers as a trusted partner and holistic solution provider for successful data-based 360° offer communication. Both the group’s solutions and services make a significant and measurable contribution to increasing retail sales. As the market leader in unaddressed household advertising, MEDIA Central manages over 15 billion brochures every year. The Offerista Group is Europe’s largest network for digital trade marketing and bundles over 1,400 platforms and reach partners in its own native network. As experts for the moment of the purchase decision, Yagora analyzes and optimizes measures in the area of shopper marketing and thus enables the increase in POS performance. The group has over 500 employees at 14 locations in 7 countries throughout Europe and today serves customers in 24 countries from all sectors. For more information, please visit www.media-central.de
ShopFully aims at reinventing local shopping worldwide, being the European champion and one of the leading international digital drive-to-store marketing tech platforms for major retailers and brands. With presence in 12 countries across Europe, Australia, and LatAm, ShopFully reaches a network of approx. 45 million active users, thanks to the apps and websites DoveConviene, Tiendeo, PromoQui, and VolantinoFacile. Through its tech solutions – including HI! (Hyperlocal Intelligence), the AI-based hyperlocal marketing platform – ShopFully helps over 400 top global retailers and brands engage with consumers throughout the purchasing process, from online research to in-store shopping. It employees 370 talented people from 30 different nationalities. For more information, please visit www.shopfully.com
About Bregal Unternehmerkapital
Bregal Unternehmerkapital (“BU”) invests in mid-sized companies across a wide range of sectors in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy, with a focus on market leaders and “hidden champions” with strong management teams and outbreak potential. With “patient capital”, entrepreneurial skills and a consolidated network, the BU team works closely with entrepreneurs to develop, internationalize, and digitise portfolio companies, helping them to generate sustainable value on a responsible basis.
As part of its comprehensive commitment to environmental, social, and governance practices, BU also supports existing portfolio companies with loans at attractive terms to finance sustainability investments provided by Bregal’s dedicated EUR 40 million Sustainable Development Fund and, in 2020, with grants for charitable projects to contribute to portfolio companies’ pandemic responses provided by Bregal’s EUR 3 million COVID-19 relief fund. Furthermore, in 2021, BU committed to ambitious science-based climate targets for 2030 as part of its commitment to decarbonise its portfolio and achieve net zero.
In Italy, BU has successfully completed two transactions: in September 2021, acquired a majority stake in Safety21, a leading Italian software provider in the Smart Road e Smart City space; in May 2022, acquired a majority stake in Italgel, a global leader in the production of gelatine and collagen.
For more information, please visit www.bregal.it or follow us on LinkedIn
About Highland Europe
Highland Europe invests in exceptional growth-stage software and internet companies. Active in Europe since 2003 as Highland Capital Partners and formally launched in 2012, Highland Europe has raised over €2.75 billion and has invested in companies such as Adjust, AMCS, Camunda, ContentSquare, Descartes, Deepki, eGym, Featurespace, GetYourGuide, Huel, Jellysmack, Malwarebytes, MatchesFashion, Me+Em, Nexthink, Podimo, Spot, Supermetrics, WeTransfer, Wolt and Zwift. Highland’s collective history of investments across the US, Europe and China includes 46 IPOs and 19 billion-dollar-plus companies. For more information, please visit www.highlandeurope.com.