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CAPZA signs an exclusive agreement to acquire a stake in Advens

June 2021 by Marc Jacob

CAPZA1 Growth Tech and Advens announce the signature of an exclusivity agreement by which CAPZA would become a reference shareholder of Advens, the first pure player in cybersecurity and leader in SOC-as-a-Service[2] in France. CAPZA would enter the capital as a reference minority shareholder, alongside the founder Alexandre Fayeulle and the management, who remain majority shareholders. As a result of the transaction, the shareholding will be extended to one third of Advens’ employees.

This is a major operation - which would value Advens at more than 100 million euros - and above all, unprecedented. Indeed, in addition to the company’s growth and development objectives, the management and shareholders have chosen to place societal impact at the heart of Advens’ business model.

On this occasion, up to 40% of the company’s financial value will be distributed in the coming years to an endowment fund to support initiatives with a societal impact, in particular to promote the inclusion and education of the younger generation.

Ultimately, it could be the largest endowment fund in Europe on this theme. This project is in line with the development of Advens, which 20 years after its creation, is now the leading French pure player in cybersecurity with 300 employees throughout France and over €30 million net sales expected for 2021, up 30% compared to 2020. The societal approach also reflects the acceleration of Advens’ commitment, already demonstrated by its support to the LinkedOut project, launched by the association Entourage[3].

Advens offers a comprehensive cybersecurity package that combines high value-added services with an innovative Security-as-a-Service model to meet the growing needs of companies, regardless of their specific sector or business. Advens has thus developed an operational security centre (“Security-as-a-Service Factory”) unique in France, which takes advantage of the best technologies, Artificial Intelligence and human expertise to provide efficient and proven protection against cyberthreats.

As attacks continue to grow in intensity and complexity, this model is a solution to simplify and make accessible to all organisations the daily challenge of cybersecurity and to face the shortage of experts by offering modern, turnkey solutions, such as SOC-as-a-Service and EDR-as-a-Service[4].

Led by Alexandre Fayeulle, founding Chairman, and David Buhan, CEO, Advens supports more than 300 clients in France and abroad. Thanks to the Group’s dynamism and capacity for innovation, it has achieved a historic growth of over 20% in its cybersecurity services business. The Group’s overall growth has accelerated over the last three years, driven by its rapidly growing Security-as-a-Service offering, at a pace of over 70% per year.

With the support of CAPZA, and by capitalising on the very strong loyalty of its teams and clients, Advens’ ambition is to become a leader in cybersecurity and the first SOC-as-a-Service provider in Europe.

Moreover, Advens wishes to open a new path by creating an innovative and virtuous business model in which economic & social performance feed off each other. In a buoyant context for the company, Advens and CAPZA wanted to ensure that Advens’ growth would go together with value sharing to serve a major societal ambition.

A new mechanism has therefore been set up to enable Advens to finance this virtuous model. Depending on Advens’ operational performance in the coming years, up to 40% of the financial value will be distributed to an endowment fund that will finance large-scale initiatives with a societal impact, particularly in favour of social inclusion and the education of younger generations. Ultimately, it could be the largest endowment fund in Europe on this theme.

The endowment fund will be supported from the start by Alexandre Fayeulle and CAPZA in order to quickly launch the first initiatives.

This transaction represents a new investment for CAPZA Growth Tech5, which is currently raising funds.

This transaction is a further illustration of CAPZA’s desire to innovate in order to contribute to the creation of a sustainable economy. Recently, CAPZA has increased the number of financing operations integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) objectives. The latest transactions as a reference shareholder have also resulted in value sharing arrangements and the integration of ESG objectives. Finally, CAPZA has integrated redistribution mechanisms in order to finance projects with a societal and environmental impact via CAPZA For Good, CAPZA’s CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) committee.

CAPZA’s commitment to these issues and the desire to implement a systematic and global approach has also led to the recent appointment of a Head of Sustainability and Impact.

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