Having advised Zappi on its early stage investment by Prime Venture, it was exciting to support them on a significant $170m investment from funds advised by Sumeru Equity Partners, a prominent US private equity house. Zappi runs an AI-powered consumer insights platform that is used by major brands including PepsiCo, McDonald's and The HEINEKEN Company.
This deal involved several of the Fladgate teams, spearheaded by Ravi Goonesena, who had worked with Zappi for many years. It was a real team effort in getting this across the line before the Christmas break, working very closely with the Zappi management and in-house legal team. There were over 1,000 documents being negotiated over the course of this complicated cross-jurisdictional transaction – it was a deal that had everything! It was particularly interesting having to exchange (and check) signed documents on these hundreds of documents within a matter of hours so funds could be transferred in time for completion – we had to mobilise several assistants across the corporate team to hit the tight timeline. Having a US investor also required slightly different hours to the usual UK working day! What’s more, there were also some complex regulatory issues around exchange control to navigate in South Africa (where one of the major shareholders was based). This required detailed technical analysis and structuring advice, requiring us to liaise with local counsel.
Wojtek Kokoszka, COO and Board Director at Zappi, commented: “Zappi has closed a major $170m cross-border deal with a prominent Silicon Valley private equity firm in conditions where private deal making in the tech-growth sector seems to have frozen. Without a doubt Zappi would not have been able to complete this deal without the professional and broad tech and corporate experience that Fladgate assembled. The breadth of international deal-making knowledge and calm deal navigation brought by Ravi and his team was exceptional and we look forward to a strong, long partnership with Fladgate as Zappi goes from strength to strength.”
Monish Suri, Partner at Prime Ventures (VC), an early investor in Zappi, commented: “The Fladgate team provided a first class service. This was a complex deal involving some difficult cross-jurisdictional issues, and transacted at a time when the markets were challenging. Fladgate showed great professionalism and tenacity in navigating it through to a successful closing.”