23 April 2018
DECA Investments AIFM, the sole manager of Diorama Investments Sicar, announced completion of a sixth investment in the Fund: a strategic minority stake in Viva Wallet Holdings (“Viva” or “The Company”) for €15 million.
The VivaWallet Group has been operating in Greece since 2000. It is composed of the following companies: VivaWallet Holdings SA (parent company of the group, formerly Realize SA), which has maintained a leading position in the field of transaction systems IT for more than 18 years; Viva Digital Services SA, active in B2C transport and entertainment services (also known as Viva.gr); and Viva Payment Services SA (“Viva Payments”).
Viva Payments (https://vivapayments.com/) is the only Electronic Money Institution in Greece that is a Principle Member of Mastercard and Visa for acquiring and card issuing services, and is the only financial organization in Europe that’s fully based on cloud infrastructure (Microsoft Azure). Viva Payments offers payment services in three currencies (€, £, LEU) across five countries (Greece, Cyprus, United Kingdom, Belgium, Romania). The company is headquartered in Greece, with a branch in Brussels. It has successfully completed the “passporting” procedure, obtaining licenses to operate in the other 29 countries within the European Economic Area.
The investment in Viva is in line with Diorama Fund’s strategy of making profitable investments by participating in dynamic, growing, and outward-looking Greek businesses. Its aim is to help companies where it invests in, to utilize their potential competitive advantages and become dominant players on the international stage.
Mr. Haris Karonis, CEO of Viva, commented: “This investment by Diorama and the international institution investors such as the European Investment Fund (EIF), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (ERBD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), constitutes an intermediate funding of the company’s five-year development plan in the European Economic Area. This plan commenced with our strategic cooperation with the investment firms of Mariana I. Latsi and Pari Kasidokosta-Latsi in November of 2014. The next round of funding will be managed by JEFFERIES GROUP LLC.”
The Chief Investment Officer of DECA Investments AIFM, Mr. John Kalantzis, commented: “Viva is a company we have been observing for the past few years with particular interest. We are impressed by it’s dynamic presence, innovative business moves, attention to detail as well as its ability to identify opportunities created by advancements in technology and the European regulatory framework. Viva’s next goal will be to claim a meaningful position in the rapidly evolving European market. We believe, as investors, that we will help Viva strengthen its position in the rapidly evolving and changing FinTech industry, and more specifically, the field of payment and transactions which, in 2017 alone, attracted € 30 billion in investment across the globe.”
Presently, Diorama has invested in five companies. The existing companies in its portfolio are active in the production of adhesive tapes (Atlas Tapes), industrial tomato products (Damavand), digital music and advertising on phone applications (InternetQ), milk carton packaging (Adam Pack) and the production and distribution of women’s clothing, bags, shoes and accessories (Axel Accessories).
Diorama Investments Sicar is a €135 million development fund set up in Luxembourg in September 2014 for the purpose of equity investment through capital increases in small and medium-sized Greek businesses. The fund investors are distinguished Greek businesspersons as well as Greek and international institution investors, such as the European Investment Fund (EIF), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (ERBD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB). The fund is managed by DECA Investments AIFM, which has received license for this purpose and is regulated by the Hellenic Capital Market Commission.
The investment is supported by the European Union through the Equity Facility for Growth program, set up through EU Regulation No 1287/2013 of the European Parliament and Council, establishing the EU Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME) (2014-2020).
The investment is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, one of the pillars of the Investment Plan for Europe. The Investment Plan for Europe focuses on strengthening European investments to create job positions and promote growth.