Exit: Europe’s leading online hearing care platform audibene under new owner Sivantos
Berlin/Munich, 26 March 2015 | audibene, the innovative provider of online hearing care is under a new owner – the current shareholders including Acton Capital sell their shares in audibene GmbH to Sivantos Group, a world-wide leading manufacturer of hearing aids based in Singapore. The transfer of audibene’s shares to Sivantos is not subject to any regulatory approval and is already effective. The parties agreed not to disclose any financial details. With this transaction, audibene’s fast-growing online-offline business obtains new owners only three years after market launch. audibene’s co-founders Paul Crusius and Dr. Marco Vietor stay on board.
With its unique data-driven and internet-enabled approach, audibene is defining new standards of quality and efficiency in hearing care. Together with a network of more than 800 audiology partners the Berlin-based company currently serves customers in Germany, Benelux and Switzerland.
audibene was founded in 2012 by Dr. Marco Vietor and Paul Crusius to deliver high-quality hearing care to first-time customers. The co-founders are also major shareholders in audibene. They continue to serve as managing directors and obtain shares in the Sivantos Group as part of the transaction. Under the roof of the Sivantos Group, audibene will remain an independent enterprise with all 180 existing employees staying on board.
Together with Sivantos, we want to develop audibene to a truly international company and provide people with innovative hearing aids”
Paul Crusius and Marco Vietor, audibene
In the past, the growth of audibene was supported by venture capitalist investors Acton Capital from Munich and Berlin-based Sunstone Capital as well as a number of German Business Angels under serial entrepreneur Stephan Schubert (i.a. OnVista, IS.Teledata), all of which have fully transferred their shares to Sivantos. The previous investors that were involved in audibene’s growth path up to now are highly satisfied with the development of their investment.
“With its innovative business model, audibene has achieved a remarkable market presence in Europe within a very short period of time. audibene is a success story for Germany as a location for start-ups,” states Maximilian Niederhofer, General Partner at Sunstone Capital, a European Venture Capitalist. “This exit is a remarkable success and we wish the team all the best for the future, ” says Dr. Christoph Braun, Managing Partner at the international growth vc investor Acton Capital.
“We are impressed by the dynamic the audibene team has managed to establish such an innovative approach in the market in the past few years.”
Dr. Christoph Braun, Acton Capital
With 15,000 visitors per day, audibene is Europe’s leading consultation portal related to hearing care and hearing aids, offering qualified and customer-oriented advice to people suffering from a hearing loss to find the right model. Hearing aids are then fitted by local partner audiologists selected by the team of audibene. As part of the strategic partnership, Sivantos Group will support audibene with its further international expansion.
Roger Radke, CEO of the Sivantos Group explains: „With its internet based approach, audibene has revitalized the hearing aids market in a very short period of time and addressed target groups that were not approachable via the traditional distribution channels. This dynamic matches the new direction of Sivantos very well.”
The Sivantos Group combines all activities of the former hearing aids division of Siemens since the beginning of 2015. Sivantos is supported by private equity investor EQT, Siemens and the Strüngmann Family as anchor investors. In the upcoming years, EQT and Sivantos are going to implement an innovation and growth push. With the support of audibene, Sivantos reaches significantly younger customers and hence achieves a market expansion.
„We are happy to have found a strategic partner with Sivantos that possesses long lasting experience in the hearing aids market and a worldwide distribution network,” announce audibene’s co-founders Paul Crusius and Dr. Marco Vietor. “We want to thank our previous investors. They have been – as financers and particularly as advisors – a valuable support for the expansion of our business.”