Ferdinand Weiss quote

AdEx Partners' Vision to Become Europe's Trusted Leader of Business Transformation

In this article, we share insights from Ferdinand Weiss, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of AdEx Partners, about how they achieved initial success within the DACH market, why they decided to acquire PE funding, and how you can go about obtaining external growth capital for your business.

In this article...

  1. How AdEx Partners grew to €50 million in revenue and 200 employees without expanding outside the DACH market
  2. Why AdEx Partners decided to take on external growth capital
  3. Ferdinand Weiss's personal reasons for opting for PE funding
  4. Ferdinand's step-by-step guide to finding a PE investor

Read time: 5 minutes

With plans to triple their team size to 500+ employees, AdEx Partners are on their way to becoming one of the top digital transformation service providers in Europe.

In this case study, you'll discover the strategies and experiences of Ferdinand Weiss, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of AdEx Partners. You will learn how the company achieved such rapid growth, and how Ferdinand intends to boost the company's momentum with the help of external capital.

How AdEx Partners grew to €50 million in revenue and 200 employees without expanding outside the DACH market

In just 12 years, AdEx Partners achieved 55 million in revenue and employed 200 people — so how did they do it?

  1. Experience at The Helm: Before starting AdEx Partners, Ferdinand had about 12 years of experience working in the pharma industry, while his Co-Founder Carsten had more than 20 years of experience in automotive and industrial equipment.
  2. Valuable Connections: Both Ferdinand and his partners had connections that were instrumental in kick-starting their business. They were able to leverage their network and industry knowledge to secure initial clients, such as the large pharma project mentioned, which then led to other high-profile clients.
  3. An Experienced Team: The team at AdEx Partners has a high level of expertise, with an average of 13 years of experience among its members. Their focus on attracting top talent and enabling their professional growth contributed significantly to their success.
  4. Entrepreneurial Mindset and Company Culture: They give their team members the freedom and platform to pursue their own individual career paths within the organization. This approach has not only helped attract the right talent but has also driven engagement and motivation within the team.

This holistic set of attributes laid the foundations for AdEx Partners' rapid growth. During his interview on the LEADERS IN CONSULTING Podcast, Ferdinand especially noted his company's commitment to entrepreneurship. He said:

"We supported this entrepreneurial mindset from the very beginning to attract people and give them the right platform to grow and have their own individual careers with us." - Ferdinand Weiss, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of AdEx Partners

Why AdEx Partners decided to take on growth capital

AdEx Partners has a clear vision for its future: To become the leading digital transformation service provider in Europe. To achieve that dream, however, they need capital.

By taking on external investment, AdEx Partners could:

  • Allow the company to increase its market presence
  • Attract investors without them having to purchase a large share of the company
  • Increase their resource and capacity for larger projects
  • Compete on the global stage and position themselves as a strong player in Europe

The combination of these factors would allow the company to realize its vision of becoming Europe's leading digital transformation service provider.

Ferdinand Weiss' personal reasons for opting for PE funding

AdEx Partners toyed with a few ways of obtaining external capital but opted for PE because they wanted to bring an investor on board who could continue the AdEx story.

But what were Ferdinand's personal reasons for choosing PE over a bank loan?

  1. Growth: He wanted to break the "glass ceiling" - a metaphorical barrier that prevents further progress.
  2. Employee Retention and Development: The extra capital would provide resources for training, new hires, and promotion opportunities, which can help retain top employees.
  3. Succession Planning: A private equity investor can help with this transition, ensuring that the company has the necessary resources and structures to succeed under new leadership.
  4. Expansion: PE capital could fuel AdEx expansion into new territories, such as the Nordic regions.
  5. Diversification of Ownership: Bringing in a private equity investor could help diversify ownership, which can lead to better decision-making and financial stability.

To summarize, in Ferdinand's words, "I always thought it's better to have a small piece of a large cake than to have a small cake on your own."

Ferdinand's step-by-step guide to finding a PE investor

Are you looking for PE funding? Here are the key milestones you should follow, courtesy of AdEx Partners' Co-Founder Ferdinand Weiss:

Step 1: Prepare an Investment Brief: Compile a comprehensive investment brief with the company's story, key KPIs, and growth ambitions. Send it to a broad range of international investors.

Step 2: Secure Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs): Request interested investors to sign NDAs and meet specific criteria before proceeding.

Step 3: Engage in Initial Discussions: Hold "coffee table talks" with interested investors, providing more information about the company's history and track record.

Step 4: Request Indicative Offers: Ask investors to provide indicative offers based on their understanding of the business and strategic goals.

Step 5: Involve HR and CFO: Early involvement of the Head of HR and CFO to evaluate indicative offers.

Step 6: Shortlist for Due Diligence: Select a maximum of four investors from the pool of interested parties to proceed to the due diligence phase.

Step 7: Evaluate Compatibility: Assess the shortlisted investors based on their understanding of the business, alignment with strategic goals, team composition, and industry knowledge.

Step 8: Trust Your Gut Feeling: Consider factors like trust and compatibility when making the final decision. Choose the investor that feels like the right partner to work with.

Step 9: Maintain Confidentiality: Keep sensitive information, such as valuation, investment amount, and multiple, confidential.

Lessons gleaned from AdEx Partners' impressive story

In wrapping up our insights into AdEx Partners' journey, one thing becomes clear: their story is not just about rapid growth, but a keen understanding of how to sustain and nurture that growth.

It's a journey of strategic decisions, invaluable lessons, and an unwavering commitment to both people and vision. As they march forward, AdEx exemplifies what it means to dream big and have the tenacity to turn those dreams into reality.

Well done to AdEx Partners for achieving this impressive feat, and a special thanks to Ferdinand Weiss for taking the time to share his story and advice.

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