Stars Align for Merger Between US and European Online Wellness Giants, Ingenio and adviqo
Ingenio, LLC (“Ingenio”), a portfolio company of Alpine Investors, and the owner of North America’s largest online marketplace and media platform focused on spiritual and emotional wellness, has acquired its largest European peer, adviqo Group (“adviqo”).
The transaction creates the global leader in this fast-growing segment of the media and technology sector, combining Ingenio’s 12 brands, which include Keen.com, Purple Garden, Horoscope.com and Astrology.com, with adviqo’s 19 brands, which feature Questico, Horoskop.de, and Kang.
Since being founded, the two companies have facilitated over 180 million consultations between customers and advisors (counselors, coaches, guides and spiritualists).
Furthermore, Ingenio owns and operates one of the world’s largest astrology media companies. Its four media brands reach over 20 million people monthly. Meanwhile, adviqo reaches over 36 million households through its TV broadcasts, in addition to its digital platforms. The combined media businesses will offer customers the largest global collection of astrology content.
During the Covid-19 pandemic Ingenio saw a surge in users across its platforms, as people – and especially millennials – increasingly turned to technology to connect more meaningfully and conveniently. This was reflected in Ingenio’s customer base which grew 30% since the start of the pandemic. In anticipation of its strong growth prospects, Ingenio recently appointed Kirstin Hoefer as Keen.com’s first Brand President. She will be responsible for leading and driving top-line growth and product innovation.
Warren Heffelfinger, CEO of San Francisco-headquartered Ingenio, said: “This deal represents a major milestone in unlocking our next stage of growth. We will be stronger together as we explore opportunities to expand into new markets, drive innovation, and sharpen our focus on personal wellness.
“The combination of our leading businesses brings clear benefits to all stakeholders. As we pursue our joint vision of becoming the global leader in personal guidance, life advice and wellness, customers will see improved products and services provided by a broader, wellness-related product portfolio tailored to their needs. Our advisors will benefit from enhanced features and greater resource support, access to a broader consumer base, and accelerated revenue growth. Employees will also have access to more global career paths. Importantly, both companies are aligned around a mutual commitment to empower people to live happier lives.
“I’d like to thank all our employees for their hard work over many years to help us reach this point. We have exciting prospects ahead, along with stability of ownership and management, and we continue to attract new high-quality investors like Apollo, a blue-chip alternative asset manager.”
Bryan Leppi, Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer for Berlin-based adviqo, added: “Ingenio and adviqo are leaders in our respective regions. With little geographical crossover we offer complementary product suites featuring online marketplaces, websites and apps, streaming media and podcasts, content-based online offers, as well as TV and magazines. So, together, we are creating a comprehensive and global market leader.
“While there is a strong business case for this combination, having shared values and attitudes, and the opportunity to learn from each other, is equally important for the longterm success of our combined group. This will allow us to tap into new products and markets and to further develop our skill sets like never before. We are excited about what the future holds.”
Ingenio is the market leader in spiritual and emotional guidance in the US. Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, Ingenio is a collection of online destinations including Keen.com and Purple Garden, where people find emotional and spiritual guidance on love, relationships, and life. With a team of more than 140 colleagues, Ingenio is passionate about continuous improvement and connecting people with the best content and advisors to empower them to live happier lives.
Ingenio also owns and operates one of the world’s largest astrology media companies, with brands including Horoscope.com, Astrology.com, Horoscopo.com and SunSigns.com. They reach more than 20 million unique users each month and publish daily content via the four websites, 39 email newsletters, and three mobile apps.
adviqo is the market leader in spiritual and emotional guidance in Europe, with headquarters in Berlin, Germany. It employs more than 240 people worldwide, including Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK.
adviqo’s mission is to provide person-to-person advice and inspiring content to anyone searching for self-care, personal growth and clarity. Its portfolio includes websites and apps, streaming media and podcasts, content-based online offerings, TV and magazines. adviqo operates leading brands including Questico, The Circle, Kang, Horoskop.de, viversum and Zodiac Touch.
About Alpine Investors
Alpine Investors is a people-driven private equity firm that is committed to building enduring companies by working with, learning from, and developing exceptional people. Alpine specializes in investments in companies in the software and services industries. Its PeopleFirst strategy includes a CEO program that allows Alpine to bring leadership to situations where additional or new management is needed post-transaction. Alpine is currently investing out of its $2.25 billion eighth fund.
For more information, visit http://www.alpineinvestors.com.
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