General Atlantic Takes Minority Stake in Studio Moderna

General Atlantic has acquired a minority stake in Studio Moderna Holdings. Existing investors, Insight Venture Partners, Templeton Strategic Emerging Markets Fund III and JH Partners also participated in the deal. Financial terms were not announced. Studio Moderna is an e-commerce and direct to consumer platform in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and Turkey.


Studio Moderna Holdings B.V., (“Studio Moderna”, the “Company”) a leading multi-channel e-commerce and direct to consumer platform in the fast growing markets of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), Russia and Turkey, today announced that General Atlantic LLC (“GA”), one of the leading global growth equity firms, has acquired a minority stake in the Company. Existing investors Insight Venture Partners (“Insight”), Templeton Strategic Emerging Markets Fund III (“Templeton”) and JH Partners (“JHP”) also participated in the transaction and made further investments into the Company.

Studio Moderna is a fast-growing, multi-channel e-commerce and direct to consumer platform reaching more than 400 million consumers in 21 countries. It generated over EUR 300 million in revenues in 2010 and continued strong growth is expected. The Company markets and sells a diverse range of high quality consumer products including home, fitness, health and fashion offerings and has proprietary technology, payments, logistics and customer service operations which allow consumers to transact through the platform across its 21 markets. In addition to marketing third party products under the Top Shop brand, Studio Moderna also develops and sells its own proprietary products under well-known brands including Dormeo, Delimano, Wellneo and Kosmodisk. Studio Moderna markets and sells these brands through its e-commerce platform, which includes over 120 websites, 190 dedicated retail stores, over 4,000 sales locations with major wholesale partners across the region and its own telephone-sales centres. The Company also operates Top Shop TV home shopping channels in Russia, Ukraine, Romania and Serbia and has recently launched Stilago, a members-only online fashion club offering deep discounts on branded apparel in six countries including Poland, Russia and the Czech Republic. Studio Moderna’s platform is a key partner and gateway for brands aiming to sell their products in its fast-growing markets.

A key component of Studio Moderna’s success is the Company’s ability to localise products and marketing to the specific needs of each country and local market. “As we build out our scalable, data- and technology-driven platform across multiple product segments, markets and channels, we are delighted to welcome GA as investors in Studio Moderna.  Their deep experience in global e-commerce businesses will support the Company as it continues its rapid international growth and development from being the region’s leading multi-channel platform into the region’s leading e-commerce retailer,” said Sandi Cesko, Studio Moderna’s Chairman.

“GA’s strategy is to back and actively work with great entrepreneurs in international growth businesses and we are thrilled to be in partnership with Studio Moderna,” said John Bernstein, Managing Director with GA.  “We have been highly impressed by Studio Moderna’s platform and extraordinary ability to identify and market the right products to the large and rapidly growing consumer markets in Central and Eastern Europe. Studio Moderna has built a robust infrastructure in terms of marketing, payments, customer service, logistics, IT systems and a management team that will support continued rapid growth,” added Gabriel Caillaux, Managing Director, who co-led the investment for General Atlantic.

John Bernstein and Gabriel Caillaux (GA) will join returning outside investors Larry Handen (Insight) and Matjaz Schroll (Templeton) on the Board of Directors. “Studio Moderna has surpassed the expectations we had at the time of our initial investment and along with Templeton and JHP, we are delighted to be able to continue our support for the Company with GA as new partners,” said Larry Handen, Managing Director of Insight Venture Partners. Templeton, through the Templeton Emerging Markets Group, decided to commit further funding to Studio Moderna as they believe the Company’s multi-channel e-commerce and direct to consumer platform will continue to benefit from its unique position in Central and Eastern Europe.

GA invests annually in the $2 billion range, with an average investment size of just over $200 million in 2010. Active in six sectors globally, GA’s recent Internet & Technology investments include Kaspersky Lab and Privalia in Europe; Alibaba, SouFun and Renren in China; and Gilt Groupe in the US. Prior investments include notable companies such as Etrade, Priceline, Lenovo and NYSE Euronext.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, CMS Cameron McKenna LLP, Loyens & Loeff N.V and O’Melveny & Myers LLP served as legal advisors to the investors. White & Case LLP acted as legal advisor to the Company. Arkas advised Studio Moderna and Credit Suisse advised General Atlantic on the transaction.

About Studio Moderna Group

Founded in 1992, Studio Moderna is the leading multi-channel e-commerce and direct to consumer platform in the fast growing markets of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), Russia and Turkey. The Company’s platform targets over 400 million consumers in 21 countries and incorporates a vertically integrated, multi-channel sales, media, marketing and distribution model making Studio Moderna the ideal partner for brands aiming to reach its fast-growing markets. Studio Moderna develops and adapts product offerings to meet local market needs and employs its proven platform to market and sell proprietary and third party products to consumers. To learn more about Studio Moderna, see:

About General Atlantic

GENERAL ATLANTIC is a leading global growth equity firm providing capital and strategic support for growth companies. GA combines a collaborative global approach, sector specific expertise, long-term investment horizon and a deep understanding of growth drivers to partner with great management and build exceptional businesses worldwide. Established in 1980, GA manages approximately $17 billion in capital and has more than 75 investment professionals based in Greenwich, New York, Palo Alto, London, Dusseldorf, Hong Kong, Beijing, Mumbai and Sao Paulo. For further information and a listing of GA’s public and private portfolio companies, see:

About Insight

Founded in 1995, Insight Venture Partners is a leading growth-oriented, entrepreneur-focused private equity and venture capital firm focused on expansion and late stage investments in the global software, Internet and data services industries. With over $5 billion raised since inception for minority and majority investments, a team of experienced software and Internet investors, a large network of technology experts and a dedicated group of operating executives, Insight provides strong support to its portfolio to help management build extraordinary businesses. Headquartered in New York, Insight invests a significant percentage of its capital globally.

About Templeton

Templeton Strategic Emerging Markets Fund III (“TSEMF III”), a Limited Duration Company incorporated in the Cayman Islands and available only to institutions and sophisticated investors makes strategic investments throughout emerging markets. TSEMF III is managed by Templeton Asset Management Ltd (“TAML”), which has 15 offices located throughout emerging markets. TAML’s emerging markets investment team is headed by Dr. Mark Mobius and manages approximately US$50 billion as of March 31, 2010. TAML is a subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc. (FRI) (NYSE: BEN), a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. The San Mateo, California-based company has more than 50 years of investment experience and approximately $703 billion in assets under management as of 31 March 2011.

About JH Partners

JH Partners is a San Francisco-based private equity firm focused on investments in growth-oriented middle-market consumer products and services companies. JHP distinguishes itself among private equity firms in that each of its principals has senior-level operating experience building middle-market consumer-related businesses and brands. JH Partners currently manages approximately $1 billion in private equity commitments across three funds.