Novacap takes stake in Plusgrade, CDPQ to stay on as investor

Canadian private equity firm Novacap has acquired an interest in Montreal-based Plusgrade, a provider of ancillary revenue and merchandising solutions to the global travel industry.

Canadian private equity firm Novacap has acquired an interest in Montreal-based Plusgrade, a provider of ancillary revenue and merchandising solutions to the global travel industry. No financial terms were disclosed. Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, which invested in the company in 2018, will remain a shareholder. Plusgrade secured an investment from TA Associates in 2015.

PRESS RELEASE

MONTREAL, Sept. 17, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Gaining a foothold into the highly lucrative ancillary revenue market, leading Canadian private equity firm Novacap, announced today that it acquired a substantial equity interest in Montreal-based Plusgrade, the global market leader in upgrade technology and a key ancillary revenue partner for their more than 70 partners in air, cruise, and rail.

Founded in 2009, Plusgrade helps airlines, cruise lines and rail operators manage and optimize revenue generated from seat upgrades and other premium services. Through the company’s proprietary software-as-a-service platform, travel suppliers are able to capture incremental, high margin revenue from unsold inventory and enhance the passenger travel experience. Plusgrade’s products are fully white labeled and integrated into existing reservation systems. Since its inception, Plusgrade has been responsible for generating billions of dollars of new revenue opportunity for leading travel suppliers in more than 50 countries.

“This new partnership is a testimony to Novacap’s continued commitment to entrepreneurs and founders of innovative companies and to our desire to enable them to scale up and achieve significant growth,” said Pascal Tremblay, President and CEO of Novacap. ”I am delighted to embark on this new phase of growth with our long-time partners at CDPQ, who have been instrumental in the success of Plusgrade over the last several years.”

“Plusgrade is a unique income generator that creates significant incremental revenue from missed opportunities, making it an ideal solution for a wide range of businesses, especially in today’s transformed post Covid-19 market,” said David Lewin, Senior Partner at Novacap. “Ken’s leadership in creating and growing a new billion-dollar category positions Plusgrade as an incredible solution for its customers, able to meet demand on a global scale and assert the company’s leadership in a niche industry with inherent long-term growth.”

“Our partnership with Novacap brings together their experience and industry insights with our hunger to strengthen our core and create new categories that drive meaningful ancillary revenue through incredible customer experiences,” said Ken Harris, Founder and CEO of Plusgrade. “We look forward to Novacap joining our Board as we expand into exciting new products and verticals in the next year.”

Following this transaction, CDPQ will remain a major investor of Plusgrade.

Advisors
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP served as legal counsel to Plusgrade.
McCarthy Tétrault LLP served as legal counsel to Novacap.

About Novacap
Founded in 1981, Novacap is a leading Canadian private equity firm with more than C$8B of AUM that has invested in more than 100 platform companies and completed more than 150 add-on acquisitions. Applying its sector-focused approach since 2007 in TMT, Industries and now Financial Services, Novacap’s deep domain expertise can accelerate company growth and create long-term value. With experienced, dedicated investment and operations teams as well as substantial funding, Novacap has the resources and knowledge to build world-class businesses. Novacap has offices in Brossard, Québec and Toronto, Ontario. For more information, please visit www.novacap.ca.