TCV Fund X seals first deal: $200 mln RELEX investment

Technology Crossover Ventures invested $200 million in retail-planning-software provider RELEX Solutions, a pioneer investment out of TCV Fund X.

The growth and VC firm plans to complete 20 to 25 investments out of the fund, John Doran, lead on the RELEX deal and general partner at TCV, told VCJ.

RELEX “is right in the sweet spot” of TCV’s strategy, “which is investing in categories and companies in large markets with big tailwinds and great management teams,” Doran said.

RELEX is a large player in retail planning and the largest new player, Doran added. Founded in 2005, the Helsinki company has consistently achieved 50 percent annual growth and partnered with global brands, including Coop Denmark, Franprix, MediaMarkt, Morrisons, PartyCity, Rossmann and WHSmith.

The software helps retailers optimize their supply chains and reduce inventory and waste. It also helps vendors manage and track stock availability and online ordering, saving costs and providing better customer service.

The investment also when more retailers are shifting from outdated operating systems to fully cloud-based ones, like RELEX, according to Doran. “People go through [a] refresh cycle, which is upgrading your system which is 20 years old. It’s happening now,” he said.

This large minority investment came out of TCV’s Fund X, which closed on $3 billion Jan. 31.

With the new fund, TCV targets tech growth opportunities in the U.S. and Europe. SaaS companies in different market verticals, from retail to sports to automotive, will be on TCV’s radar.

Senior executives at TCV and RELEX first came in contact in 2015 and stayed in touch. Last year, the TCV team was ready and approached RELEX with an opportunity, he said.

Summit Partners is another minority investor in RELEX, investing in 2015. Summit’s RELEX investment was led by Han Sikkens, Antony Clavel and Steffan Peyer.

With the deal, TCV and Summit both will have seats on RELEX’s board.

TCV Fund X’s pipeline is robust, Doran said, noting that pursuing opportunities within tech growth has become tough.

“It’s especially rough because we see more really interesting developments in the companies, more capital than ever before invested in these companies,” Doran said.

“Things are very competitive and prices are very high. I’ve never seen a more interesting set of technology companies, and a lot of people are chasing these investments.”

Action Item: Contact TCV at +1 650-614-8200