Viking Venture Invests in Danish Software Company Encode

Picture: Encode family at Odense HQ

Danish SaaS company ended 2020 on the top, and now aims for the world with the backing of Norwegian private equity millions.

2020 was a challenging year. The pandemic forced new ways of thinking and new ways of working upon us. The year was a very digital one, this enabled danish Software as a Service (SaaS) company Encode to shine due to its focus on tailored, digital platforms for large and global companies.

By the end of 2020, Norwegian investor Viking Venture became the new majority shareholder in Encode. The company’s marketing automation platform is built to help companies manage their workflows smarter and enables easy scalability as customers increase employees, interactions and clients. Viking Venture is regarded as the Nordic software investor; Encode’s recent performance and growth strategy into the global market have impressed and resulted in an investment of roughly EUR 10 million.

– Encode has an impressive customer base with strong international presence. The company delivers a digital platform solution that reaches into the future – and out into the world, says Eivind Bergsmyr, Partner in Viking Venture and Chairman of the board at Encode.

The Norwegian private equity fund manages EUR 300 million in investment capital, which is invested into software companies in the Nordic region. With the private equity fund’s investment, Encode will be ready to realize its true potential, explains Steen Egholm Sørensen, CEO of Encode:

– We have already gained a strong foothold in Denmark, the UK and Spain through organic growth. Now we have a even better opportunity to establish ourselves properly in the European market, and even make further gains into the global market.

A prosperous 2020 despite lockdown
Encode had a good 2020, when working from home all week suddenly became the norm, and companies had to speed up digital transformation projects in unprecedented style. The ‘new normal’ meant a growing interest in Encode’s solutions, explains Steen Egholm Sørensen:

– Our digital platform ensures that you can work from a distance, so our clients have been able to attend to their work and have been able to execute on commercial actions.

With Viking Venture at the helm, Encode will put even more focus on developing the platform, which is key to success in the digital transformation. According to Eivind Bergsmyr 2020 was therefore an important year for Encode:

– During 2020, we have seen an increasing digitalisation of society. Digital processes have exploded. A company like Encode has simply become more valuable during 2020.

Great customers and great ambitions
Encode has experienced considerable growth in Denmark, where gross profit has risen 122% since 2017 and where the customer base has more than doubled. The company has also, for the past two years, been honored with a reward for exceptional growth measures from leading Danish financial daily, Børsen.

Encode’s clients include prominent retailers such as JYSK, STARK and the Spanish retail giant El Corte Inglés as well as worldwide consulting engineering group Rambøll and creative media production agencies like TAG and Splash. The Encode platform is currently being used by more than 60,000 professionals worldwide – in everything from advertising agencies to DIY stores to the retail industry. In addition, a myriad of campaigns for the world’s leading brands are created based on Encode’s automated platform universe.

The investment from Viking Venture should enable both Encode and Encode’s customers grow further.

– The investment will enable us to develop our platform for the benefit of our existing customers, so that we continue to create value for them. We must also increase our presence in our existing markets and reach new markets. In the short term alone, I expect that we will need 15-20 new talented colleagues, states Steen Egholm Sørensen.

Focus on the digital transition
With the investment in Encode, Viking Venture continues it’s inroad into the Danish market where software companies like Timelog and Tamigo have received similar investments from Viking Venture in recent time. Thus, the acquisition of a majority stake in Encode strengthens the private equity fund’s position as the leading investor in B2B software companies with subscription solutions throughout the Nordic region.

– Viking Venture helps Nordic software companies reach their potential. We have invested in Encode because we believe in the team, the solutions and the market and because Encode has the potential to become a market leader in this space, explains Erik Fjellvær Hagen, managing partner of Viking Venture and board member of Encode.

Encode similarly expects that the demand for the company’s solutions will increase.

– From retail chains to advertising agencies, brands and consulting companies, the desire is the same: to make the workflow smarter and streamline time to market. We provide that solution. It’s digital and it works across time zones. In other words, our solution is global in its essence. We must take advantage of that. That is why the support from Viking Venture is so important, says Steen Egholm Sørensen.

About Viking Venture
Since 2001, Viking Venture has invested in more than 30 Nordic software companies. From the headquarters in Trondheim, a portfolio of NOK 3 billion is administered, which is primarily invested to enable growth-ready B2B software companies to scale to larger markets and acquisitions.

About Encode
Since 2001, the Danish SaaS company has supplied digital solutions to larger companies within retailing, to advertising and media agencies, and to DIYretailers and service companies. The automated platform has helped companies streamline commercial processes, including campaigns. In recent years, Encode’s customer base has expanded into the UK and Spain where global companies have chosen Encode’s tailor made platform solutions. Today, more than 60,000 users all over the world log into the Encode platform every day.