Caixa Capital Risc took the ASCRI Capital, Growth and Investment Association award for “Best Venture Capital Deal” of the year for the sale of PlayGiga to Facebook. This was the first acquisition by the technology giant in Spain, and one of the few it has made in Europe.

Before the sale, Caixa Capital Risc was the second largest shareholder of the company, which offers a streaming video game service, with a 20% shareholding. The arrival of Caixa Capital Risc, along with the other investors, allowed the company to continue developing its technology until it was mature enough to reach the market and be acquired by Facebook.

The award was collected by Xavier Álvarez, Head of ICT at Caixa Capital Risc, who was extremely satisfied with this acknowledgement: “We are proud that this award from the association representing all the companies in the sector acknowledges the teamwork that we have been carrying out at Caixa Capital Risc for many years.”

Álvarez added that “all operations are motivating, but when it comes to a divestment like this – which materialises our focus on a technology company with a buyer as relevant as Facebook – the pride of the entire team is even greater, if that is possible. Additionally, it shows that purely high-level technology companies can be developed in this country.”

New investments and enhancement of mature assets
The PlayGiga sale deal is an example of intense activity by Caixa Capital Risc throughout 2019. During the year, CriteriaCaixa’s venture capital management facility invested a total of 13.5 million euros in almost 40 startups. Among the investments were Immfly, Validated ID or PsicoSmart Apps in the ICT area; Sanifit – which was the largest round in the sector in 2019 – and Medlumics in the Bio area; and Enertika in the Industrial area.

Caixa Capital Risc was also especially active in 2019 in the divestment of some of the most mature assets in its portfolio. Thus the venture capital management facility made investment profitable in a total of 20 companies in the year, achieving a result of 16 million euros. Other divestment operations in addition to PlayGiga were the sale of Pevesa biotech, Kompuestos, Codigames and Bodeboca.

Caixa Capital Risc sold its stake in Pevesa (29.1%) to the Irish company Kerry Group. The company specialising in the manufacture of protein isolates and hydrolysates for the food industry became a world reference in the sector, after the investment by Caixa Capital Risc in 2013.

The Kompuestos divestment was carried through by the Barcelona company’s MAB stock market listing. In this case, Caixa Capital Risc had held a 12.5% stake since its initial investment in 2015.

Caixa Capital Risc invested in Valencian company Codigames in 2016, with the aim of increasing the capacity to develop new games at the company. In 2019, the CriteriaCaixa venture capital management sold off its stake, which exceeded 6% of the share capital, achieving a return on investment of more than 100%.

In the case of Bodeboca, Caixa Capital Risc became a shareholder in 2014 with the aim of turning the pioneer private online wine seller into Spain’s leading platform. In 2019, it sold its 7.55% stake to French giant Pernod Ricard.

In 2020, Caixa Capital Risc continues to analyse new investment opportunities, and also to streamline its portfolio with divestments of mature assets, such as the sale of its stake in Northern Mosaic – Northern Biologics’ preclinical oncology pipeline – to Boeringer Ingelheim, carried out by the Bio area in the first half of the year.