Private Equity Firm Aquiline Looks To Growth Capital Investments

Aquiline Capital Partners is a New York-based private equity firm that specializes in financial service sector investments. Founded in 2005, they hold an estimated $3.5 billion in AUM and their portfolio spans the insurance, fintech, investment management, and banking and credit industries.

Become a Subscriber

Please purchase a subscription to continue reading this article.

Subscribe Now

They operate both a private equity team and a venture capital team. Aquiline’s private equity group (Aquiline Financial Services Fund) prefers to make investments of $20 to $200 million into middle-market companies that are well-positioned in ‘niches of interests’ that follow industry trends. They tend to be aggressive investors and move quickly once they hone in on a high-growth opportunity. The firm makes it clear that they are willing to tackle ‘tough carve-outs' and other complex transaction types. According to Crunchbase, they have participated in several leveraged buyouts including the 2019 acquisition of CoAdvantage – a provider of online HR solutions.

"Outsourcing of human resources administration and risk management is a growing trend, particularly in the small and mid-sized business segment," said Jeff Greenberg, chairman and CEO of Aquiline. "This is driving strong demand for professional employer organization services and CoAdvantage is well-positioned given its scale and comprehensive product offering. We are looking forward to supporting CoAdvantage and its experienced management team.”

Aquiline’s venture team (Aquiline Technology Growth Fund) focuses on finding bottlenecks in the financial sector and works to identify emerging tech companies with the right solutions. Their investments tend to range between $3 to $15 million and their ideal asset will have at least $1 million in annual recurring revenue. They are willing to commit to companies as either the first institutional investor or participate in subsequent rounds as lead or co-lead investor. They have funded 11+ early-stage companies and have made 150 connections between strategic partners and key clients.

In 2017, Aquiline led a $30 million Series B funding round for BitPay, a blockchain and bitcoin payment processing application, that was launched eight years ago. They have since processed more than $2.8 billion in payments and experienced 328 percent growth in worldwide sales (Sep 2016 – Sep 2017).

“BitPay plays an important role in the cryptocurrency ecosystem by helping consumers, businesses and other financial institutions seamlessly accept and transfer Bitcoin for goods and services in the real world," stated Max Chee, head of Aquiline Technology Growth. "We have been very impressed with BitPay’s financial performance, including 700 percent top-line growth.”

In regards to their strategies, Aquiline views their venture efforts and private capital investments as synergistic – the exchange of information and innovation across early-stage to established assets creates unique relationships and opportunities for scaling up new technologies. With offices in both New York and London, they invest in businesses operating around the globe.