Fedrigoni acquires equity stake in connected solutions pioneer SharpEnd / io.tt
18 Jan 2024 — Italy-based Fedrigoni Group, a manufacturer of high-added value specialty papers for luxury packaging, premium labels, and self-adhesive materials, is acquiring — through a capital increase — a minority stake in SharpEnd / io.tt, a UK-based IoT solutions and consulting company.
The deal consists of an initial investment with a plan to acquire SharpEnd’s entire capital in the longer term and is part of a new corporate venture capital program launched by Fedrigoni to identify start-ups that can accelerate its acquisition of new technologies.
Cameron Worth, CEO and founder of SharpEnd, tells Packaging Insights: “Fedrigoni joining our cap table means we can explore various ideas and ways of working. We will have greater access to their vast, global customer base and the ability to expand our own footprint using Fedrigoni’s infrastructure and also develop new solutions by leveraging their impressive R&D capabilities.”
“This is about style and excellence combining at scale. We are both very well-respected partners in the space, and our coming together will mean that it becomes easier than ever for brands to scale connected products.”
Worth says new product announcements will be coming shortly.
Marco Nespolo, CEO of the Fedrigoni Group, says the acquisition is part of a growing trend toward connected packaging technology in the luxury and paper packaging market.
“The world of connected products is increasingly strategic for us, and this highly complementary and synergic transaction with the recent bolt-on acquisitions of Tageos, a French company specialized in the manufacturing of UHF and NFC inlays (acquired in 2022) and the Grenoble Research and Development Center (which joined the group in 2023), will enhance our solutions portfolio in the world of smart labels and papers,” he says.
“SharpEnd provides solutions and consulting services to support major brands, particularly in luxury and FMCG sectors, in the creation of smart products and packaging, which are essential for product safety, authenticity, and traceability but also to provide end users with increasingly engaging shopping experiences.”
Last year, we spoke to Worth about how connected labeling technologies could become a key driver of supply chain transparency.
“Shapend’s platform, io.tt, is on track to “become the glue for the ecosystem, and over the next 12 months, we will be showing what we mean by this,” says Worth. “We couldn’t be more excited about the next year and onboarding more customers, partners and suppliers to our solutions.”
By Louis Gore-Langton
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