Herbert Smith Freehills advises on sale of Earnd to Greensill Capital

Herbert Smith Freehills’ private equity and venture capital team has advised on the sale of 100% of Earnd to Greensill Capital. Founded by Josh Vernon and Serge Kotlyarov, Earnd’s platform enables employees to access their pay packet on-demand as they earn it, facilitated through their employer payroll systems.

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by partner and Australian Head of Venture Capital Peter Dunne, consultant Elizabeth Henderson, and solicitor Lisa Alderson.

Elizabeth Henderson said, “Earnd is an incredible example of Australian fintech innovation and business talent. In less than two years, Earnd has grown from a small start-up into a serious challenger in the financial services space. We have enjoyed working with Earnd’s founders and investors who believed in the company and have enabled it to reach this great milestone.”

Earnd’s co-founder and CEO, Josh Vernon, said, “Peter, Elizabeth, Lisa and the team at Herbert Smith Freehills were incredible partners throughout the acquisition process. We felt as if we had a friendly yet deeply professional and competent team on our side and, for a first-time founder, they made the journey a breeze. It was nothing short of a pleasure working with them and we look forward to working together in the future.”

This deal is another example of Herbert Smith Freehills’ market-leading work in Australian venture capital. Other recent examples include:

  • Adairs Limited in its NZ$80 million acquisition of Mocka Group from its founders;
  • Deputy Group on its A$111 million Series B capital raise;
  • Culture Amp on its A$120 million Series E capital raise;
  • Nura on its A$21 million Series A capital raise;
  • Expert360 on its A$12 million Series C capital raise;
  • Roborigger on its Series A capital raise; and
  • Reejig on its Series Seed capital raise.

Food waste tech company Winnow raises $20 million funding

UK law firm Shoosmiths’ venture capital team has advised cutting-edge tech scale-up Winnow on its latest financing of $20 million to fund further expansion and put its artificial intelligence into the hands of more chefs to fight food waste.

Winnow’s smart commercial kitchen technology is used by companies in more than 40 countries such as Ikea and major hotel chains including Sofitel, Club Med, Novotel and Hilton.

Winnow raised a series B investment round of $12 million with backing from new investors Ingka Investments – part of the IKEA family – and The Ingenious Group as well as existing investors Mustard Seed, D-Ax and Circularity Capital. In addition, an $8 million loan facility from the European Investment Bank (EIB), with the help of the Juncker Plan which boosts investment to generate jobs and growth, is being made available to Winnow.

The company estimates that it saves 23 million meals from the bin every year and customers typically cut their food costs with Winnow by between three and eight per cent.

Corporate partner, Steve Barnett, has advised the scale-up on its journey since 2014 and led on the deal along with senior associate, Adam Meisels and trainee solicitor, Alex Friston. Senior associate, Kacey Brown and solicitor, Sophie King from Shoosmiths’ banking and finance team advised upon the loan facility from EIB.

Steve Barnett said: “Having worked with Winnow’s co-founders Kevin Duffy and Marc Zornes for over five years, it is great to see the rapid adoption of their technology in the market to provide a solution to the pressing issue of commercial food waste. We wish Winnow every success in the next stage of their journey. This work shows the strength and depth of our venture capital and banking and finance teams and expertise in handling complex, cross-border investments.”

Co-founder of Winnow, Kevin Duffy said: “We would like to thank Steve and his team for their pragmatic and commercial legal advice, as we continue our mission to have a meaningful impact around the world on the food waste problem.”

Headquartered in London and with offices in Singapore, Dubai, Eastern Europe, Shanghai and the USA, the company’s raft of awards includes the overall ‘Winner of Winners’ award at the World Economic Forum in Davos.