Smartbox Group closes €167m financing round led by AIB

14 Dec 2017

Smartbox Group earned revenues of €480m last year selling unique experiences, such as skydiving, to consumers and businesses. Image: Mauricio Graiki/Shutterstock

The European gift experience economy is on the up.

AIB has led a €167m senior debt financing of European experience voucher and gift card player Smartbox Group.

The bank acted as mandated lead arranger along with participation from Crédit Agricole, Credit Suisse and CaixaBank.

‘This is an important step in the development of this company, which will also benefit the economy’

Dublin-headquartered Smartbox Group announced last June that it will create 100 new jobs in the capital city, with a focus on R&D, customer experience, sales, marketing and finance. At the time, the company said it expected to see its total headcount exceed 500 by the end of this year.

Expertise in gifting experiences

“We are delighted to be supporting a growing company headquartered in Ireland, which is recognised as a leader in its field,” said AIB’s managing director of wholesale, institutional and corporate banking, Colin Hunt.

“This is an important step in the development of this company, which will also benefit the economy.”

Founded in 2008, Smartbox Group is an online vendor of experience gifts for the European market and has more than 180,000 ‘experiences’ on offer. The company trades in the UK market as

Last year, the company acquired Wish Days for an undisclosed amount and, earlier this year, it acquired a majority stake in Portuguese gift experience company Odisseias.

Smartbox Group, which has offices on Dublin’s Talbot Street, last year sold more than 6.5m experiences across Europe. In the fiscal year 2016-2017, it recorded revenues of €480m, up 11pc on the previous year.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years