Intermate Group enters into partnership with ECM

  • Company founders continue their successful course as a dynamically growing specialist for social media and influencer marketing with experienced partner
  • Further development of Intermate Group to focus opening up new business areas as well as geographic expansion
  • Increasing importance of social media platforms for access to the younger generations Y and Z provides influencer marketing with an annual market growth of 20 per cent on average

German Equity Partners V (“GEP V” or the “Fund”), a fund managed by independent German investment company ECM Equity Capital Management GmbH (“ECM”), has entered into a partnership investment with the Berlin-based social media and influencer marketing specialist Intermate Group – consisting of Intermate Media GmbH (“Intermate”) and TRUEMATES GmbH (“Truemates”). The fast-growing social media agency Intermate and the production company Truemates, pursuing a social-first strategy, specialise in creating and implementing social media and influencer campaigns across all social platforms as well as producing the respective content. The group is a leader in Germany, particularly in campaigns and the development of brand channels for companies on the fast-growing social media platform TikTok.

Together with ECM, the company founders Alessandro De Pasquale, Jörn Mecher, Philip Papendieck, Sonja Wolff and Philipp Wolff plan to continue the success story of Intermate Group and expand its enormous potential in the fast-growing area of social media and influencer marketing as well as in social commerce, which is expected to grow about three times as fast as traditional online commerce by 2025. The founders will retain a significant stake and will continue to lead and develop the Intermate Group as managing partners. The parties have agreed not to disclose further details of the transaction.

Philip Papendieck – co-founder, shareholder and CEO of Intermate – said: “To position our clients and partners as the strongest players in their industry in the social and influencer market, we will continue to invest in our creative and strategic infrastructure, content studios, recruiting and social talent as well as in our technology. In addition, we will expand our proprietary formats Daily Pie and VERTIES – also from the viewpoint of the areas of social commerce and the metaverse. With ECM, we have found a partner who is rapidly expanding an agency model of the future together with us, both technologically and creatively. The partnership now gives us the tailwind to further maintain and expand the market position we have built up since we founded the businesses seven years ago.”

Florian Kähler, partner and managing director of ECM, added: “The Intermate Group has an impressive market position in the rapidly growing market for social media marketing in Germany, for which we see great potential in the coming years. Building on Intermate’s proprietary technology, we want to continue the company’s success story together and expand into new markets and business areas. I look forward to partnering with the Intermate Group’s ambitious and dynamic management team.”

Intermate connects successful brands with young generations on social media platforms

Intermate was founded in Berlin in 2015 – initially under the name of Insta Media. In 2016 the company was renamed Intermate. With a rapidly growing team, Intermate is one of the leading agencies for social media and influencer marketing in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The company has been able to establish an outstanding position in the social space, particularly through its strong focus on creators. For selecting influencers, planning campaigns and reporting, Intermate uses a complex, proprietary technological ecosystem. Using its unique technology platform, Intermate has significantly accelerated its processes and workflows in these areas, achieving unique and effective social media and influencer campaigns for clients.   

In recent years, Intermate has realised a number of successful campaigns for major clients and global brands from all industries, including Volkswagen, Beiersdorf and Deichmann. The production of elaborate formats takes place in the company’s own studio in Berlin Charlottenburg with the spin-off production company Truemates, which primarily focuses on vertical video content. In total, the group currently employs around 110 people in its two production studios in Berlin and its four office locations in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Vienna. The profitable company has grown strongly in recent years, doubling its workforce and tripling its revenue since 2018. Intermate and Truemates and their proprietary formats Daily Pie and VERTIES now operate under the new name of the Intermate Group.

ECM contributes entrepreneurial and strategic know-how, a relevant network and extensive experience in implementing growth strategies

The investment company ECM has extensive experience in the implementation of growth and internationalisation strategies, which it has already contributed to numerous partnership investments. With ECM’s expertise, Intermate plans to continue the growth rate of the past years. The partners see great potential especially in the structurally growing market for social commerce as well as in the business with influencer campaigns on the social media platform TikTok, which is becoming increasingly more significant. In the German-speaking markets, Intermate is one of the top specialists for social media and influencer marketing campaigns on the platform that is particularly popular with younger generations. In the coming years, the Berlin based company wants to expand its leading market position in this area together with ECM and expand to other European countries. With the support of ECM, Intermate is also pursuing ambitious growth plans in the expansion of other channels such as the self-built and operated platforms Daily Pie, the number-one entertainment channel on TikTok, as well as VERTIES, an award presented by the agency for content creators on TikTok. Against this backdrop, the partners aim to adapt the Intermate Group’s organisational structures to its highly scaled business and strengthen operational excellence. Beyond organic growth, the Intermate Group wants to explore suitable add-on acquisitions with ECM’s support.

Great growth potential in social commerce and with influencer campaigns on TikTok

The growth plans are supported by the expected dynamic market growth in the coming years. The digital consultancy OMMAX forecasts that the German market for influencer marketing alone will grow from 1.1 billion euros in 2020 to 2.3 billion euros in 2024. On average, OMMAX expects the market to grow by around 20 per cent annually. The reason for the expected leap in market growth is particularly due to the increase in social media consumption. In 2021, around 90 per cent of all smartphone users were active in social media, each of whom has almost nine social media accounts on average. The wide distribution of social media makes it increasingly attractive for companies to promote their brands on the various platforms with the help of influencer campaigns. They enable them to reach the younger generations Y and Z in particular.

GEP V was advised on this transaction by Milbank (legal and structuring), OMMAX (commercial), Ebner Stolz (finance and tax), Houlihan Lokey (debt advisory) and Willis Towers Watson (insurance). Florian Kähler, Tim Krume and Benedikt Müller were responsible for the transaction at ECM. Intermate was advised on the transaction by Lincoln International (M&A) as well as Hyazinth and GLNS (legal and structuring), KPMG (finance) and the tax firm Brunow (tax).

About ECM Equity Capital Management GmbH (“ECM”)

ECM is a trusted growth partner for mid-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs in German-speaking Europe. Since 1995, ECM has raised the private equity funds GEP I-V with aggregate equity commitments of more than €1 billion and currently invests out of the fifth fund GEP V (€325 million). The funds invest primarily in leading mid-market companies with attractive growth potential in the context of ownership successions, partnership transactions and corporate spin-offs.

Further information at:

About the Intermate Group (“Intermate” and “Truemates”)

With over 110 employees and offices in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Vienna, the Intermate Group is one of the largest social agencies in DACH. With its own production company Truemates, its own content studios, a holistic and proprietary influencer technology and the influencer and social agency Intermate, the group was able to establish a leading position in the social market with its strong focus on creators. With a direct connection to the platforms and using its own technological infrastructure, the Intermate Group offers the entire value chain on social media from a single source: influencer campaigns, creator-centric social media management, content production and performance ads. With its own media inventory and its own formats, such as the TikTok show Daily Pie with almost 1,000,000 followers or the VERTIES, the “Oscars” of the TikTok creators, the Intermate Group can verifiably incorporate first-hand social expertise into the strategies and concepts of its customers. These now include companies and institutions such as o2 Telefónica, Beiersdorf, Volkswagen, the Federal Ministry of Health, ALDI Nord, HUAWEI and many more.

Further information at:

On behalf of ECM:
Charles Barker Corporate Communications GmbH
Hans Bielefeld, Tel.: +49 (0)69 7940 9044

Peter Steiner, Tel.: +49 (0)69 7940 9027