Private equity firm buys up a chunk of FortNine

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A private equity firm has just bought a chunk of FortNine, to fund expansion plans.

Based out of Montreal, FortNine.ca is by far the best-known Canadian online moto-retailer. That’s partly because it does a massive amount of business, selling gear, parts and other ATV/motorcycle-related products around the country, often at pricing very near US-based competitors. It’s also because FortNine sponsors Ryan Kluftinger’s wildly successful YouTube productions, arguably the best motorcycle video series in the world at this point.

Now, Novacap (“one of Canada’s leading private equity firms,” the press release tells us) has bought equity in FortNine … but nobody’s saying how much Novacap spent, or what it’s getting.

According to the presser, this move is all about helping FortNine get bigger. The official line: “…We are convinced that the combination of their e-commerce expertise with our focus on operational excellence will drive FortNine to its next phase of growth.” Most interesting—it certainly didn’t look like FortNine was having any trouble with growth the past few years, and you’d think the company has been killing it lately, selling ATV and dirt bike parts during the pandemic, especially when many dealerships were closed earlier this season. Maybe FortNine has plans to develop in-house gear or parts? 

The press release doesn’t say exactly how the company plans to spend the money, or what equity Novacap bought, or how much money Novacap spent. See for yourself below:

Press release

Novacap Acquires Interest in FortNine

MONTREAL, Aug. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ – Novacap, one of Canada’s leading private equity firms, announced today that it has acquired an interest in FortNine (fortnine.ca), a leading e-commerce platform for motorcycle, dirt bike, ATV, snowmobile and other powersports gear, accessories and parts (“FortNine”).

Headquartered in Montreal, QC, FortNine was built from the ground up to cater to powersports enthusiasts and provide Canadian riders with the gear they need. FortNine has thrived disrupting the market via innovation to give the riders community an excellent customer experience through their knowledgeable and experienced team.

“We’re thrilled to partner with such great entrepreneurs. Amin and Karim Sawaf founded FortNine while in university. They led the company through exponential growth, built a great management team, and Novacap recognizes the success and passion that drives them. FortNine is the second investment from Novacap Industries V fund since its closing in November 2019,” said Jacques Foisy, Chairman of the Board and Managing Partner of Novacap.

“We found in the Sawaf brothers the same values as ours. As a rider myself, I know firsthand how great FortNine is and we are convinced that the combination of their e-commerce expertise with our focus on operational excellence will drive FortNine to its next phase of growth. We are all very excited about working with the FortNine team,” added Antoine Casimir, Principal at Novacap.

“For more than 10 years, we have been developing strategies for FortNine, and worked directly with technology and business intelligence teams to allow us to deliver on our mission of great customer service. We are proud to unite with a partner of Novacap’s calibre to drive FortNine into its next stage of expansion,” said Karim Sawaf, Co-Founder and Vice President of FortNine.

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