Portugal Ventures announces divestment of Spinach Tours and Watgrid to two international groups

Lisbon, 14 December 2023Portugal Ventures, a venture capital firm that is part of Portuguese promotional bank Grupo Banco Português de Fomento, is proud to announce the divestment of Spinach Tours and Watgrid to two international groups in the tourism and wine industries.

Pedro de Mello Breyner, Executive Board Member of Portugal Ventures, says “with these two exits, Portugal Ventures has fulfilled its role as a public venture capital investor at the earliest stages of the projects, becoming a shareholder in the companies, sharing the risk with the founders, contributing to the growth of their businesses, helping to increase their value, and creating the conditions for them to achieve goals that entice other operators or companies to invest in the projects and lead them to consolidate their international growth. The investments made in Spinach Tours and Watgrid are excellent examples of the way Portugal Ventures engaged with their teams, in particular with CEOs João Paiva Mendes and Rogério Nogueira. We are proud of their success and of the acquisition [of these two startups] by two international groups that will allow them to continue to grow their businesses, enter new markets, and leverage the know-how of the two teams. We wish Spinach Tours and Watgrid every success in this new chapter!”

  • Divestment in Spinach Tours

Spinach Tours, led by João Paiva Mendes, joined Portugal Ventures’ tourism portfolio in July 2022, through the Call Turismo initiative. One year later, we announce our divestment following acquisition of the startup by an international group in the tour operator industry. This acquisition will allow the international group to consolidate its business by using Spinach Tours’ software and tapping into the experiences its products offer. Spinach Tours’ current product will be maintained, as will the structure of its team, allowing it to open the door to internationalisation and to continue developing its tourism experiences worldwide.

João Paiva Mendes, CEO of Spinach Tours, says that “Portugal Ventures’ backing of Spinach Tours’ was decisive for the brand’s international growth, and for the development of Spinach’s technology and experience. It is with great enthusiasm and responsibility that we welcome the new shareholders to Spinach. We believe that they are the best company to expand our brand and enhance tourism experiences in Portugal. Portugal Ventures’ early exit fills us with pride and reinforces Portugal’s position as a technological benchmark at global level. Portugal Ventures has thus accomplished the rapid acceleration of a Portuguese startup into the world in an industry where few companies are truly able to have a global dimension. We are eternally grateful.”

  • Divestment in Watgrid

Watgrid, led by Rogério Nogueira, joined the Portugal Ventures portfolio through the Operation Follow-ons initiative to mitigate COVID-19 in July 2021, and today we announce its acquisition by Enartis, an Italian multinational part of the Esseco Group in the alcoholic beverages sector with a global presence in more than 50 countries. With this exit, Watgrid gains access to Enartis’ vast experience and global reach, which will benefit from Watgrid’s innovative technology, further solidifying its leadership position in offering solutions that increase the quality and efficiency of winery production processes.

Rogério Nogueira, CEO of Watgrid, stated that “the partnership with Portugal Ventures has been strategic for Watgrid’s growth and development, allowing us to expand our operations and develop new products. The acquisition by Enartis will enable us to offer the innovative WINEGRID technology to more wineries around the world, and to strengthen our solutions portfolio by harnessing Enartis’ experience and know-how.