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Profinpar invests in anti-terrorism barriers

By 10/11/2021November 29th, 2023News

L’Echo, le 10 novembre 2021. Michel Lauwers.

The investor-entrepreneur fund has acquired a stake in Pitagone, a Brussels-based scale-up that innovates in perimeter protection.

Profinpar, the fund set up by 45 Belgian investor-entrepreneurs to support growing SMEs, has just made its first investment in a scale-up. And it’s the Brussels-based company Pitagone that has benefited from this minority stake. Founded in 2016 by Marc Weissberg and Simon Bretholz, this young company specialises in threat management and more specifically in the production and provision of modular anti-vehicle ram barriers, i.e. anti-terrorism. It has patented its system and has already succeeded in exporting it to prestigious destinations such as the Élysée Palace and Buckingham Palace.

Pitagone has reinvented the approach around a product that has already been around for twenty years,” explains Thomas Walgraffe, partner at Profinpar. Its mobile barriers can tip over and anchor themselves in the concrete as soon as they are hit by a vehicle. Compared with existing products such as concrete blocks or bollards, it’s a much easier alternative to transport and move.”

The company subcontracts the manufacture of its barriers in Flanders and their assembly to Travie, an adapted work company based in Anderlecht. In terms of marketing, it uses a network of distributors. The company has placed a great deal of emphasis on certification, and has been successful in obtaining this precious seal of approval from the German police, among others. Pitagone has already exported its product to 45 countries, with some excellent references in terms of protected perimeters, including the Élysée Palace, Buckingham Palace, Olympic Games sites in Tokyo and the Euro football final…

Pitagone generates sales of some €2 million and has big ambitions for growth. It would like to do more in the German market and the Middle East. Profinpar’s arrival at the table means that, for the time being, four new directors have been appointed, two from within the holding company and two from outside. This company deserves our attention,” comments Thomas Walgraffe. It now has a real board of directors and good governance. During the height of the pandemic crisis, its market was in the doldrums, but it’s now picking up again. Major events are reopening just about everywhere, which require protection.”

“During most of the pandemic crisis, the market was at a low point, but it is now picking up again. Major events are reopening just about everywhere, requiring protection.” THOMAS WALGRAFFE PARTNER, PROFINPAR

As for the scale-up dimension, this was new for Profinpar: “Our specifications didn’t allow us to invest in it, but we were seeing some very good projects come through”, explains the partner. They changed that and Pitagone was the first.