Hot news from Portland, Oregon is an announcement that US investment firm Bain Capital has made an investment of around US$230 million in Viewpoint Construction Software, the parent (since February 2013) of Newcastle, UK-based SaaS construction collaboration software vendor 4Projects.
The deal sees Bain buy out two previous institutional investors, Updata Partners and TA Associates, but apart from changes to the institutional investors on the board, there will be little management change. Jay Haladay, Viewpoint’s chairman and CEO, will continue in his current role as will all members of the company’s executive and management team.
Fuelled by previous investments and acquisitions, the company’s revenue has grown from around $19 million in 2009 to a forecast of $140 million this year. Coverage in the US press (see, for example, The Oregonian, New York Times, Portland Business Journal) suggests the investment may postpone a potential initial public offering (IPO) for a few years, and gives Viewpoint the resources to buy other businesses, hire more employees (4Projects Newcastle HQ has space on the current 4th floor, while the 3rd is currently vacant) and expand overseas (as well as 4Projects in the UK, it also has a mature construction ERP-focused business based in Melbourne Australia, but its relationship with Australian partner Project Collaboration – post – is, I was told, “in transition”; I understand that the 4Projects solution will be sold as Viewpoint for Collaboration in Australasia by a directly employed sales team instead).
The Bain announcement coincided with a visit by me to 4Projects’ Newcastle head office (post) and I talked to Viewpoint VP of strategy and corporate development Matt Harris about the deal. He told me Bain had researched the Viewpoint capabilities in detail, identifying its collaboration and BIM capabilities as strong points and cross-checking these with key Viewpoint and 4Projects customers. Earlier this year, the company acquired US-based AEC SME estimating and ERP vendor Maxwell Systems (post).
Viewpoint currently has 700 employees developing and supporting financial compliance, project management, project collaboration, estimating, mobile, content management and Building Information Modelling (BIM) software for construction industry professionals.
[Disclosure: I have undertaken past consultancy projects for 4Projects. On this occasion, 4Projects purchased three pints of beer for me in a nice pub close to their Newcastle HQ.)