Aconex acquires Conject – reaction

While Conject reassures its customers, competitors (past and present) react to Aconex’s acquisition of the Europe-based SaaS collaboration vendor.

ConjectAconex logo 2014After the 17 March 2016 announcement of Conject‘s acquisition by Aconex, the UK business’s managing director Steve Cooper sought to reassure the company’s SaaS construction collaboration customers and users about the business’s future. In an email (18 March), he says:

Steve CooperThe merging of Conject with Aconex creates a significant and positive development for our customers and users, wherever in the world they are located. Together with Aconex, we become a truly global provider:

  • Strong footholds in all of the world’s largest construction markets
  • Strong and proven teams in client service, sales and management
  • Product engineering teams that provide deep knowledge of market needs in areas like BIM, Cost Management and NEC Contracts
  • Ability to scale faster, innovate better and to support our largest customers wherever opportunity takes them

Whilst this marks a period of change, rest assured that we will continue to invest in and support existing Conject products and services.

Competitor reaction

I canvassed opinion among some of the competitors in the market. Tony Ryan, CEO at Asite said:

Tony Ryan (Asite CEO)Is it a game-changer? “It’s huge and has a very exciting outcome, but it was only a matter of time.  When Aconex raised their last round of funding they were expected to acquire.  I spoke with Leigh about this at the time – I’m just surprised it took so long.”

Challenges? “Management change, client reaction and obviously the headache of technology synergies and integration.  That’s assuming they keep the code and blend it. We’ve seen what happened to 4Projects recently.”

Valuation? “Totally undervalued.”

Steve Crompton, CTO at Business Collaborator said:

Stephen Crompton (GroupBC)“As one of the leading CDEs available, GroupBC is delighted to see that our once niche industry has matured to such an extent that acquisitions of this scale are now happening.
“It is a privilege to witness the continued growth and evolution within the sector we helped to create, and we await with interest the outcome of this union and wish both companies well.”

Former Conject CEO

Colin Smith, co-founder of BIW Technologies, and, for three years, CEO of Conject Holdings told me:

Colin Smith - Textura Europe“The deal set off some strong feelings. I founded BIW Technologies and was CEO of Conject for three years of intense change. It was a memorable experience and I retain many good friends among its colleagues and customers.

I always believed that one company would emerge as the dominant player. Of course, I originally hoped it would be BIW, but great credit to Leigh [Jasper] and Rob [Phillpot] for taking Aconex into that market leadership position. I think it’s great news for Conject customers and staff, and also a very good deal for Aconex, its customers, staff and shareholders. I can’t see any current vendor coming close to rivalling what the two combined businesses now offer.”

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