Munich, Germany-based SaaS construction collaboration technology vendor think project! has established a joint venture with Madrid-based ProjectCenter to target customers in Spain, Portugal and Latin America. According to a think project! news release, it will hold a majority stake in think project! Iberia.
ProjectCenter back story
As previously described (March 2013 post), ProjectCenter started life in the late 1990s as one of a suite of products developed by Bricsnet, which eventually became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Spain’s Torimbia group in 2010. Bricsnet’s FM or IWMS interests were then acquired by Manhattan, with ProjectCenter becoming the principal brand of a company mainly operating in the Iberian peninsula, plus parts of north Africa and south America. When I talked to the business three years ago, Cristina Niculescu said it had projects across 40 countries.
Today, think project! says ProjectCenter customers include Acciona, Bouygues, Enel Group, IKEA, Mercadona, Neinor Homes, TecnicasReunidas, URS-Aecom and Valoriza, with projects in Spain and overseas.
Think project! Iberia amalgamates the previous Spanish think project! office and ProjectCenter. The joint venture will be led by Iván de la Guía Prados (formerly think project! in Spain) and Cristina Niculescu (formerly ProjectCenter). The news release says the joint venture represents “yet another robust entity within the context of the international expansion strategy of think project!. It will also underline the continued development of the company’s market-leading position in Europe.” (The company also recently announced the opening of a research and development centre in Poland). Hans-Jörg Klingelhöfer, head of international markets at think project! says:
“We see Spain as one of our core markets, in which we’ve been successfully engaged since 2006. The presence of strong and internationally-active general contractors, engineering companies and consultants, as well as private and public asset owners, makes Spain a market with great development potential for think project!. In addition, we plan Madrid as our hub for opening up the Latin-American market.
Iván de la Guía Prados, managing director account management of think project! Iberia, explains:
“We are significantly increasing our market presence within the Spanish market thanks to this joint venture with ProjectCenter. It will enable us to pool the mutual experience and operations of our Spanish and international project businesses to contribute together towards the growth of the think project! Group.”
Cristina Niculescu, managing director technical account management of think project! Iberia adds:
We are very excited about this alliance and delighted to join the think project! Group. It is a great opportunity to expand our market and the reach of our services by offering world class cross-enterprise collaboration and delivering technical innovations in the construction and engineering industries.”
The think project! announcement is a timely reminder that Aconex still faces strong competition in the mainland European SaaS construction collaboration market despite its acquisition of think project!’s Munich-based Anglo/German rival Conject earlier this year (post) – a deal which helped boost Aconex’s EMEA earnings (post). The think project!/ProjectCenter JV also marks another step forward in the rationalisation of the SaaS collaboration market in Europe.
Think project!, which achieved revenue growth of 33% to €25.4m (c. £19.8m or US$28.4m) in the year to 31 December 2015 (post), has a strong position in its central European homelands of Germany, Austria and Switzerland and has been expanding its reach into neighbouring countries. Just over a year ago, it acquired 60% of France’s SaaS PLM specialist Lascom (post); in June it acquired its Austrian sales partner (post), and earlier this month it opened a new Polish development base in Szeszin.
Update (12 October 2016) – think project! has announced that it has strengthened its central European operations, establishing a distribution and service business in Warsaw, Poland, anticipating future growth there in infrastructure projects with international project partners.
Also based in Germany, in Stuttgart, is RIB Software. In 2015 (according to its annual report, PDF), it generated €12m in SaaS revenues, up from €8.7m in 2014 (a significant proportion of this growth was due to the full-year contribution of its 2014 acquisition of Docia/Byggeweb); it has grown its SaaS revenues largely through acquisitions – Australia’s ProjectCentre in 2012 and Denmark’s Docia in July 2014. In July 2015, RIB also acquired a Spanish software business, Soft SA, which it saw as a stepping stone to establishing itself in Spanish-speaking markets.