In January 2017, TA Associates, a leading global growth private equity firm, announced it has completed an investment in Munich, Germany-based think project!, a provider of cross-enterprise collaboration and information management software to the construction and engineering industries. Financial terms of the transaction were (unfortunately) not disclosed.
J. Morgan Seigler, a managing director at TA Associates (who will join the think project! Board of Directors) said:
“We believe think project! is an exceptional company that has established itself as a leading provider in a relatively unique, yet rapidly growing sector. Under the direction of Thomas Bachmaier and his talented management team, think project! has enjoyed consistent growth in its core German market and internationally. We are delighted to partner with a company with such a strong foundation and welcome the opportunity to support the continued evolution of think project!.”
think project! CEO Thomas Backmaier said:
“Since our founding, think project! has continuously strived to serve our customers and to help them achieve their goals by catering to their individual needs. We would like to thank co-Founder and former investor, WALTER Beteiligungen und Immobilien AG, for their historical support, and are confident that our new partnership with TA Associates will serve to strengthen our brand and further our growth. We are thrilled to begin working with such an experienced and well-respected firm, and look forward to benefiting from TA’s valuable insight and support.”
Founded in 2000, think project! offers a SaaS, multi-tenant platform used by more than 100,000 users across over 8,000 projects in 40 countries. think project! delivers a readily available and shapeable common data environment (CDE) for construction and engineering projects. Since 2015, its solutions have been building information modeling (BIM)-enabled, offering application program interfaces (APIs) for close integration with other business applications and can be accessed via multiple touchpoints and devices. think project! currently supports asset owners and general contractors across more than 20 sectors, including the energy and automotive industries, infrastructure and government projects.
The company now has approximately 200 employees across its Munich headquarters, its R&D centers in Berlin and Szczecin, and, as Thomas told me last October, has been strengthening across Europe – in Spain (it established a joint venture with Madrid-based ProjectCenter in September 2016), Poland, Austria (it acquired 70% of Austrian sales partner i-pm in June 2016), the Netherlands, France (it acquired 60% of Lascom AEC, France’s market leader in product lifecycle management (PLM) and cross-enterprise collaboration software in September 2015), and in Germany (it acquired domestic competitor Conetics in October 2016).
The think project! news release repeats figures also used by global leader, Melbourne, Australia-based Aconex (who acquired think project’s Anglo-German rival Conject in March 2016) saying the global addressable market for construction collaboration software is estimated by Frost & Sullivan at $5.6 billion with a current penetration of less than 10%, implying a present market size of roughly $500 million. According to research from PwC, the global infrastructure construction market is expected to grow 6.5% annually to $9 trillion by 2025.
Naveen A. Wadhera, a managing director at TA Associates, adds:
“With our focus on investing in profitable, growing businesses, construction software is a highly attractive sector for TA. Given its well-established presence in Germany and accelerating growth in Spain, Poland, the Benelux countries and elsewhere, we believe think project! is well positioned as a market leader in continental Europe. We look forward to working with the think project! management team, building on their success to date and furthering the company’s expansion through organic and inorganic growth.”