Germany’s RIB Software has invested in another India-based software business, bought a German business intelligence specialist, and acquired an Australian reseller.
Stuttgart, Germany-based RIB Software, provider of enterprise software for the building, construction and real estate industries, has made a flurry of recent announcements, including another investment in an India-based software business, the purchase of a German business intelligence specialist, and a new reseller acquisition in Australasia. RIB says it is on target to complete 14 M&A deals in 2019.
Indian AI investment
RIB has invested up to US$2m in a convertible loan agreement with SoftTech Engineers, an Indian publicly listed software company, with the right to convert into shares within the next 18 months. This investment comes just weeks after RIB Group’s investment to take a 15% stake in Indian IoT and AI specialist Winjit (post).
SoftTech is a global leader for building permit automation software. Its AutodDCR product provides an automated building plan approval management system as a precursor to BIM, its products reduce the cost and time required by architects and government authorities in mapping building codes and delivering approvals for construction. Its proprietary suite of software solutions read 2D or 3D CAD drawings, as well as BIM files, and automatically map them onto government building regulations.
SoftTech has offices in the US (Virginia) and Finland (Helsinki), and over 550 employees in India (its HQ is in Pune). Apart from its core offerings, SoftTech also sells PWIMS (Public Works Information Management System) – an enterprise resource planning (ERP) application for government-run municipal corporations, which also features as OPTICON for the private sector (ERP for general contractors and developers/project owners). SoftTech is currently working on “Rule Buddy” – an algorithmic engine for mapping building codes based on machine learning and deep learning approach (AI).
In the last five years, SoftTech has consistently achieved EBITDA margins exceeding 20% on double-digit compounded annual revenue growth. It plans to enhance its existing 20,000 user base through new products and rapid international expansion. At the same time, RIB gains superior competitive advantage by incorporating a unique product into its MTWO/iTWO portfolio globally.
Vijay Gupta, Chairman and CEO – SoftTech Engineers Limited: “Ever since the foundation of SoftTech, more than 20 years ago, we have been working on the transformation of AEC industry. With RIB, we are aligning ourselves with a larger organization that can help us achieve our strategic goal of international expansion and growing our user base. Our existing and next generation products are intelligent, cloud-based and collaborative and fit perfectly into RIB’s MTWO platform strategy.”
Tom Wolf, CEO – RIB Software SE: “The automation and digitalization of building permits represents a huge opportunity for the AEC industry to increase efficiency and speed of execution. With our iTWO technology, we look at the construction process holistically and we are proud to have found in SoftTech a cutting-edge innovator for transferring 2D or 3D CAD based drawings digitally into building approvals. SoftTech’s solutions are key building blocks in our MTWO platform strategy to offer innovate SaaS solutions to our clients.”
RIB buys datapine BI developer
RIB Software has acquired 75.05% of Berlin, Germany-based datapine. Founded in 2012, datapine is a successful and profitable business intelligence (BI) start-up serving over 200 clients and 5,000 users in 25 countries. By adding the datapine BI solution to the RIB MTWO Platform, RIB says its iTWO users can quickly integrate multiple systems of data for analysis purposes: “The target is that the user can digest all relevant information in one minute over the dashboard, which comes from a single source of truth database.” In 2019, RIB Group plans to establish a worldwide, leading business intelligence solution center for the building industry in Berlin.
Jakob Rehermann, founder and management shareholder of datapine: “The focus of RIB on re-platforming the building industry vertical in using artificial intelligence (AI) fits perfectly into the datapine strategy and philosophy. The RIB investment in datapine marks a milestone for our leading international team of data scientists, data analysts, and IT experts in our young company history and confirms our strong market position, emphasizing our technology leadership in innovative BI solutions. The future focus on 100,000 RIB clients worldwide and on the building vertical which represents 10 trillion USD annual revenue opens up a once in a lifetime opportunity because the demand is now stemming a high growth phase in this industry vertical.”
Michael Sauer, executive board member of RIB Group: “We are excited to be ‘running together’ with the BI champions from datapine. Our global teams will build together in 2019 an advanced, intelligent, and intuitive iTWO Data Visualization creating interactive, easy to use, management boards. This will give customers the ability to build data-based business solutions to improve productivity. Everybody can become a data expert. Building together with datapine will increase RIB’s competence in Business Intelligence in the building vertical to the highest level and empower RIB clients with value added MTWO Platform and iTWO Technology.”
Australasian reseller deal
Following investments in software resellers in the UK (Cadline – April 2019 post – and CCS UK – July 2019 post), India (Capricot – August 2019 post), and the US (U.S. CAD – June 2019 post) to grow the market for RIB’s MTWO software platform and other products in the growing RIB portfolio, RIB has announced the AU$2.764m (c. US$1.91m, £1.48m or €1.72m) purchase of Redstack to expand its position in the Australasian market.
Headquartered in Adelaide, South Australia with another office in Melbourne, Redstack is a well-established reseller of Autodesk and other software to building, construction and manufacturing markets in Australia with over 21 years’ experience. MD Michael Lachs says: “There is a great many synergies between the two businesses, and it made a lot of sense to bring the two together.” The business will roll into RIB’s majority-owned A2K brand.