Perth, Australia-based mobile construction technology vendor APE Mobile has been acquired by another Australian firm, Damstra, for an unspecified amount.
The company, originally Applied Project Experience, was founded by Matt Edwards in 2009, and initially set out to exploit the newly-launched Apple iPad tablet to support construction business processes, with APE Mobile‘s Paperless Site Software-as-a-Service app for contractors eventually launched in 2013 (“Going APE”). In 2015, APE closed a Series A funding round, raising Au$2m to fund further product development and to drive growth. Two years later (November 2017), the company was looking at international opportunities. APE’s head of growth Kevin Reece visited London to check out the competitive landscape (“since the start of 2017, we’ve been doing more marketing overseas … 25% of our customers are outside Australia”); former Xero executive Leanne Graham advised on US expansion, buoyed by further investments in 2016 and other planned fund-raises. To help US adoption of its digital health, safety and environmental (HSE) compliance app, APE developed integrations with ERP systems (Sage 300 CRE, Viewpoint’s Vista and Dexter + Cheney Spectrum), and with document collaboration platforms Procore and Aconex, among other solutions, Reece said. Autodesk’s BIM 360 was a major integration too.
Reece (right) took over as CEO in July 2018;* Matt Edwards remained involved as a non-exec director while pursuing a new interest in software bots at Nyfty.AI – developing “little robot helpers” to monitor process workflows and produce reports (Procore appears to be a key integration).
APE Mobile acquisition
Melbourne-based Damstra was established in Australia in 2002, initially as a labour hire company, before developing a SaaS workplace management platform, helping organisations manage, track and protect their workplaces. Its modular, mobile-oriented approach provides solutions for real-time workforce management, access control, asset management, learning management and HSE management. Information about the acquisition is sketchy: Damstra says APE will help it “expand its paperless product suite” used by over 300,000 users worldwide. Giving credit to Edwards for setting up the business, Reece said: “It’s been an amazing and fun few years to get to this point. Stepping up and being part of a bigger family is going to be a whole new ride. … After a handover, a mini-break methinks and then onto the next challenge….”
[* Disclosure: pwcom.co.uk Ltd undertook some consultancy work for APE Mobile in early 2019.]