RIB Software invests in Chinese tech developer

Germany’s RIB Software takes a controlling interest in China’s Bochaosoft, adding strong Asian power engineering industry player to its portfolio of products.

Stuttgart, Germany-based RIB Software has invested US$28.57M to buy 51% of Bochaosoft, a 350-strong China-based electric power and engineering BIM design software company.

RIB software logoRIB was the subject of a €1.4bn bid from France-based multinational Schneider Electric (read: Schneider Electric makes €1.4 bn bid for RIB Software) in February 2020 – approved by shareholders in April 2020 (read: RIB Software grew 57% in 2019), and now awaiting clearance by competition authorities. The business has been very acquisitive in recent years, looking to extend the reach of its iTWO 4.0 cloud-based platform (“the world’s first enterprise cloud technology based on 5D BIM with AI integration“).

In 2019 alone, for example, RIB invested in the UK AEC software reseller Cadline (April), acquired 60% of the Atlanta, USA-based building specification software vendor, BSD (June),  acquired 70% of South Africa’s CCS, a provider of cost estimation and project control software (July), and took a strategic 15% stake in India’s company, Winjit, an Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and blockchain developer (August). It then invested in another India-based software business, SoftTech, bought a German business intelligence specialist, Datapine, and acquired an Australian reseller, Redstack (November). The latest deal is described by RIB as “a milestone in its mid-term M&A strategy”.

Bochaosoft

Bochaosoft portfolioThe target, Bochaosoft, founded in 1993, has its origin in BIM-based and GIS-based design software, quantity take-off and estimating, and is now an established digitalisation solutions provider in engineering and construction, covering design, build and maintenance stages. It is also further extending its technology into Smart City work, integrating Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.

Headquartered in Beijing, China, with over 350 employees, Bochao serves 90% of China’s mega engineering design institutes and 60% of China’s major state-owned enterprises in the construction industry. In particular, Bochaosoft has been working with China State Grid for more than 10 years and is one of the most important partners in its digital transformation.

Its focus industries are electric power (thermal, nuclear, hydropower, new energy, smart grid), railway, petrochemical, metallurgical mining, rail, hydraulic engineering, municipal construction and oil & gas.

According to RIB’s news release, RIB and Bochaosoft share a joint vision regarding  digital transformation of the engineering and construction industry. Bochaosoft has a strong R&D competence with more than 120 people in Beijing. Its more than 15 years’ of experience and practical knowledge in BIM and GIS design technologies fits with RIB’s iTWO 4.0 technology, and its ambition to bring to the market a fully integrated competitive, end-to-end, enterprise solution for the Architecture, Engineering and Design (AEC) industry. Joining forces, RIB and Bochaosoft will benefit from their joint Chinese R&D capacity, which will further solidify Bochaosoft’s competitive edge in the EPC market and will help drive iTWO 4.0’s penetration of the Chinese market. Furthermore, leveraging RIB’s global capacity, Bochaosoft can continue to grow its overseas market share under the One Belt, One Road initiative.

Perspectives

Thomas Wolf, Chairman and CEO of RIB Software, right, commented:

Thomas Wolf“I’m very excited to welcome the Bochaosoft team. Bochaosoft is a leading and very successful engineering software company in China. They have a strong position in the power and electric segment and the state-owned enterprise segment. Together we will become one of the best software companies in the Chinese construction and engineering industry. In the meantime, RIB with its strong international knowhow, will support Bochaosoft in its Belt and Road strategy to win deals from overseas operations of the top 100 Chinese state-owned enterprises.”

Fei Lin, founder of Bochaosoft, commented:

“The cooperation between RIB and Bochaosoft is both technical and market-oriented. It is of great significance for RIB to open up the Chinese market by combining RIB’s leading technologies with the Chinese market. In the meantime, through the RIB global ecosystem, Bochaosoft’s distinctive products and technical service capabilities can also be extended to the international market. I believe that the cooperation will become a model of mutual benefits. Let’s work together to realize our shared vision of digitally transforming the industry into the most advanced industry and jointly building the future of living.”

Yonghe Li, CEO of Bochaosoft, commented:

“RIB is a respectable company in the industry. Bochaosoft has been focusing on the field of engineering digitalization for more than 20 years. We firmly believe that the two parties will have greater breakthroughs and development in the Chinese market as well as the international market on the basis of strong capital bonds and the complementarity of our respective industry expertise. Congratulations on the successful cooperation between both parties, I wish RIB greater achievements!”

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