The Nemetschek Group has participated in a series A financing round of the fast-growing German contech startup Sablono, while also expanding its own SaaS operations.
Berlin, Germany-based Sablono, described by Nemetschek as a “market leader in digital lean technology for construction enterprises”, raised €5.3 million, and plans to accelerate its international growth (read news release). The company has for some years marketed itself outside Germany including in the UK, where it has exhibited at trade shows and presented at events (see The future of project controls, November 2018).*
Thomas Bachmaier was lead investor in the round. Bachmaier was the founder and, until May 2019 (post), the CEO of Munich-based SaaS vendor thinkproject. (In April 2021 – post – thinkproject appointed former Nemetschek executive Patrik Heider as its latest CEO, succeeding Gareth Burton). Update: Bachmaier told EE: “It‘s a pure venture investment from my side and Nemetschek – not a strategic investment of Nemetschek. Sablono is 100% independent.”
Matt Wheelis, VP Industry Strategy Build & Construct Division at the Nemetschek Group, and Bachmaier will join Sablono’s advisory board.
Sablono investment perspectives:
“I am extremely excited to join Sablono’s Advisory Board and provide the company with my construction industry expertise and international network. We will support Sablono to enter the next phase of growth and execute on its vision of becoming a leading platform for real-time project controls across time, quality and costs”
Dr. Axel Kaufmann, Heider’s successor as CFOO and spokesman of the executive board of the Nemetschek group, said
“Our investment in this young and innovative high-growth company fits perfectly with our strategic goal of shaping the future AEC market and driving innovation. With this step we will enrich our vast experience in this industry with new ideas and approaches, leading to an even higher customer value.”
Lukas Olbrich, CEO of Sablono, said:
“Having Nemetschek continue to back the business and add experienced leadership to Sablono’s board creates a powerful combination of entrepreneurial and international spirit. We really look forward to the next phase of Sablono and reaching the next level with this team.”
[* Sablono is a participant in Glimpse of the Future this Thursday, 10 June 2021.]
Sablono in the UK
Update (11 June 2021) – Olbrich told EE that Sablono has established a solid position in the UK.
Nemetschek building SaaS strength
Despite the industry impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the group achieved its 2020 financial targets, growing overall revenues 7% to €596.9 million (c. £512m or US$706m), with an EBITDA of €172.3 million (c £148m or US$210m). Within these numbers, Nemetschek’s recurring revenues from subscription and Software-as-a-Service increased by 19.9% to €359 million – over 60% of total revenues – and it plans to expand its SaaS growth. Conversion to a cloud-centric subscription model of its global, but highly US-focused Build division brand Bluebeam will start in the second half of 2021.
In April 2021, Nemetschek Group reported a strong start to 2021 with revenue growth in the double-digit percentage range and an over-proportional increase in the operating result (EBITDA). The main growth driver was recurring revenues from software service contracts and rental models; revenues from subscription and SaaS alone grew by 44% to €8.3 million.