Acumatica acquired by global private equity firm in bid to take on Oracle, Microsoft and other business software giants – GeekWire
In what it calls an attempt to take on global enterprise software giants including Microsoft, Oracle and Sage, Bellevue, Wash.-based Acumatica announced this morning that it has been acquired by a global private equity fund called EQT Partners.
The deal comes with an infusion of cash and a partnership with Swedish enterprise software provider Industrial and Financial Systems AB, which is significantly larger than Acumatica and is also owned by EQT.
The goal, Acumatica CEO Jon Roskill said, is to form a “powerhouse” of enterprise resource planning companies that will eventually generate $1 billion a year in revenues and compete with the biggest players in the ERP business.
“We’ll be within that billion dollar target within three years,” Roskill said in an interview from Paris, where he had been closing the deal. “That’s what this is all about at the top level.”
Acumatica expects to increase its workforce by 40 to 50 percent each year, including in the Seattle area where the company employs about 50 people, said Roskill, who previously oversaw Microsoft’s worldwide partner organization before joining Acumatica. The company currently employs 265 people worldwide. Acumatica, which provides enterprise cloud software to roughly 5,000 small to mid-sized customers in construction, retail, tech and other industries, will keep its brand and retain control over much of its operations, Roskill said.
Jonas Persson, who formerly held senior leadership roles at Microsoft in Sweden, will serve as chairman for both Acumatica and IFS.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Acumatica had raised more than $55 million over its history from investors including Accel-KKR; Visma; Almaz Capital; Runa Capital; and others.
The company was founded in 2008 by John Howell, Mike Chtchelkonogov, and Serguei Beloussov, who also founded companies including Parallels and Acronis. Acumatica is #28 on the GeekWire 200, a ranking of the top privately held technology companies in the Pacific Northwest.
The ERP business was valued at nearly $36.5 billion last year and is expected to nearly double to $60 billion the next five years, according to a Market Reports World analysis published last month.
Though Acumatica competes with companies such as Microsoft, it also partners with tech giants for various cloud integrations.
Roskill said the deal positions Acumatica to leverage IFS operations on every continent. For example, Roskill said Acumatica will be able to use IFS offices in the U.K. as well South Africa, where Acumatica currently has one employee working out of his own home.
“Within the next couple of months we’re going to be able to support customers globally,” Roskill said.
That global reach may also help Acumatica, which has support centers in only two countries, keep customers as it conducts more business abroad, Roskill said. He said IFS support centers, which span 15 countries, make it possible for Acumatica to serve customers as they begin “scaling up to a global level.”
IFS, meanwhile, will be able to take advantage of Acumatica’s 350 channel partners, he said. One of Acumatica’s advantages is the fact that it relies heavily on its partner channel for sales, which means it doesn’t need to employ a large salesforce.
“Acumatica’s cloud-native architecture and operations are absolutely cutting edge, as is its commitment to partners and customers,” IFS CEO Darren Roos said in a statement. “I ultimately see this as two allies to cover the market from end to end, with combined strength to take market share.””
A Gartner report from 2018 gave Acumatica the highest score for customer satisfaction in a field of cloud business technology companies that included Oracle, Workday, Microsoft, SAP, Sage, Epicor and others.
Roskill added that IFS executives like that Acumatica is based in one of the world’s technology hubs and has close relationships with companies such as Microsoft.
“We’ve got pretty strong connections with these local cloud superpowers,” Roskill said. “Those are pretty difficult things to develop from Europe.”
The acquisition demonstrates the strength of the region’s robust cloud-based enterprise tech ecosystem. Tableau was just acquired by Salesforce for $15.7 billion; local companies such as Smartsheet, Avalara, and Docusign went public last year.
The deal also comes with a shakeup of Acumatica’s board of directors, which, Roskill said, is currently made up of the 11-year-old company’s original investors.
“We’re not giving numbers but everyone is leaving happy. I promise you that,” he said.
The new Acumatica board will include Roskill, Persson, and IFS CEO Darren Roos, among others. Roskill said placing IFS executives on Acumatica’s board is part of a broader “incentive structure that’s going to drive the leadership team for both companies to do the right things for their sister company.”
For example, he said, Acumatica executives will roll over a portion of their proceeds from the acquisition into IFS.
“I’m going to have money in both (companies) personally,” Roskill said. “There’s nothing like having money in a company to make you pay attention.”