2022 has started with a bang or at least a bing, bing, bing. Quite a few deals caught our attention and confirmed what many already likely knew, that change in the industry is afoot. Some are looking to grab the opportunity and expand, and others think it’s time to move on out. At Deep Analysis, we watched the steady drumbeat of increased engagement in the Information & Process Management world from industry goliaths Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. We will soon be publishing a report on Google’s Document AI products, as well as the seemingly endless releases of features and modules from Microsoft. The harsh reality is smaller vendors, i.e., everyone else, cannot compete head to head with these goliaths, yet conversely, a rising tide can lift everyone. The big three suck a lot of energy out of the room, but they are, by definition, generalists, leaving lucrative niches for others to exploit. OCR and RPA are becoming commodities, but that does not mean the end of capture and process management vendors. Instead, it means it’s time for them to consolidate, hunker down or pivot to new markets. So what has January 2022 brought? Well, you can see quite a list of deals. To be clear, I am sure this list is not comprehensive, and if you spot some missing, let us know. But here goes anyway….
Upland Software acquired Montreal-based, Objectif Lune, making this its 29th acquisition since 2012.
Swiss Post Solutions, the major BPO and Document services firm, was acquired by AS Equity Partners. A timely deal as SPS acquired Mitie, another Document Management business, for approximately $53m just last August.
Konica Minolta (best known for capture hardware) bought two services firms in January – DocPoint Solutions and QAI to expand its BPO footprint.
Legal software company Onit acquired virtual data room specialist Securedocs.
iBinder, the Swedish based document management firm, went north to acquire Finnish based engineering document management software firm, Sokopro
Staying in the Nordic region, Danish Microsoft partner WorkPoint was acquired by Viking Ventures.
The document services company HITS acquired fellow midwest services firm Optitek.
Filestack (DAM for software developers) was acquired by fellow Texan firm Idera (private equity firm Partners Group owns Idera)
CRM software company Pipedrive added some document management capabilities to its platform, a trend in business applications we expect to pick up pace this year.
Yet the most significant deal of the month, financially at least, was Iron Mountains’ $91m acquisition of Middle East-based InfoFort. In fairness, not many people in Europe or North America are familiar with InfoFort. But they are a rare oddity, in the sense that in the world of ECM and notably Records Management, they are innovators. InfoFort was one of the first vendors to recognize, build, and deliver blockchain-based Information Management products. Blockchain is still a fringe topic in North American circles, but not in the Middle East and Asia. This is one of the most interesting deals of the past year and one we will watch with interest. Iron Mountain is a hugely successful firm with revenues of around $5B but a mixed history of success with software products. Notably investing in software, only to change its mind and divest those assets sometime later.
A lively start to the year; let’s see what February brings!