Nemetschek adds Solibri to its BIM offering

Dec 18, 2015 | Hot Topics

Do you BIM? If so, you’ve probably heard of Solibri, soon to be a Nemetschek company. Solibri makes what could be called quality assurance solutions for BIM, validating that models meet specific country/region and project standards and performing various other checks. It’s easy to forget that windows must have a certain rating in Kuala Lumpur and another in London, or that US public buildings might need to comply with NBIMS-US while UK’s BS1192 and PAS1192 are different — the Solibri Model Checker identifies non-compliance for humans to fix. I’ve spoken with project teams that use Solibri as a model checker and as a training tool to see what’s wrong in a model and learn how to fix it; it’s both technology and business methodology.

Solibri isn’t huge; it expected revenue of about €5 million in 2015, but that is up a staggering 50% year/year. Also staggering; the purchase price of €32 million in cash and earn-outs, partly financed by Nemetschek taking out a loan. It sounds like the deal-making was interesting: Nemetschek’s press release says the company “beat several [competing–Ed.] potential buyers because of its group structure with an independent brand offering”. Given this, it’s logical to assume that Solibri will operate as a stand-alone brand in the Nemetschek umbrella (like VectorWorks, for example) and not be embedded in any one of the company’s BIM brands. Solibri is a small Finnish company, yet still manages to amass 1.8 million users. Sales via Nemetschek’s global channels should rocket Solibri to a much bigger presence than it could reach on its own while the other Nemetschek brands should see a nice cross-selling opportunity to those 1.8 million users.

It’s a great (though expensive) acquisition for Nemetschek, which wants to position itself as the premier global BIM provider. Its Design – Build – Operate strategy ties directly into the broader AEC workflow; Solibri will help cement that workflow between the company’s many brands because it can work with all of the company’s brands and through all phases of an AEC project. Solibri’s Model Checker performs clash detection, finds deficiencies, checks BIM and accessibility compliance, and enables model comparisons and data take off. It works across most (all?) currently sold, improving quality control in building and facility design, construction and operations.