Quickies: Autodesk invests, Hexagon acquires, a VAR business moves

May 23, 2018 | Hot Topics

It’s been a time of transactions in our little corner of the world. Here’s a quick catchup:

Autodesk‘s Forge fund keeps rolling along in the world of AEC, announced its fifth investment in a construction technology supplier in a year. This time, it’s eSUB. which makes mobile and cloud-based project management and labor productivity solutions for subcontractors. The amount of the investment wasn’t disclosed, but Autodesk did say that it is part of Series A funding which also includes participation from Revolution Ventures. eSub will use the investment to “accelerate product development [and build] integration between the Autodesk BIM 360 construction management platform and eSUB.” Autodesk’s earnings call is tomorrow, so we may learn a bit more about the investment rationale.

Moving on to the world of metrology, Hexagon announced that it has acquired NEXTSENSE, makers of CALIPRI, technology that “automatically compensates for tilts and rotations during scanning, providing the ability to address profile deviations and surface defects immediately with highly-accurate measurement values that are free of operator influence.” Hexagon CEO Ola Rollén said of the deal, “The cutting-edge technology and algorithms from NEXTSENSE provide the necessary analytics to introduce corrective measures sooner. This nicely complements our approach to enabling the smart factory, which is founded on unleashing the full potential of quality data … [T[he combination of sensors, software, and advanced analytics … will bring added value to all customers while extending the global reach of NEXTSENSE solutions to new markets and regions.” Purchase price was not disclosed, though Hexagon did say that NEXTSENSE’s turnover was €12 million in 2017.

Finally, the shakeup in Autodesk’s reseller channel continues. In a “sad dance?/happy dance?” kind of way, Ideate announced in late April that it was “pleased to announce that it has divested itself of its Autodesk value-added reseller (VAR) business and is actively expanding investments in developing solutions and services for the architecture, engineering, construction, and owner (AECO) community … To accomplish this goal of focusing on being a software developer and services provider, Ideate, Inc. sold its Autodesk VAR business to IMAGINiT Technologies”. Rand Worldwide (parent of IMAGINiT) CEO Larry Rychlak characterize the deal as “a win-win proposition on so many levels as it maintains the local expertise for Ideate’s customers while providing those customers with additional products, services and national resources to help them grow their businesses … I am very excited by the possibilities that our one company, many solutions approach will present for Ideate and IMAGINiT customers.” A lot of similar deals have flown under the radar as Autodesk VARs couldn’t or didn’t want to transition to a subscription world — here’s one that, we hope, will benefit customers.