PTC signed a definitive with Onshape, creators of the first Software as a Service (SaaS) CAD/CAE product development platform. As per the agreement, PTC acquires Onshape for approximately $470 million. The acquisition is expected to accelerate PTC’s ability to attract new customers with a SaaS-based product offering and position the company to capitalize on the inevitable industry transition to SaaS. Pending regulatory approval and satisfaction of other closing conditions, the transaction is expected to be completed in November 2019.
Located in Cambridge, MA, Onshape was founded in 2012 by CAD pioneers and tech legends, including Jon Hirschtick, John McEleney, and Dave Corcoran, inventors and former executives of SolidWorks. Their venture was partly funded by Ric Fulop, also co-founder of 3D printing company Desktop Metal. In total, Onshape has secured more than $150 million in funding from leading venture capital firms and has more than 5,000 subscribers around the world.
The company’s software offering is delivered in a SaaS model, making it accessible from any connected location or device, eliminating the need for costly hardware and administrative staff to maintain. Distributed and mobile teams of designers, engineers, and others can benefit from the product’s cloud nature, enabling them to improve collaboration and to dramatically reduce the time needed to bring new products to market – while simultaneously staying current with the latest software.
“PTC has earned a reputation for successfully pursuing new innovations that drive corporate growth,” said Jim Heppelmann, president and CEO, PTC. “Building on the strong momentum we have with our on-premises CAD and PLM businesses, we look to our future and see a new growth play with SaaS.”
PTC has been making some very significant moves in the CAD/CAE software arena. First by partnering with Materialise and later by acquiring generative CAE tool developer Frustum. This acquisition is the logical next step in PTC’s overall evolution to a recurring revenue business model, the very first step of which was the company’s successful transition to subscription licensing, completed in January 2019. The SaaS model, while nascent in the CAD and PLM market, is rapidly becoming industry best practice across most other software domains. The moves are quite logical as other CAD software companies such as Autodesk, Dassault Systemes and Ansys are experiencing very strong momentum.
“Today, we see small and medium-sized CAD customers in the high-growth part of the CAD market shifting their interest toward SaaS delivery models, and we expect interest from larger customers to grow over time,” continued Heppelmann. “The acquisition of Onshape complements our on-premises business with the industry’s only proven, scalable pure SaaS platform, which we expect will open new CAD and PLM growth opportunities while positioning PTC to be the leader as the market transitions toward the SaaS model.”
For customers, the SaaS model enables faster work, improved collaboration and innovation, with lower up-front costs and with no IT infrastructure to administer and maintain. For software providers, the SaaS model has been proven to generate a more stable and predictable revenue stream, increase customer loyalty as customers benefit from earlier adoption of technology innovations, and enable expansions into new segments and geographies.
“At Onshape, we share PTC’s vision for helping organizations transform the way they develop products,” said Jon Hirschtick, CEO and co-founder, Onshape. “We and PTC believe that the product development industry is nearing the ‘tipping point’ for SaaS adoption of CAD and data management tools. We look forward to empowering the customers we serve with the latest innovations to improve their competitive positions.”
Onshape will operate as a business unit within PTC, with current management reporting directly to PTC President and CEO Jim Heppelmann. “I’m very pleased to bring such an incredibly talented team of technical and business leaders into the company and look forward to taking our business to the next level of growth,” concluded Jim Heppelmann.