February has been a busy month for players in the HR Tech and Worktech space. From enterprises buying out ERP vendors to the integration of cloud companies to acquisition in the employee engagement space, you name it and it transpired. To add further spice to the action, the month also saw its share of fundings. Actiview, an Israeli HR tech developer, raised $10 Mn as part of its Series A funding led by Teddy Sagi Group. In other news, online learning and teaching marketplace Udemy secured $50 Mn investment from the organization’s long-time partner, Benesse Holdings, Inc., taking its valuation to over $2 Bn.
Which are those consolidations and acquisitions that made news in February? Let’s take a quick look-
February started with a bang with multinational enterprise software company, Infor set to be bought by Koch Industries. Infor announced that an affiliate of Koch Equity Development LLC, the investment and acquisition subsidiary of Koch Industries, Inc., has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the remaining equity stake in Infor held by Golden Gate Capital.
While the financial terms of the deal remain unknown and the transaction is subject to customary conditions and regulatory approval, expected to close in the first half of 2020. However, TechCrunch reported that Infor may have been bought by Koch Industries in a deal pegged at close to $13 Bn.
Infor has been around since 2002, making large-scale cloud ERP software. The company has invested approximately $4 Bn in product design and development to deliver industry-specific CloudSuites that solve the most challenging operational issues for over 68,000 customers around the globe. Now, the acquisition deal with Koch is also being referred to as a strong endorsement of the company's product strategy and focus on creating innovative solutions for their customers by its CEO, Kevin Samuelson.
Enterprise software for continuous performance management, Betterworks acquired Hyphen, a leading continuous employee listening and engagement platform based in San Francisco. The terms of the acquisition are not disclosed.
Betterworks will integrate Hyphen’s survey, polling and recommendation capabilities into its enterprise offering as Betterworks Engage and customers adopting it will have the ability to continuously listen to employees from pre-hire to retire, turn these insights into goals and then seamlessly track improvement over time.
The acquisition is a validation of the growing importance of employee feedback for businesses. The best-run companies understand that they get a clear competitive advantage from building a culture of frequent, transparent feedback, and surfacing opportunities for people leaders to better retain their top performers and drive continuous data-driven business improvement. With this acquisition, Betterworks will further consolidate its efforts to engage allows businesses to tie the measurement of employee engagement more tightly to the delivery of desired business outcomes.
Google acquired the Dutch company Cornerstone, which specializes in helping enterprises migrate their legacy workloads from mainframes to public clouds. Cornerstone, which provides very hands-on migration assistance, will form the basis of Google Cloud’s mainframe-to-GCP solutions.
“This is one more example of how Google Cloud is helping enterprise customers modernize their infrastructure and applications as they transition to the cloud,” said John Jester, VP of Customer Experience at Google Cloud.
Cornerstone brings a wealth of experience and innovative solutions and services that help customers modernize their infrastructure and applications. “Their capabilities will form the “cornerstone” of Google’s mainframe-to-GCP solutions, and customers are able to take advantage of these new capabilities now through the Professional Services Organization and our partner network,” Google said in a statement.
Kronos Incorporated and Ultimate Software have entered a definitive merger agreement in order to form one of the world’s largest cloud companies. Over the next three years, the merged company plans to add about 3,000 employees.
As Kronos Inc. and Ultimate Software come together to create a $22 Bn company, the merger of these two industry leaders will result in the creation of one giant organization that specializes in human capital management (HCM) and workforce management across various industries. This company will help leaders across different sectors to manage their employees in an increasingly effective and productive manner by leveraging an unparalleled combination of cloud solutions. This merged company would have a larger scale and a stronger foothold in the fast-paced and ever-evolving HCM marketplace.
Global people development company Cornerstone OnDemand announced that it will acquire talent experience firm Saba in a US$1.395 Bn transaction that will create a combined company with more than 7,000 corporate customers and 75 million users around the globe.
Saba was a pioneer in the enterprise learning market, having started in 1997 with one of the first-ever versions of learning management software to go commercial, and subsequently moved into talent management in 2005. Cornerstone, just two years younger, stayed in the segment and eventually grew into a market leader, far outpacing Saba’s share of the enterprise learning market.
The acquisition is one of the biggest ever consolidations in the enterprise learning segment of the HR tech market. Cornerstone and Saba are major providers of learning management systems, meaning that the acquisition represents a huge consolidation of the market. Moreover, by bringing all the product lines of both companies under the same group, it gives the new, combined company more resources with which to evolve and innovate their flagship systems. The combined company will be able to stay far ahead of competitors such as Oracle or SAP.