"With the proliferation of hybrid work, there is an unmet need for technology solutions that enable businesses to adapt to the changing needs of the workplace," said Brandon Holden, former chief executive of iOffice + SpaceIQ. “When an employer gets their employees back into the office, they have to have an environment that’s creating a need for those employees to come back. So they’re looking for software and technology to make that experience a collaborative experience.”
To address this opportunity, software investment firm Thoma Bravo and JMI Equity announced the merger of workspace scheduling software firm Condeco, and workplace and asset management company iOffice + SpaceIQ, on Tuesday Oct 4th, to establish a new company called Eptura, with Holden as the CEO. The creation of Eptura appears to be just one step in a larger strategy by the investment firm, however, which includes the August 2021 merger between iOffice, SpaceIQ, facilitated by Thoma Bravo as a prelude to the introduction of Condeco and the establishment of Eptura this week.
“This is not your garden-variety, plain-vanilla private equity deal in software. This is a lot of market work, a lot of belief in a market. We felt that remote work, or more importantly, that hybrid work was here forever, and that backing the best vendor in the market to consolidate that market was actually a really positive thesis,” said A.J. Rohde, senior partner at Thoma Bravo. “The companies were all good products but subscale. Now, the company is very big. The companies were maybe slightly more regionalized, and maybe more one-solution focused, now we have a platform.”
The name “Eptura” stands for “the epicenter of the future at work”, which the investors believe underscores the company's ability to accelerate the development of new worktech solutions. The firm will bring together the combined solutions of Condeco, iOffice, and SpaceIQ, but also Proxyclick, which was acquired by Condeco in January 2022. A number of firms including Archibus, Serraview, Hippo CMMS, ManagerPlus, and Teem are also represented through a complex series of acquisitions that became SpaceIQ, prior to their merger with iOffice in 2021. Together, their portfolio of over 10 separate software product groups will all be focused on providing the intelligence on people and assets in order to drive the hybrid work evolution.
“New investment and strategic priorities have also shifted to consider how the built environment needs to evolve to meet emergent hybrid work models that facilitate collaboration both within the building and with remote workers,” we wrote in our Q2 2022 BIoT research. “Space, occupancy & people movement solutions provide important tools for commercial real estate providers, as working styles change, hybrid working models and flexible offices increase in number and the workplace needs to retain talent and attract a multi-generational workforce.”
Before firms can reshape their physical offices they must observe how employees behave within this new flexible system; how often they come in, which days, how long for, what they do, and how accessible they are to colleagues. Occupancy analytics related technologies are now perfectly positioned to be the first step for companies that are exploring hybrid work models and the evolution of their physical office. Occupancy analytics was always for optimizing space, but hybrid work has made it almost impossible to understand and optimize our workplace without analytics —Eptura wants to seize that growing opportunity.
"This combination ushers in the next generation of workplace technology by unifying the best of breed software across asset management, integrated workplace management systems and workplace experience solutions," said Paul Statham, founder and former CEO of Condeco, who will join Eptura’s board. "Bringing together two exceptional teams with unmatched product suites, Eptura is poised to build upon the leadership of Condeco and iOffice + SpaceIQ by accelerating the joint development of new worktech and unlocking even more possibilities for our customers and offering wider opportunities for global growth."
The combined company will be now headquartered in Atlanta, with large regional offices in London and Melbourne. It now employs more than 1,000 across the global network of branch offices of the three firms that have merged in the last 14-months. Eptura has begun life with a client base of more than 16,000 companies including Slack, Zoom, Nasdaq, and Johnson & Johnson, and claims 16.3 million users. The hybrid work trend continues to rise and Eptura stakeholders will be hoping to grow into that emerging market with its now broad catalog of workplace analytics services.
Our 2022 report estimated that the Global Digital Workplace market in commercial office space was $3.70 Billion in 2021, and should rise to $9.21 Billion by 2026, growing at a rate of 20% CAGR. In the last two years, the number of companies in the digital workplace sector has shown a 30% increase with 288 firms in our current analysis compared to 221 suppliers identified previously. The market is still in the early stages of maturity but this merger is typical of the consolidation now occuring.