Dutch software developer sees growth spurt
A EUR 12-million loan extended under the InnovFin MidCap Growth Finance Facility under the EU's Horizon 2020 programme and backed by the European Investment Bank is helping Dutch software firm Planon transfer services to a cloud-based model as part of a major growth initiative.
© nd3000 #141376707, 2019 source: stock.adobe.com
Founded in 1982, Planon creates software to help organisations improve their real estate, facility and service management processes. Although not as big as some of its competitors, it has grown steadily, becoming a market leader.
The company employs more than 600 people in 11 countries, nearly half of whom work at its headquarters at Nijmegen in the Netherlands, many in R&D. Over 2 000 clients use Planons solutions worldwide, supported by a global network of offices.
In the past, clients have typically bought licences for Planon software. While keeping its existing licences, the company is now moving an increasing amount of its business to a software as a service model in order to meet demand. This means hosting programmes on its cloud and giving clients remote access.
As the shift involves extensive R&D and a move from upfront payments to service contracts, which raises costs and delays revenue, Planon needed a loan. It subsequently became the first Dutch ICT company to get one under the MidCap Growth Finance Facility.
Jos Knops, Planons global finance director, says InnovFin was by far the best option compared with more traditional financing solutions.
The flexibility and set-up of the agreement is perfect for realising our ambition of becoming a world leader in our field and at the same time investing further in innovative world-class software solutions for our customers, he says. From day one, the EIB showed a comprehensive understanding of our business needs and the transaction was finalised in a very short time.
The change is part of a long-term strategy for the development of software and cloud solutions to support smart building management and bring about improvements in areas like energy efficiency. Some of the loan is also being spent on Planons highly successful Planon Universe integrated workplace management system.