Enterprise Software in The Netherlands more successful than ever before, showing 22% revenue growth and 26% employment growth.

Main Software 50
Main Capital Partners

Yet again the Main Software 50 has attracted record number of subscriptions from Dutch software companies. The software sector has been an important growth sector for the Dutch economy for many years now, and continues to grow in terms of in revenue, profitability and cloud delivery. 

Yesterday, for the seventh consecutive year, the festive award ceremony of the Main Software 50 took place. The Main Software 50, the renowned ranking of the 50 most successful Dutch software companies, is intended to increase visibility of the Dutch software sector for the larger public. Participating companies in this 2018 edition outperform last year’s participant on almost all relevant KPIs. Interest in the event from the media, business and investors was therefore once again great.

The Main Software 50 ranking comes about based on objective criteria, and is audited by Dialogic, an independent ICT-research bureau. The five proxies for success that are examined to formulate the list are 1) total revenues, 2) revenue growth (%), 3) international revenue (%), 4) partner revenue (%), and 5) profitability.

The host of the event was Roelof Hemmen (BNR Nieuwsradio). The keynote speaker of the event was Blake Cahill (SVP, Global Head of Digital Marketing & Media at Royal Philips). Blake took the crowd by the hand through the digital transformation that Philips, under his supervision, has been going through over the recent years. Blake highlighted the ambitious goals that Philips has formulated throughout the organization, centered around Digital and Connected healthcare to improve the lives of people.

Main Software 50 Award Winners


1st overall winner: Winner of the Main Software 50 edition 2018 is OBI4wan. OBI4wan, founded in 2011, is a fast-growing Dutch based software development company delivering Social Media Monitoring and Customer Engagement tools in a multitenant SaaS-model. In early 2017, OBI4wan acquired Buzzcapture, and together the company now serves a complete range of enterprise, SME and (semi-)government customers with cloud-based social media monitoring tools, web care tools, messaging, publishing & social analytics to improve their social media presence. OBI4wan is heavily focusing on the applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the OBI4wan chat bots are a great example of the opportunities of AI in customer engagement. Partly through the acquisition of Buzzcapture, OBI4wan is exemplifying above-average growth rates whilst maintaining healthy profitability margins.

2nd overall winner: Workstreampeople, the developer and supplier of Anywhere365 Unified Contact Center for Skype for Business and MS Lync. Last year, Workstreampeople already won the highest growth award with a growth rate of more than 100%, and this year, the company is growing by approximately 70%. It is remarkable that the company is able to sustain these growth rates while maintaining healthy profitability margins. The key for this scalable growth appears to be the partner network of Workstreampeople, which contributes a substantial portion of total revenue throughout 2016 and 2017. Moreover, Workstreampeople is highly internationally active, generating close to 70% of total revenue from out of The Netherlands.

3rd overall winner: This year the third place is taken by Onguard, the renowned provider of a completely integrated order-to-cash platform. This platform enables a wide range of companies (SME’s and Enterprises) to streamline all processes within the order-to-cash chain and facilitate efficient data exchange. This facilitates companies in their order-to-cash optimization strategy. Onguard grew exceptionally fast last year, both autonomously and through the acquisition of Credit Tools in Q4 2016. The Onguard solution is strongly internationally oriented, with over 50% of total 2017 revenue being realized from outside of The Netherlands.

Nmbrs, a Main Software 50 veteran, receives the prize for Cloud Champion. Nmbrs, founded in 2009 and headquartered in Amsterdam, is a fast-growing supplier of HR and Payroll software. The international HR and Payroll platform by Nmbrs supports both corporates as well as service providers like accountants with all processes within the HR and Payroll domain. Nmbrs’ multitenant SaaS-model results in recurring revenue streams contributing a whopping 96% of total revenue. In addition to this, Nmbrs has grown by 35% throughout 2017.

This year’s Highest Growth award goes to Speakap, a newbie on the Main Software 50 ranking. Speakap is a developer and supplier of a white label internal communications platform. Speakap grew by 98% throughout 2017, thereby being the rightful winner of the highest growth award. Remarkable is the fact that Speakap is able to grow at this high pace purely through direct sales from their local offices in Amsterdam, New York, London, Barcelona, Cologne, Sao Paulo and Diegem. Speakap is purely cloud-based and was only founded in 2011, being one of the youngest organizations on this year’s Main Software 50 list.

Key statistics Main Software 50 Edition 2018

The Main Software 50 (Edition 2018) once again shows an overall improvement in the profile of Dutch software companies in terms of revenue growth (+22% compared to last year), employment (+26% compared to last year), usage of direct sales channels and improved quality of sales (recurring).

Revenue growth:
Total revenue grew by more over 22% to EUR 396m in 2017. Of the participating companies a stunning 64% grew by more than 20% on a yearly basis. 60% of companies expects year-on-year growth of more than 20% for the next two years.

International success:
Dutch software companies prove to be strongly capable to do business abroad; on average 22% of total revenue is generated from outside of The Netherlands. Moreover, at least a quarter of all companies generates more than 50% of total sales from abroad.

Partner channel:
The percentage of sales generated through partners amounts to an average of 11%. This percentage partner sales, as well as the percentage international sales, fall below last year’s averages. This can be explained by the participation of several large software companies following a more local strategy, aimed at direct sales. What’s more, initiating a partner strategy appears to result in above average international revenue generation. Companies that generate more than 20% of sales through their partner channel have at least a 50% international revenue contribution.

Fast growing software companies are once again able to grow profitably. 58% of the companies has realized a profit margin of over 10%. 26% the of companies was even able to realize a profit margin of more than 20%.

Software companies continue to invest heavily in software development. A stunning 94% of participants invests more than 10% of their annual revenue back into R&D.

Total 2017 FTE count amounted to 3,699, representing a 26% increase relative to last year. The average turnover per FTE is about EUR 107k.

In addition to autonomous growth, several companies in the Main Software 50 ranking have chosen to take strategic steps through mergers and acquisitions. Among the finalists (top 50) a total of five transactions took place this year. Striking is the fact that all acquisitions were pursued by top 10 companies of this year’s Main Software 50.

Partners of the Main Software 50

Review the top-50 on: www.main50.nl


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