Main Capital Partners today announces the majority acquisition of PLATO AG and iqs Software GmbH. The combination of the two firms creates a leading software group for engineering and quality management processes serving over 750 customers worldwide. Combined, the group employs an exceptional team of around 140 employees.
PLATO and iqs are both established market players in their respective domains with a strong international footprint, exceptional client track record, double digit growth rates, and a highly complementary product and customer portfolio. iqs, with its quality management software suite, is a logical expansion of PLATO’s cloud-based Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and Engineering platform “e1ns” enabling significant cross-sell opportunities between the companies.
By joining forces, the newly established group strives to offer significant added value to customers by providing an unbeatable FMEA combined with highly integrated quality and engineering processes along the entire “Digital Thread” – from idea to product over the entire product lifecycle. The base will be a state-of-the-art WEB and cloud technology. Accordingly, the group contributes to reducing failures in design and production processes and thus helps improving the safety of cars, medical equipment and everyday appliances worldwide.
PLATO, headquartered in Lübeck, Germany, is widely regarded as a global leader in the engineering software market, offering a multi-tenant cloud platform including functionalities like FMEA, Inspection & Control Plan, Functional Safety, Monitoring and System Response (MSR), document management and other related modules. The impact on companies using the solutions is a strong reduction in recall-associated costs, leading in each case to substantial savings. In the long-term this results in high quality robust products and processes. Next to its European client base, PLATO has already established a strong presence in the USA and will thus support and accelerate iqs’s market entry in North America. Among the 350+ customers are Aptiv, Gates, Johnson Matthey, Dräger, B.Braun, Lumileds, and Porsche.
iqs was established in 1995 and is based in Bühl, Germany. The quality management software suite of iqs connects the full range of quality processes in one data base, among others, advanced product quality planning (APQP), feasibility studies, requirements management, initial sample inspection reports (ISIR) as well as complaints and audit management. The clear competitive advantage of iqs that clients value is the seamless integration and data consistency across all offered processes. iqs caters to a large and diversified client base primarily in the German-speaking region and in other European countries where PLATO thus far has only a limited footprint (e.g. Slovenia, France, Scandinavia). Reference customers include well-known brands, such as Bosch, Hella, Continental, Hansgrohe and Stihl.
Sven van Berge Henegouwen, Head of DACH activities at Main Capital Partners, commented: “Organizations across the globe increasingly realize the need to adopt Engineering and Quality Management Software to comply with frequent changes in legislative requirements, meet market demands and ensure customer safety. We are excited to support PLATO and iqs in joining forces and see ample opportunities to jointly grow the new and highly complementary group in the German-speaking region, the US, and beyond, and look forward to work together with both teams.”
Andreas Großmann, founder and CEO of PLATO, commented: “Manufacturers globally are under increasing pressure to eliminate failures in the production process and reduce errors. By combining our offering with iqs, we increase the breath off solutions we can offer to our clients. We further strongly believe that with Main as a partner and their long-standing experience in the software market, we can play a key role in supporting our clients during these challenging times and helping them on their manufacturing digital transformation.”
Ulrich Mangold, CEO of iqs, commented: “We are very excited about this next growth step for iqs together with PLATO and Main Capital Partners. This step will enable us to realise our ambitions in the coming years and achieve our strategic goals more rapidly. We are convinced that we have the right resources and expertise in this new environment to become the leading player in the Engineering and Quality Management software market. This includes further expansion into North America where PLATO has shown significant growth over the last 5 years.”
PLATO is an international software company in the area of engineering, risk and quality management. The scalable PLATO e1ns technology is designed in its architecture and openness to grow with customer requirements. The cloud solution is used in the product and process development of numerous companies. PLATO complements its QM Suite portfolio with the established document management system. Companies in the automotive industry, medical technology, semiconductors, pharmaceutical industry, mechanical engineering and much more are our customers. PLATO operates at four national locations as well as one US office and a broad international network of partners worldwide.
iqs Software GmbH
Since its founding in 1995, iqs has been working continuously to logically and consistently digitalize quality management processes in industrial manufacturing with an innovative and practice-oriented Quality System. With its competent team of 60+ employees, iqs develops, designs, and optimizes their software solutions in a close and trusting cooperation with the customers. This makes the quality software practical and intuitive to use.
From the headquarters in Bühl, Germany, iqs inspires and supports over 400 customers – from medium-sized businesses to large corporations – with first-class service including training and support. The solutions are used in all industrial sectors, especially in the automotive and supplier industries.
Main Capital Partners
Main Capital Partners is a leading software investor in the Benelux, DACH, the Nordics and the USA. Main has almost 20 years of experience in strengthening software companies and works closely together with management teams of its portfolio companies as a strategic partner, in order to realise sustainable growth and build excellent software groups. Main counts ca. 60 employees and has offices in The Hague, Stockholm, Düsseldorf, Antwerp and Boston. Main has over EUR 2.2 billion of assets under management. Main has invested in more than 130 software companies to date. These companies have created jobs for approximately 8,000 employees.
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