ZAANDAM – HowAboutYou, specialist in the field of online media monitoring software and webcare in the Dutch and Belgian (semi) public sector, has been acquired by OBI4wan, a portfolio company of MAIN Capital Partners. HowAboutYou and OBI4wan have been working closely together for 9 years in the form of a partnership. Thanks to those years of close cooperation, the product offering of OBI4wan fits seamlessly into the (semi-) government market. The acquisition is a logical step for both companies towards further future growth.
Expertise built up together for years
HowAboutYou has been one of the most important sales and implementation partners of OBI4wan’s software solutions for 9 years. HowAboutYou, as market leader, now serves 440 governmental clients and other organizations in the public domain with the tools of OBI4wan: online media monitoring, webcare, publishing, live chat and chatbots. The customer base includes 270 Dutch municipalities, the majority of the Dutch safety regions, provinces and housing corporations. The company furthermore serves over 40 customers in Belgium. OBI4wan itself serves a broad international customer portfolio within the commercial sector and sees good opportunities to further expand its product- and services offering in the public sector through the acquisition of HowAboutYou.
Charly Zwemstra, Managing Partner at MAIN Capital Partners, explains: “The strategic combination of OBI4wan and HowAboutYou is a logical next step in the collaboration between the two companies. We expect that the further automation of customer contact will become a key focus point of (semi-) governments. Through the acquisition of HowAboutYou, OBI4wan can respond even better to this development and OBI4wan as a company is taking a new strategic step. Moreover, the municipal market is becoming increasingly important in society”.
“Maybe we should have done this much earlier,” states Frank Bruijninckx, director of HowAboutYou. “In the conversations of the past few weeks it has become perfectly clear what is to be won by bringing the two teams together. HowAboutYou was already directly involved in the development of OBI4wan, however combining the companies in one organization is much more efficient. This is valuable to our customers, enabling us to fulfill customer demand even faster and better. The good remains: our extreme customer focus, excellent service and support, with knowledge of the public domain. We will keep the name HowAboutYou for the time being and I am going to lead the company myself and will become a co-owner. ”
Two strong brands continue together
Alexander de Ruiter, CEO of OBI4wan, adds: “The merger is the culmination of 9 years of successful cooperation within a fantastic market, in which we have built up a good position in the public market. In those years we have worked hard on our customer base and our platforms. Bringing it together now will lead to even more customer focus and more efficient processes towards customers and clients. We look forward to continuing to work together to optimally serve these customers and clients ”.
Both organizations will be integrated in the coming period, with excellent customer service as the starting point.
Since its inception in 2009, OBI4wan has been supporting large organizations to successfully deploy media monitoring and online customer contact. The user-friendly tools and services support customers with customer engagement, smart chatbots, reputation management and actionable insights from data. The clientele includes large multinationals such as Heineken, ING, Hema, Jumbo and McDonald’s.
HowAboutYou supports 440 public sector organizations in the use of social media, webcare & monitoring, live chat and chatbots. Clients include municipalities, provinces, ministries, water boards and other semi-public bodies such as fire brigade safety regions, GGD / GHOR, water boards and housing corporations. OBI4wan’s tooling is used in, among others: environmental analyses, issue- and reputation management and online campaigns.
About Main Capital Partners
MAIN Capital Partners is a strategic investor with an exclusive focus on the software sector in the Benelux, DACH and Nordics regions. Main has a long-term investment horizon centered around successful partnerships with management teams, with the goal to jointly build larger software groups. Main has approximately € 1 billion in assets under management for investments in mature and growing software companies.
The current portfolio of Main Capital includes rapidly growing software- and SaaS software companies like Alfa, WoodWing, Exxellence Groep, Optimizers, Assessio, GBtec, Onventis, HYPE Innovation, Cleversoft, Enovation, SDB Groep, Jobrouter, GOconnectIT, Inergy, MUIS Software, Artegic, OBI4wan, b+m Informatik, ChainPoint and RVC. Successful former companies that have grown substantially under the guidance of Main are: Connexys (HR software), Roxit (governmental software), Axxerion (facility management software) and Ymor (APM software).
Note for the editor:
For more information, please contact:
Charly Zwemstra (Managing Partner)
Main Capital Partners B.V., Paleisstraat 6, 2514 JA, Den Haag
Tel: +31 (0) 70 324 3433 / +31 (0) 6 5127 7805
For more information about HowAboutYou, please contact:
Frank Bruijninckx (CEO)
Tel: +31 6 24 650 031
For more information about OBI4wan, please contact:
Alexander de Ruiter (CEO)
Tel: + 31 (0)85 210 50 60