Over the past ten years, software companies in the Benelux have grown to be increasingly profitable, partly because of the transition towards scalable SaaS business models and related recurring revenue streams. The software industry remains steady with a continued growth rate of 25 percent in 2022 despite the current economic situation, which is marked by inflation and scarcity of resources. Yesterday the Main Software 50 Benelux – the ranking of the most successful software companies within the Benelux – was held in Utrecht, whereby further evidence to this trend was presented. 90 percent of the Main Software 50 companies reached an EBITDA margin of more than 10 percent, whilst a decade ago this number was a mere 50 percent. At the top of the list is Belgian software provider UgenTec, that delivers PCR workflow and analysis standardization solutions to clinical laboratories.
The Main Software 50 is the leading ranking for the most successful, private software companies in the Benelux. The ranking was first published in 2012 to highlight the important but often under-reported enterprise software sector. Initiator and software investor Main Capital Partners indexes the hundreds of companies that sign up each year based on seven objective business metrics: revenue, revenue growth, profitability, cloud/SaaS services revenue, recurring revenue, international revenue and revenue from partner channels. The results are verified by independent research agency @Dialogic. For the first time, the Main Software 50 ranking has expanded its reach to the whole Benelux region.
Bram Kaashoek, Managing Partner Market Intelligence & Performance Excellence, mentions: “With the event we aim to show that both the Dutch and the Belgium software sector is a healthy and prosperous industry. This is essential because a healthy software industry contributes greatly to the competitiveness and in turn strengthen the resilience of the economy in the Benelux region.”
Robustness of the Benelux software market
As the ranking has demonstrated, the software landscape in the Benelux has shown considerable growth in recurring revenue, despite the unstable economic situation, the scarcity of resources and inflation. The share of recurring revenue rose from 54 percent in 2013 to 81 percent in 2021. This recurring revenue is an essential indicator of a software company efficiency and the robustness of their business model. Furthermore, the software companies in the ranking have also become more productive. In 2022 they achieved an average turnover of 128k per FTE. The average has grown by 2.0 percent per annum over the past decade.
In fact, for several companies that made it to the top of the list, it is demonstrated that a part of their success has been built on the advent of the Covid-pandemic. More specifically, these companies provide software solutions for covid testing processes, digital collaboration and work-from-home conditions, and employee shortages. For this reason, the main theme of this year’s Main software 50 award show was the societal impact of enterprise software. Software allows us to build without actually buying the bricks, meaning the limits of what can be made are endless. Bram Kaashoek states: “The software industry has an immense impact on society as it offers cost-effective solutions. Not only do software applications and programs make workflows more convenient and efficient, but they also facilitate a better society by filling in the gaps.”
Overal champions 2022: UgenTec, Plauti and Liquit
Five special awards were presented during the ceremony: the Overall Champions Award for the top 3, the Highest Growth Award for the company with the highest revenue growth and the Main Accelerator Award for the most promising upcoming company. The 1st overall winner and new entrant of this year’s edition is UgenTec, a PCR workflow and analysis standardization solution provider for the healthcare sector. The second place is awarded to Plauti, a data management solution provider for Sales Force. The company moved up from the 6th place last year. The third place is secured for Liquit, a software company that delivers a solution for digital workplaces so that people can easily work everywhere and anytime.
Main accelerator award for Belgian GDPS company Accurat
Each year the Main Software 50 welcomes many new faces. For this reason, the Main Accelerator Award was presented for the second consecutive time. The award is meant for the best performing company younger than 5 years with a turnover of less than 1 million euro. These companies usually do not rank in the Main Software 50, which typically lists larger, more mature companies. The past few years a lot of new software companies joined the Benelux market and we see more and more entries from that segment. These promising, fast growers also deserve recognition for their great performance. This year’s Main accelerator award is handed out to the Belgian software company Accurat, a data-driven software company that accumulates and processes GDPR data for retailers. This is the first time Accurat participated in the ranking.
Highest Growth award for Self-ordering platform provider Jamezz
The highest growth award is a distinguishment for the company that managed to achieve the highest revenue growth between 2020-2021. The winner, a new face in the crowd, is awarded to QR-ordering platform Jamezz. As the demand for covid regulated ordering and home delivery increases, Jamezz manages to reach a revenue growth of 900 percent. The company serves over 2,000 hospitality organizations in the Netherlands alone, is market leader in the Benelux for self-ordering and aims to become market leader in Europe within the forthcoming 5 years.
About Main Capital Partners
Main Capital Partners is a leading software investor in the Benelux, DACH and the Nordics. 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 realize sustainable growth and build excellent software groups. Main counts 60 employees and has offices in The Hague, Stockholm, Düsseldorf, Antwerp and the USA (Boston). As of October 2021, Main has over EUR 2.2 billion of assets under management. Main has invested in more than 150 software companies to date. These companies have created jobs for approximately 9000 employees.
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