Irish technology company Engage EHS has been bought by EcoOnline in a deal that looks set to further fuel the Nordic company's international growth.
The value of the deal was not announced, but is believed to be about €15 million. Engage EHS, which specialises in environment, health and safety technology, will join EcoOnline’s portfolio of companies, which cater for 6,500 customers in 86 industries.
Engage EHS chief executive Darragh Geoghegan, who founded the firm in 2008 with Billy O'Brien and Colm Geoghegan, said the management team and current staff would remain with the company and continue to build on its work, integrating platforms with its new parent company.
Engage’s health-and-safety management system uses a combination of web and mobile modules to connect a company’s health-and-safety processes in one place, including incident, audit, risk, training, permit to work, contractor and plant processes. It also aids more effective communication between managers and workers to help administer safety initiatives more efficiently.
Mr Geoghegan said the two companies had begun developing a relationship before the pandemic affected travel and business.
“There was a good bit of the groundwork done before Covid hit,” he said. “It’s exciting for the business because of the opportunity out there in front of us.”
Engage EHS rebranded from Effective Software last year following a $1.5 million raise. Among its investors were ACT Venture Capital and Elkstone, along with private investors. Talks with EcoOnline began shortly after the funding round was closed.
“We have known the team behind Engage EHS for a long time and found that we are a true match, both in terms of culture and shared vision for our company, customers and product,” said Göran Lindö, chief executive of EcoOnline. “The Engage EHS team and product knowledge will be instrumental when we together continue to serve all our customers and develop our leading EHS platform.”
There were a number of factors in choosing to go with the Nordic company, not least the culture. EcoOnline has expanded its business from a well-established name for chemical management software in the Nordic region to delivering comprehensive EHS solutions to the European and the US markets. It offered the scale Engage needed to expand its business further.
“In the industry itself there was lots of consolidation in the market. We could see larger guys buying up smaller ones regularly. Some were buying market share, buying up customers,” said Mr Geoghegan. “EcoOnline were interesting. They had built up within a niche market a pretty big business. They acquired a few businesses and did it very well. They had good backers, a proven record of acquisitions and they had an interesting plan.”
EcoOnline has seen significant growth since 2018, tripling its team and the annual recurring revenue base. In April 2020 the company secured new capital from Summa Equity's Fund II and Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division.
"The acquisition of Engage EHS is an important step for EcoOnline to continue strengthen its team, product and customer portfolio," said Christian Melby, chief information officer and partner at Summa Equity. "I have met the Engage EHS management team and know that they and their teams will bring a lot of value to the EcoOnline Group. We are impressed with what they have done with their product and the last couple of years and how highly they are regarded among their customers."