Energizing our SDK portfolio
When we decided on Battery Ventures as the right investor to help us accelerate growth, internally we named it ‘Project Energizer.’ Yes, it was a play on words, but it also captured what we were aiming for – energizing our mission of Fueling Innovation. Now that we’re coming up on three years since that investment, I thought I’d share my view on how things have gone compared to what we expected.
First, the relationship has been 100% positive. As my due diligence indicated, Battery Ventures doesn’t ‘meddle’ with the companies they invest in. They trust leadership to run the companies, especially ones like ours with a long track record. Our Board of Directors has provided good advice and guidance, made helpful suggestions, and been true to their commitment to direct 100% of profits toward the continued growth of Tech Soft 3D. This has allowed us to accelerate the growth and expansion of our portfolio, both organically and via acquisition.
Second, they have indeed energized our mission of Fueling Innovation. We fuel that innovation by providing high-value components that developers use to jump-start the creation of commercial-grade engineering software. Our customers (whom we call partners) are software development companies, and we position ourselves as a Strategic Technology Partner for them. That means that they depend on us not just to provide a robust SDK today but to help them as their needs evolve over the decades – as they build new products, migrate to new platforms, improve existing applications, etc. Yes, I said decades because we have literally hundreds of partners who have been depending on us for 10+ years.
As a Strategic Technology Partner, we want to be able to help our partners with as many of their challenges as we can. We started out in 1996 with a desktop visualization SDK, but we knew that our partners needed other technologies to help them develop winning applications – things like modeling, CAD import/export, etc. From the beginning, we’ve expanded our portfolio of SDKs to serve more of their 3D needs. In addition, to help jump-start their development, we’ve been integrating relevant components together into higher-level platforms.
Having Battery Ventures as a financial partner has allowed us to expand our portfolio even faster – so that when a partner of ours describes the type of application they want to build or the problem they are trying to solve, we can say, “yes, we can help you with that.”
Through the acquisitions of CEETRON, Visual Kinematics, and Redway3D, we can now provide very specific technologies for CAE workflows (meshing, solving, data access, and visualization) as well as photo-realistic rendering. We knew our partners needed solutions in these areas but couldn’t provide them before. Now we can.
And one of the reasons that CEETRON, Visual Kinematics, and Redway3D were comfortable joining Tech Soft 3D is that they knew they could trust us to take the technology forward, support their customers and maintain the focus on providing SDKs. In fact, In all of these cases, we have expanded the development teams for these products - investing even more to advance the technology by developing new features and integrating relevant components together.
So have things gone as we expected? Yes, very much so. Would we do it again? Absolutely. Partnering with Battery Ventures is allowing us to be an even better Strategic Technology Partner to the companies we work with, and we’re excited to continue delivering more and more solutions to their development challenges.
What’s the next piece that we’ll be adding to our portfolio with the help of our investor? Watch this space!