Forterro and Proffix teams (c) 2023 ForterroForterro has acquired the Swiss business software vendor Proffix Software AG (Proffix). Proffix will add more than 2,500 firms to the Forterro customer base, though the Proffix website indicates it has a customer base of around 4,000. This will bring Forterro to over 13,000 European customers with its different brands.

The Proffix product is an ERP solution for Swiss German SMEs. Sold across multiple industries, including wholesale & retail, services or manufacturing. The core functionality includes accounting, HR, CRM, and service management. It also supports integrations for EDI and other third-party solutions with an open API.

Proffix customers include manufacturers as diverse as the aXpel Group and Imlig Oberriet Cheese, the Goldau National and animal park.

Proffix is a further step in Forterro’s expansion in Central Europe and underscores its commitment to the Swiss market. Following last year’s investment in mid-market ERP provider myfactory.

Dean Forbes, CEO of Forterro
Dean Forbes, CEO of Forterro

Dean Forbes, CEO of Forterro, commented, “We want to express a heartfelt welcome to Proffix, along with its employees and customers. Proffix and its products align seamlessly with Forterro’s vision, further solidifying our position as a provider of industry-leading software for industrial small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe.”

Marcus Pannier, President of Forterro Central Europe confirmed, “Forterro offers a wide range of solutions tailored for the midmarket sector, encompassing various local and vertical industry solutions. Notably, Proffix excels in serving the Swiss German-speaking region, complementing our previous acquisition of DACH-focused myfactory last year.”

Expanding in DACH

Forterro has not made an acquisition since July 2022, when it acquired Wise Software in the UK. This is a slowdown in the acquisition impetus from that outlined by Forbes, when he spoke to Enterprise Times last year.

In Germany, following the acquisition of myfactory, it then acquired abas System Gmbh(Berlin), a German abas partner, to extend its reseller capability for abas, a company it bought a while back.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, and typically of Forterro acquisition targets, no major investors were involved. The acquisition is timely and will enable the founder and CEO to step back from the business after a transition period, earning him a well-deserved exit. He will hand over the leadership to the experienced Forterro team, which will no doubt consolidate some functions but will then look to drive the business further forward, leveraging other technology in the group.

Peter Herger, CEO and Co-Founder of Proffix commented, “I have always been an entrepreneur at heart and proud of how we developed our company, Proffix, as an independent SME. However, with the increasing complexity, we are slowly reaching our limits, and we have decided that it’s time to bring on board a strong partner. And with Forterro, we have found that partner. We are a people business, and during the acquisition process, we realised that Forterro also prioritises its people, making the decision an easy one.”

The other co-founders, Baldassare Nastasi and Robert Caduff, together with Jürg Danuser, CTO of Proffix and the rest of the development team, will continue to support and develop the software. Danuser commented, “I am very much looking forward to working with the Forterro team, as we need a strong partner at our side to accelerate our growth and the cloud transformation of our product. Forterro brings exactly this expertise and power. I am excited about our journey ahead together.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean?

Another acquisition by Forterro has been a year since the last one. Which is surprising considering its focus on growth through acquisition. This is a typical acquisition by Forterro with a privately held company looking to exit, and Forterro is coming in and maintaining the existing workforce. This does not mean there will not be job losses, as Wise Software discovered. It will review how the company is run and then make decisions.

The other big question is the discrepancy between active customers and the number claimed on the website by Proffix. Does this mean that Proffix is seeing increased competition in the market? The Swiss ERP market is not small. With Allied Market Research estimating that the total Switzerland ERP market size was valued at $451.06 million in 2020. And is projected to reach $1,272.14 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 11.0% from 2020 to 2030.

While the Proffix TAM is less than that with only SMEs. However, in 2019 there were 599,686 SMEs in Switzerland (1-250 employees). Assuming that most of the Proffix target market has at least 10 employees, that number drops to 60,082, meaning that there is huge room for growth for Proffix. This appears to be another excellent acquisition by Forterro. It will now need to find a way to accelerate its growth; with a mature product, a trusted brand and an increase in marketing funds, it could do well.


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