Lacroix Group buys IoT and AI firm eSoftThings

With the acquisition of eSoftThings, a specialist in the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), based in Cesson-Sevigne (Rennes metropolitan area, France), Lacroix Group has consolidated its R&D division.

This was already present in Brittany and now strengthens its positioning in the industrial IoT and artificial intelligence sectors, particularly in the field of connected vehicles.

eSoftThings is described by Lacroix as “a young, innovative company with 50 employees, which has achieved 50% annual growth for the last three years and boasts an impressive client portfolio. It is now an international benchmark in the design and industrialisation (hardware, software and cloud) and in the field of AI (computer vision, object classification, behaviour prediction).”

A strategic deal for the technological equipment manufacturer Lacroix Group. As the industrial IoT enters a new phase of maturity and calls for critical masses able to meet the latest technological challenges, the arrival of this new entity within Lacroix Group consolidates its ability to keep fully abreast of cutting-edge technologies and offer its customers increasingly “smart” equipment.

Vincent Bedouin

In the era of onboard AI, data processing and information retrieval, eSoftThings fits perfectly with the strategic plan launched by the Group in 2016. With its solid experience in hardware and software design, its know-how in the development and integration of onboard software, alongside specialties in connectivity, energy consumption optimisation and AI, this new subsidiary will be central to the Group’s R&D roadmap.

Having attained profitability within its first year, eSoftThings proved the value of its abilities at an early stage and rapidly expanded internationally, including in the United States and Asia. In the financial year 2019, eSoftThings recorded turnover of €4.5M, with operating margins of double digits.

Vincent Bedouin, CEO of Lacroix Group says, “This new acquisition, the sixth in four years, concludes the programme of external growth under our Ambition 2020 plan, and sets us on the strategic path towards our forthcoming 2025 plan. The projects already underway and the connection between the teams herald a bright future.

Kimmo Vuorinen

I am delighted that our unique global positioning and the complementarity of our activities now give us the benefit of critical mass, as well as commercial, industrial and financial synergies. With eSoftThings, we are reinforcing our technological synergies, a major asset for the future.”

Kimmo Vuorinen, president of eSoftThings observes, “For us, joining the teams at Lacroix Group is an opportunity to contribute to a great ambition, which we share, and to collaborate with teams whose expertise is matched by their enthusiasm”.

Jean-Marie Rolland, CEO of eSoftThings adds, “In addition, the very clear strategy of the Lacroix Group, in which we fit perfectly, will certainly be a catalyst for us”.

Jean-Marie Rolland

According to Emmanuel Dampoux, associate director of In Extenso Finance & Transmission, “eSoftThings, an expert in connected objects and artificial intelligence, is one of France’s up and coming technological companies.

Profitable and fast-growing, with a strong international footprint, esoftThings joins an ambitious group, in order to enable it to benefit from commercial, industrial and financial synergies. The motivation of the Lacroix Group teams, the quality of their project and their professionalism made the difference for this operation.”

The In Extenso Finance & Transmission teams, specialists in advising managers and companies in their equity financing operations, supported eSoftThings in its acquisition by Lacroix Group.

Emmanuel Dampoux

“The In Extenso Finance & Transmission team, through their approach and know-how, has demonstrated a real understanding of our expectations. They demonstrated professionalism, rigor and great agility, both in the strategic reflection phases to identify the right partner and in the negotiation and closing phases.

Their understanding of our business model, knowledge of the tech sector, in the fields of IoT and AI, was a real added value for the project. We appreciated their commitment, mobilisation and enthusiasm, even during the challenging period of confinement,” says Kimmo Vuorinen, president of eSoftThings.

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