By: Jean-François Marcoux
We are excited to share that Mnubo announced today its acquisition by Aspen Technology Inc (AspenTech), leader in asset optimization delivering innovative technology to accelerate digital transformation. This comes four years after White Star Capital initially invested in Mnubo to capitalize on the continued proliferation of sensors and connected objects. This move further validates Canada’s growing AI and tech startup ecosystem that has grown to generate real world value across multiple industries nationally and globally.
In 2015, the global AI market stood at US$126bn according to Statista, while the global IoT market in 2013 represented US$485.6bn. Additionally, ABI Research forecasted that deployment of connected devices were expected to grow to 41bn by 2020. We believed that, opportunities would continue to arise in the AI market, including managing operations at an enterprise scale. Off the back of this, White Star initiated a global hunt for the best IoT data analytics players in 2015 when we serendipitously met Mnubo’s founder, Frederic Bastien.
Mnubo is a full-stack IoT data analytics platform that allows enterprises across industries to develop AI / ML applications at enterprise scale. While we came across a wide swath of interesting companies in both spaces, we concluded that it was more strategic to support a startup that had the engine to power the gadget-makers of the world with their data storage and real-time data analytics. At the time, Frederic was looking for the right partner to help Mnubo scale globally. We participated in the go-to-market of the first scalable SaaS solution and then led the charge in their external funding to ensure the company could strategically scale at a faster rate beyond North America.
With the capital and guidance provided, led by White Star, Mnubo built a world-class team of data scientists and IoT data experts, as well as a full-suite IoT insights platform that helps companies rapidly transform their connected equipment data into actionable business outcomes with the aid of predictive analytics and applied AI. With our assistance,Mnubo expanded beyond its original North American footprint to a point where over half of their customer base is international. Mnubo has built an impressive presence and customer base in Japan, collaborating closely with White Star’s Venture Partner and our Japan-based investors to achieve such commercial scale and validating our global connectivity model. Their business now expands across consumer, commercial and industrial IoT verticals, including several top-tier brands such as Johnson Controls-Hitachi, Yanmar, Munich Re and more
With this transaction, Mnubo’s advanced team and incomparable technical resources in AI and IoT data analytics has now been put in the hands of major software vendor, AspenTech, providing an opportunity for large-scale adoption as this represents an ongoing trend of industry-wide tech deployment, especially with AI.
AspenTech’s salesforce has astounding expertise selling complex software to non-tech industries and will fuel the growth of Mnubo’s sales and Montreal team. The company will be able to deliver the next generation of solutions to the Process industries, as the acquisition symbolizes the growing importance of applied AI, especially as it pertains to business. AI delivers more accurate “hybrid” (i.e. AI plus first principles) models and predictions of behaviors, enabling companies to optimize margin even further. By combining first principal models with AI at enterprise scale, AspenTech will be able to deliver the next generation of solutions to its clients.
As Canada evolves into a hub for artificial intelligence startups, the acquisition of Mnubo is a perfect example of applied AI generating real world value across multiple industries through tech products sold across the globe to a diverse client base. Mnubo’s four Montreal-based entrepreneurs have committed to give back to the Quebec ecosystem by keeping the company team local and augmenting it with the financial backing of AspenTech. This is truly a success story of a Montreal AI company finding commercial success globally, as the announcement is a testament to White Star Capital’s commitment to the Quebec tech ecosystem. In addition, the acquirer will use this acquisition to make Montreal its R&D center further injecting growth into Quebec’s world-leading AI and Big Data ecosystem.