Autodesk is acquiring Innovyze for water infrastructure solutions

Autodesk looks forward to achieving a more sustainable planet through the efficient use of water.

Autodesk has announced the acquisition of Innovyze, a water infrastructure software company, for $1 billion in cash. Surpassing PlanGrid acquisition for $875 million in 2018, this is the biggest acquisition in Autodesk’s history. The company will enable Autodesk to strengthen its position in the water and wastewater infrastructure industry.

Innovyze is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. The company provides smart water infrastructure modeling software to approximately 6500 clients in 60 countries. The company says their employees have deep expertise in water engineering. Many of their employees hold advanced degrees in the subject and the company understands customers’ needs and challenges. Autodesk CEO, Andrew Anagnost, who holds impressive credentials including a doctorate in Aeronautical Engineering and Computer Science, immediately makes a connection with transformative technologies that can help build a sustainable future. He says global water infrastructure will need an investment of $1.9 trillion by 2030. Achieving a more sustainable planet is possible by managing the use of water responsibly.

Autodesk recently wrote a letter to new Biden-Harris administration sharing its policy recommendations. One of the recommendations is improving infrastructure development and creating jobs. A big investment in US infrastructure is needed to boost the economy. Digital design and construction technologies can be key players in building sustainable infrastructure.

With the Innovyze acquisition, Autodesk is going to increase its footprint in the operations and maintenance of water infrastructure assets. The robust product portfolio of Innovyze will augment Autodesk’s BIM offerings in civil engineering. In its earnings conference call for Q4 of the fiscal year 2021, Autodesk indicated that it will be following the strategy to combine organic and the acquired software in existing and adjacent verticals to create end-to-end cloud-based solutions for the customers. Thanks to their existing capabilities in road and rail, their partnership with Aurigo, and now the Innovyze product portfolio, Autodesk feels equipped to develop end-to-end infrastructure solutions for facilities owners and public sector agencies.

Why Innovyze?

Water is the world’s most critical resource. According to World Bank data estimates, nearly nine trillion gallons of water are lost each year worldwide due to prolonged leaks and pipe breaks. Nearly 25% of global population resides in countries with water-stressed areas. Autodesk sees huge growth opportunities in infrastructure. Infrastructure projects have a long lifecycle. “An investment in infrastructure is an investment in the long-term health of Autodesk,” said Andrew Anagnost, CEO Autodesk. He said that Autodesk tends to acquire in areas where long-term opportunities are available. More probably, the company will acquire for vertical specialization in areas where established businesses have created a presence. Innovyze acquisition fits in this equation.

What do we think?

Autodesk’s long-running competition against the newly public company Bentley Systems intensifies with this acquisition. Water and waste water infrastructure software modeling tools have been one of their distinguishing product fields. These are long-term relationship deals. Even if the acquisition were not a key part of their expansion strategy, Autodesk would have to buy their way into this field.

The press release follows:

Autodesk to Acquire Innovyze, Inc. for $1 Billion; Provider of Smart Water Infrastructure Modeling and Simulation Technology

San Rafael, CA– Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Portland, Oregon-based Innovyze, Inc., a global leader in water infrastructure software, for $1 billion net of cash subject to working capital and tax closing adjustments. The acquisition positions Autodesk as a technology leader in end-to-end water infrastructure solutions from design to operations, accelerates Autodesk’s digital twin strategy, and creates a clearer path to a more sustainable and digitized water industry.

Innovyze’s modeling, simulation, and predictive analyses solutions enable more cost-effective and sustainably designed water distribution networks, water collection systems, water and wastewater treatment plants, and flood protection systems. Further, Innovyze’s solutions centralize infrastructure asset visibility to optimize capital and operational expenses. Combining Innovyze’s portfolio with the power of Autodesk’s design and analysis solutions, including Autodesk Civil 3D, Autodesk InfraWorks, and the Autodesk Construction Cloud, offers civil engineers, water utility companies and water experts the ability to better respond to issues and to improve planning.

For 35-years, Innovyze has been building innovative software for the water industry and is trusted by approximately 3,000 customers worldwide, including utility companies in many of the most populous cities across five continents, a majority of ENR’s top design firms, and leading environmental and engineering consultancies.

Today, more than two billion people lack access to safe drinking water at home, and by 2025 more than two-thirds of the world’s population will reside in water-stressed areas.

“We can achieve a more sustainable planet, but we can’t do it without responsibly managing our use of water and securing its future,” said Andrew Anagnost, Autodesk president and CEO. “An estimated $1.9 trillion is required to address global water infrastructure needs by 2030, and by fundamentally changing the way systems are designed, constructed, and operated, we are best positioned to overcome this challenge and realize the better world we’ve imagined.”

“Nearly nine trillion gallons of water are lost each year worldwide due to prolonged leaks and pipe breaks, but we cannot manage or fix what we cannot see,” said Amy Bunszel, Executive Vice President, AEC Design Solutions at Autodesk. “Innovyze’s portfolio of operational analytics, distribution modeling, and asset management solutions provides the insight needed to identify this and other potential problems before they become a crisis.”

“For thirty-five years Innovyze has been a hidden part of the daily lives of millions of people around the world, helping to deliver fresh, clean water, managing sewage and flooding in our communities, and turning wastewater into safe water,” said Colby Manwaring, CEO of Innovyze. “Similarly, if you look at the built world around us, Autodesk’s design DNA is found in just about every structure you see above ground and below, so it makes strategic sense to bring together our complementary organizations critical to much of the world’s population. We look forward to completing the acquisition and getting to work, together.”

For more information on the acquisition, please see the accompanying PDF here.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close during Autodesk’s first quarter of Fiscal Year 2022, ending April 30, 2021.