Toronto-based safety management software provider eCompliance received a $40 million majority investment from U.K.-based Alcumus Holdings Ltd. and eCompliance CEO Adrian Bartha says it will allow the company to expand its portfolio of products, accelerate investment in its core product and support safer and healthier workplaces in Europe and North America.
“$40 million is a lot of money and I think it’s really recognition that the companies, construction companies too, many of them are taking safety to the next level and there are many more that want to,” said Bartha. “For me, this is like my baby and I want to make sure we are set up not only for success over the next couple of years, because we have been growing really well, but I want to set us up for how we want to help our client companies over 10 or 20 years. I want us to be longer term minded and continue to be customer focused.”
Alcumus is backed by the private equity firm Inflexion and eCompliance will operate as the North American arm of the company. Although a lot of investors showed interest in the company, it took about nine months to find a good fit.
“For the first six months of the year I got to know different parties and evaluated who would be a better cultural fit for us, looking beyond money to where do the values align and how can we take capital from an organization that is on the same mission as us and aligned for the long term with our customers interests in mind,” Bartha explained.
“That people first philosophy and having a purposeful organization is something we are completely aligned on.”
In 2012, Bartha and his business partner Josh LeBrun, with the help of entrepreneurs from Canada and the U.S., took over the online training company with 12 employees from the previous owners and began building eCompliance into a cloud-based product designed to protect the frontline workforce in hazardous industries, indicates the company’s website.
“I think the good news is there is a lot of interest in general about how do we, on one hand, make organizations safer and how technology does that and, on the other hand, there is an interest in software and technologies that support industries like construction,” said Bartha. “Software in particular has been overlooked in years past so I think there is an interest in how do we support these industries and get everyone on the same playing field.”
Bartha will stay on as CEO of the company and he said his role will not change much.
“My role will be to head up North American operations and to continue to innovate our product for our customers and accelerate that,” Bartha said. “This will help us do a lot of the investment in products for our customers even faster than we would otherwise… We have come a long way in seven years but we want to have twice as much impact for our clients in half the amount of time in the next couple years.”
In addition to allowing eCompliance to invest more in research and development, Alcumus has software products that are innovative and new to the North American market.
“At the same time, in the U.K. market, they are missing the product that we have here so it’s really about getting the best products on both sides of the pond,” said Bartha.
“We will be growing the team here in Toronto and it just becomes part of a bigger group of safety nerds around the world. At the end of the day, if we can make companies safer and we have more safe companies winning more work and being recognized for it, that’s a good thing for the entire construction industry.”
While both companies are focused on health and safety, Alcumus also helps customers access work. By joining forces, eCompliance will provide more of a variety of offerings to solve challenges with respect to safety and accessing work, said Bartha.
“The clients can expect that we are going to continue to evolve and make the product even better based on their feedback — our clients’ feedback is where we get most of the great ideas,” he noted.
“We will have some new products that customers have been interested in or asking about and we’re going to start testing them in North America with our clients first throughout the rest of 2019.”
Follow Angela Gismondi on Twitter @DCN_Angela.