Tibco To Acquire Business Analytics Pioneer Information Builders

The acquisition deal follows reports earlier this year that IBI was up for sale by owner and long-time CEO Gerald Cohen and minority investor Goldman Sachs.


Tibco Software, already a significant player in the business analytics and data management software arena, is acquiring Information Builders Inc., a pioneer and long-time player in the business analytics market, the companies announced Thursday.

The companies did not disclose the financial details of the acquisition deal. Tibco, which has made a series of acquisitions in recent years, said the IBI acquisition is the largest in its history. Both companies are privately held.

The acquisition follows reports in August that IBI had begun looking for a buyer with Goldman Sachs Private Capital, which acquired a minority stake in IBI in 2017, leading the process.

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“Data-driven insight is more critical than ever. With the acquisition of IBI, we gain access to a broader set of analytics and technology, greatly enhancing our ability to help the world’s leading organizations solve their most complex data problems,” said Dan Streetman, TIBCO CEO, in a statement. “The blend of our two companies, with strong and complementary capabilities, will further unlock the potential of real-time data for making faster, smarter decisions.”

IBI, founded in 1975, is one of the long-time pioneers in the business analytics and reporting software space. With its flagship WebFocus platform, the New York-based company offers tools for visualization and reporting, and for distributed, embedded, augmented and federated analytics.

IBI also offers a line of data management software including data preparation, integration, quality and governance tools.

IBI has been owned throughout its history by founder, chairman and onetime CEO Gerald Cohen, aside from the Goldman Sachs minority stake. In January 2019 he stepped aside from the CEO post when the company named chief operating officer Frank Vella as the new CEO. Vella was hired as COO in November 2017 with a plan to eventually take over the CEO job.

In June, at the company’s Virtual Summit 2020, IBI unveiled a broad company makeover that included a cloud-first product development roadmap as well as new products, expanded customer and partner support services, and new branding and go-to-market plans.

“We founded Information Builders with a vision of a new business intelligence product that would enable non-programmers to build their own reporting applications,” Cohen said in the statement announcing the acquisition. “We are proud of what IBI has accomplished in over four decades of innovation, and it is a privilege to join forces with a company that cares about its customers as much as we do. I am looking forward to a very bright future for our solutions, our team, and especially our customers.”

Tibco, based in Palo Alto, Calif., has been expanding its presence in the business analytics and data management space with a steady stream of acquisitions over the years. The company’s first real entrance into business analytics came with its 2007 acquisition of data visualization software company Spotfire, followed by acquisitions of StreamBase Software in 2013, Jaspersoft in 2014 and Alpine Data Labs in 2017.

On the data management front the company’s acquisitions have included LogLogic in 2012, Cisco’s Data Virtualization business in 2017, Orchestra Networks in 2018 and SnappyData last year. Tibco also markets a line of application integration and API management software.

Both IBI and Tibco have active channel partner programs, the latter with its Acceleration Partner Program that includes VARs, solution providers, system integrators and cloud providers. The company also works with OEM and ISV partners.

Tibco said the IBI acquisition is the biggest in its 20-plus year history. The company said the addition of IBI’s analytics and data management products to its technology portfolio “will augment Tibco’s Connected Intelligence platform” to more deeply address customers’ end-to-end data management and business analytics needs.

Tibco specifically said IBI’s data quality, preparation and integration products will support the Tibco Any Data Hub (data unification) and Responsive Application Mesh (application architecture) product strategies, while WebFocus will enrich Tibco’s Hyperconverged Analytics (business analytics) strategy.

Tibco, which is owned by Vista Equity Partners, said it expects to complete the acquisition during the first quarter of its fiscal 2021, subject to customary conditions and certain regulatory approvals.