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Siemens To Buy Mendix For $730M To Make IoT Development Easier

The German industrial giant hopes to accelerate adoption of its MindSphere industrial Internet of Things platform with the acquisition of the Boston-based company.

Siemens wants to boost adoption of its industrial Internet of Things platform by making application development faster and easier with a new acquisition.

The German industrial giant announced on Wednesday that it has signed an agreement to acquire Mendix, a Boston-based provider of low-code application development software. Siemens said the deal was valued at 628 million Euros, which amounts to roughly $730 million in U.S. dollars. The company expects the acquisition to close in the first quarter of Siemen's 2019 fiscal year.

Klaus Helmrich, a Siemens AG board member, said the acquisition is meant to extend the company's "leading position in digitalizing the industrial world."

"Mendix is a leader in the rapidly expanding low-code segment and their platform will help our customers to adopt [Siemens' IoT operating system] MindSphere even faster by accelerating cloud-based application development for the industrial Internet of Things," he said in a statement.

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When the acquisition closes, Mendix will become part of the software business of Siemens' Digital Factory Division, though the company is also expecting to use the platform across other divisions. Derek Roos, co-founder and CEO of Mendix, will retain his position and join the Siemens PLM Software senior leadership team.

Siemens said it will invest in Mendix's independent product roadmap and while continuing to support the platform's wide range of verticals and customers. The company said it expects Mendix to accelerate Siemens' current cloud, IoT and digital enterprise software capabilities.

Founded in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and headquartered in Boston, Mendix has more than 400 employees and raised at least $38 million in capital from investors, including Battery Ventures. Most recently, the company was listed in Gartner's 2018 Magic Quadrant for Mobile App Development Platforms. It was also among CRN's 20 coolest cloud platform vendors of the 2018 Cloud 100.

The acquisition announcement comes after Siemens launched a partner program for its MindSphere industrial IoT platform last fall, which targets systems integrators, app developers, consultants and other groups.

Shawn Sandoval, president of KAASM, a Seattle-based solution provider that primarily sells Siemens software, told CRN that his company has been evaluating whether to switch to MindSphere for building its own IoT apps and said the Mendix news was encouraging.

"It sounds like they made an acquisition to ease the development burden," he said.

One of Siemens' challenges with MindSphere adoption, Sandoval said, is that systems integrators generally don't have as much coding experience as "type A" developers.

"Just knowing the challenges that are there, I think it's a smart move trying to remove that disparity between the two," he said.

With a number of competing IoT platforms out there, including PTC's Thingworx, Mendix is a way Siemens can further differentiate itself, according to Sandoval.

"The problem with those platforms is you're fighting for developers," he said, "and to pull them away you have to make a really compelling argument."

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