Hot topics - 30/07/2014
Sequoiasoft on its way to market leadership: article from Le Journal des Entreprises
Sequoiasoft, specialist developer of software for tourism professionals in the accommodation and wellness markets, has just finalised two sizeable operations one after the other. Having raised €5m through Midi Capital and X-Ange Private Equity, an investment branch of La Banque Postale, Sequoiasoft has just completed its first external growth operation by acquiring the CHR (Café - Hotel - Restaurant) branch of Cegid, the leading French management software developer with a turnover of €260m and a workforce of 2000 employees. With this move, the Sequoiasoft Group, based in Sophia Antipolis (France), takes on a new dimension. With a turnover of €5.8m at the closing of the books last year, for a net profit of €500k, the Group now doubles its figure to almost €10m, with 80 team members and 3 offices in Chambéry, Sophia Antipolis and Lyon, the latter of which is due to open this Summer. Sequoiasoft now lifts itself up onto the podium of Property Management Systems (PMS) in France, equipping over 2000 establishments and managing some 35 million overnight stays per year.
A strategic alliance
Born in 2010, Sequoiasoft is the outcome of an alliance between two SMEs: Softbooking and ADN-Informatique. The two companies felt that in the face of fierce competition, joining forces was the only way forward. On the one hand, Softbooking (€3.5m turnover in 2013), based in Sophia Antipolis, develops and sells Resalys, a cloud-based software solution specially designed for managing and booking holiday rentals and outdoor accommodation. On the other, ADN-informatique (€2.3m turnover), based in Chambéry, has two software programmes to its name: Homing, for independent hotel residences, and Nymphéa, for wellness centres. The territory of both companies is clearly marked out: outdoor accommodation for the former, who claim a 28% share in the French market; and spas, wellness and thalassotherapy centres for the latter, who lead the way in this sector. On the face of it, two rapidly-growing markets... But limited compared to Sequiasoft's ambitions. "Becoming the go-to partner for tourism professionals meant broadening our scope of activity, which has so far been focused on holidays and wellness, to the hotel-restaurant sector", explains Patrice Guyot. Acquiring the CHR branch of Cegid is a step in this direction. Sequoiasoft adds two software solutions to its range - solutions currently installed on 1450 customer sites - and intends to boost its development by weighing into a sector in which "there is no dominant player", highlights Patrice Guyot. At least not yet.
Reorganisation under way
On the 1st January 2015, the three structures will unite under the Sequoiasoft banner. Sequoiasoft is to integrate the whole range of products into one platform, referred to for the time being as "Kameleon". In the next two years, a unique solution is set to emerge, bringing together the different management and operating options for tourist accommodation, restaurants and wellness centres. "This will open many doors to us, especially for resorts. We'll be able to cater for all their different needs with one single tool", claims Patrice Guyot, whose ambition is to become "the SAP of Hospitality". The Group, which is to be reorganised into two business units - medium and large accounts on the one hand and small accounts on the other - intends to adapt its overall offer to three target markets: independent businesses, chains and online travel agencies. The latter, it should be added, constitutes one of the main springboards in the Group's export performance, with a few forays already being made into the Netherlands, Great Britain and Germany. An international intern is currently stationed in San Mateo USA, to identify different angles of attack upon the American market. Sequoiasoft has set itself the ambitious aim of achieving a turnover of €20m in 2018, and becoming the No. 1 European software developer in its different markets.
By Gaëlle Cloarec