SD Worx subsidiary Protime acquires Spanish sector peer SoftMachine
22 December 2023
"We have the ambition to become the European market leader in workforce management solutions"
Mechelen, 22 December 2023 - Protime, the Belgian market leader in time registration and work scheduling, is acquiring its Spanish sector peer, SoftMachine. SoftMachine is a specialist provider in its home country and supports some 450 medium-sized (inter)national customers. The acquisition is part of Protime’s ambition to become the European market leader in workforce management solutions. The software company, based in Mechelen, is already active in its neighbouring regions including the UK, Scandinavia and now, in Spain.
Protime is a reference name in time registration in Belgium and the Netherlands but aims to become so in all 26 countries where its parent company, leading European HR services provider SD Worx, operates. To accelerate this international expansion, the software company acquired all the shares of its Spanish sector peer, SoftMachine. Softmachine is a specialist timekeeping provider in its home country and employs 40 people at its Barcelona headquarters and Madrid office. Last year, SoftMachine had a turnover of €3.6 million.
"By expanding with strong local partners, such as SoftMachine in Spain, we are strengthening our ambition to become the best provider of workforce management solutions in Europe,” Gille Sebrechts, CEO of Protime says. "Company culture is a very important factor for Protime, and we see many synergies with SoftMachine’s.”
"From our very first discussions, this match of cultural values was clear. At the same time, we will be part of a strong European company. We will pool our knowledge, expertise, and network to offer our customers the best tools and services for timekeeping. It also allows us to continue investing in the personal growth and well-being of our employees”, comments Marc Noëlle, founder of SoftMachine.
"Since we started in 1989, we have developed a successful time management solutions with the valuable support from our staff and our customers in order to add value to their organisations and the society. Joining Protime now, we will continue to successfully achieve new goals with our customers and grow further”, comments Oscar Bermejo, founder of SoftMachine.
The current management team at SoftMachine will remain on board. The acquisition price will not be disclosed. For this transaction, SD Worx was advised by DLA Piper Spain and EY. SoftMachine was advised by ILV SILVER.
To 10,000 customers in five years
With this acquisition, SoftMachine joins one of the largest workforce management providers in Europe. Protime also closed a commercial agreement with Nedap last week in the Netherlands to take over their time registration customers.
Protime has ambitious goals. It aims to double its customer base to over 10,000 customers in Europe within five years, by becoming active in more countries but also by growing further in its home market, Belgium. To this end, Protime will be looking to hire at least 100 additional employees in the coming year, most of whom will be based in Mechelen. Among others, Protime is looking for technical profiles, developers, consultants, customer service employees, and project managers to support its growth.
"In recent years, companies have started working more flexibly, but this flexibility does comes with challenges. Time registration can help employees maintain a healthy work-life balance. Similar to how a heart rate monitor alerts us when we are exercising too intensely, online registration tools are essential in raising concerns for employees by signalling systematically working overtime, for instance,” concludes Gille Sebrechts.
Founded in 1995, Protime is the market leader in time recording, workforce scheduling and access control. Thanks to a continuous focus on innovation, the company delivers workforce management solutions across a wide range of customers and sectors. For example, Protime has over 5,000 time registration installations in Europe and this at almost 4,700 customers across Europe. Protime has been voted Great Place to Work for 10 years in a row and strives to be a "Once in a lifetime employer". The organisation has about 500 'Protimers' and will achieve a turnover of €56 million by 2023.
Founded in 1989, SoftMachine is a company specialized in the development and implementation of Time and Attendance and Access Control systems. With a sustained growth during all these years, they now have a wide international and sectorial experience designing and implementing solutions for the areas involved in People Management. Their main objective: to grow together with their clients, making their investments worthwhile.