OSIsoft LLC, which now self-identifies as a leader in operational intelligence, has announced that SoftBank Group (“SoftBank”) has acquired a significant minority equity interest in the company.
The company is mostly known for its data historian, PI, which is used throughout industry. Over the past few years it has taken on some significant investments evidently in order to fund further growth as data and data analytics command center stage in the Internet of Things ecosystem.
The transaction is part of SoftBank’s strategy to invest in companies laying the foundational infrastructure for the next stage of the Information Revolution. SoftBank believes OSIsoft embodies this strategy, having been a longtime leader in enabling large industries to harness the massive amounts of data generated by their operational technology assets.
As part of the investment, OSIsoft and SoftBank will collaborate on developing new products and services enabling digital transformation and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and strengthening OSIsoft’s presence in new markets.
“We are helping some of the world’s most innovative companies get smarter about how they use their data. Our industrial customers and utilities demand the highest levels of service and reliability. That’s why our focus has been, and will always be, on customer success and satisfaction,” said Dr. J. Patrick Kennedy, CEO and founder of OSIsoft. “Collaborating with SoftBank will enable us to bring the concept of data infrastructure to more markets like telecommunications as well as strengthen our commitment to our customers. We’re very much looking forward to working together.”
“Industrial IoT is a central force in the digitization of the industrial economy. OSIsoft powers the key underpinnings of this digital transformation. OSIsoft’s relentless customer focus and masterfully engineered data infrastructure solutions are a direct outcome of Dr. Kennedy’s vision and passion,” said Deep Nishar, Managing Director at SoftBank. “We are excited to partner with the OSIsoft team to help realize their mission in new markets and customer segments.”
SoftBank purchased the significant minority interest in OSIsoft from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (Kleiner Perkins), TCV and Tola Capital. Kleiner Perkins and TCV first invested in OSIsoft in 2011 while Tola invested in 2012. Last year, Mitsui & Co. became an investor in OSIsoft and maintains its ownership stake.
“OSIsoft is one of those rare success stories hiding in plain sight. The company’s PI System is pervasive across industries: you probably experience the impact of its technology several times a day without realizing it. OSIsoft has also cultivated an impressive and enthusiastic fan base of loyal customers,” said David Mount, a partner in the Green Growth Fund at Kleiner Perkins. “This has been a very positive investment for us and we’ve been very proud to be part of the company’s growth. SoftBank is an ideal partner to bring OSIsoft’s PI System technology to more markets and customers.”
“When we partnered with OSIsoft in 2011, it was already a forerunner in what we now call IIoT, a market that’s expected to reach over $120 billion by 2021,” said Jake Reynolds, General Partner at TCV. “During our 6-year investment in OSIsoft, we have been amazed at the company’s growing presence and importance in this burgeoning market. We are pleased that OSIsoft has the opportunity to partner with SoftBank during its next phase in making the world’s industrial infrastructure more connected, efficient, flexible, and sustainable.”
One of the world’s most widely-used technologies for digital transformation, OSIsoft’s PI System captures data from sensors, manufacturing equipment and other devices and transforms it into rich, real-time insights to reduce costs, improve overall productivity and/or create new services. Over 1,000 leading utilities, 95 percent of the largest oil and gas companies and more than 65 percent of the Fortune 500 industrial companies rely on the high-fidelity insights from the PI System to run their businesses. Worldwide, the PI System actively handles over 1.5 billion sensor-based data streams.
The company primarily focuses on six core markets—oil and gas; utilities; pharmaceutical development and production; metals and mining; pulp and paper; and water—and is rapidly expanding into food and beverage, facilities and transportation. Wind developers leverage the PI System to increase power production and reduce maintenance costs while mining operations use it to meet their goals for environmental compliance. Water utilities save millions of liters of water a day by pinpointing leaks within the PI System. The PI System can be found inside solar farms, breweries, data centers, cruise ships, leading research laboratories, power grids, stadiums and smart devices everywhere.
OSIsoft has also fostered an extensive partner ecosystem, including over 450 interfaces and connectors to translate and deliver PI System data to popular enterprise applications and cloud platforms. More than 300 hardware manufacturers, software developers and system integrators produce PI System-based products and services.
“We have examined many data-intensive companies who assert that they will change the face of enterprise computing leveraging big data. OSIsoft has been steadily transforming the industrial sector for decades using a quantum of data heretofore not even envisaged by competing companies. OSIsoft provides the essential bridge between operational and information technology,” said Sheila Gulati, Managing Director of Tola Capital. “Partnering with the OSIsoft team on their strategic growth has been a tremendously rewarding endeavor. The Kennedy culture puts people first through their unwavering commitment to their customers and employees: this has provided the basis for their winning formula.”