After 17 years of self-financing the growth of their technology company, last week the co-founders of GSoft received $125 million from the Caisse de depot et placement du Québec (CDPQ) to fund acquisitions.
“We have thousands of customers in over a hundred countries, so for us, it makes a lot of sense today to find products that complement our offering and create value for our customers,” said Simon de Bain, president of GSoft.
GSoft took its first steps into services in 2006 and began developing its own software three years later. Its flagship products include Sharegate, a management solution in Microsoft 365 used by IT professionals to achieve digital business transformation, and Officevibe, designed to increase team performance, engagement and identity.
A rare course
GSoft’s journey is an exception in the tech world: Self-funded product development over a long period of time, growing from 0 to 400 employees and achieving international success is rare.
“When we initially offered services, we billed by the hour. We were paid very little and put the surplus in the bank, knowing that it would come in handy one day. We still have Desjardins receipt with $1 million in the bank account! The entrepreneur smiled, happy to be disciplined.
Money was invested in the creation of the first product, Sharegate and so on. CDPQ joined the shareholders when GSoft was in excellent financial health.
“It gives us more avenues for our ambitions, Simon de Bain assesses. And I’m glad I wasn’t paid when I was 20 and just founded GSoft! At 20, I didn’t know anything. At 37, we know what we’re doing and We did well for 17 years.
Improve the employee experience
GSoft’s targeted acquisitions aim to provide more products to improve the employee experience at companies. Recently, GSoft acquired Didacte in Quebec, which specializes in in-house training management. The transformation of the world of work caused by the pandemic represents great potential in Mr de Bain’s view.
“It’s like the world of work has reset itself and we’ve traveled back 15 to 20 years. For us, it’s an opportunity to innovate and seize the moment to take GSoft to the next level with Kaisse,” said the founder.
GSoft is becoming a laboratory to experiment with all solutions to improve the employee experience in the context of remote work. Three months before the pandemic, the company opened beautiful office spaces, making it a “distributed” company, and thus with employees across the country. Known for its culture, GSoft had to adapt to a new reality.
“We’ve managed to be an organization that sparks passions. We get together two or three times a year,” says Simon de Bain, for whom people and projects must now be the focus.