Progress Software Buys Telerik for $262.5M As Buying Spree Continues

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In a deal today involving two companies with links to the Boston area, Progress Software, which helps companies build business software, announced it was buying Telerik for $262.5M. Telerik’s portfolio includes a .net toolbox, a mobile development platform and a CMS called Sitefinity, as well as access to a developer community of over 1.4M people.

According to Karen Tegan Padir, president of application development and deployment at Progress, her company has been around for 30 years providing tools for application development and data connectivity, and has been profitable, but they weren’t growing, so a couple of years ago the company developed a strategy to return to its core development roots and began purchasing companies to help it modernize and grow.

This began last year when Progress bought Platform as a Service provider, Rollbase in June, 2013. A year later, it purchased Modulus, a company that gives it play in Node.js. Padir told Computerworld at the time of the sale, “Running JavaScript on the server, Node.js allows developers to use the same language for the front-end user interfaces and the back-end processing. Node brings JavaScript to the full stack.”

Today’s purchase of Telerik is another step in that strategy to modernize the company. Padir said while her company has offered some front-end creation, it’s fair to say that Telerik gives Progress some serious UI chops it had been lacking and builds on these other tools.

What’s more, she told me combining the companies isn’t just about tools, it’s also about growth. She said Telerik had $60M in revenue last year and is growing at a rapid 20 percent per year. And Progress gets access to Telerik’s community of more than 1.4M developers. Plus it gives Telerik a different way of selling.

Whereas Progress has been a traditional sales and marketing company, she said Telerik gets 50 percent of its sales online without anyone ever talking to the customer. They want to develop more of that non-traditional sales style and Padir said this could be particularly useful when combined with other online properties like Rollbase.

Al Hilwa, an analyst who covers software development for IDC says it’s a good deal for Progress and gives them access to a new set of tools, but they’ll need to tread lightly with their acquisition. “Telerik’s offerings do not overlap with Progress and mostly allow it to expand its reach to other areas of development and specifically to the Microsoft ecosystem of developers. This is new for Progress, though many of its traditional users use .NET technologies, it has not typically addressed that space. To keep this growth going, Progress has to execute well on this acquisition and essentially operate Telerik with a high degree of independence,” he wrote me in an email.

Progress describes itself as “simplifying the development, deployment and management of business applications on-premise or in the cloud, on any platform or device, connected to any data source.” The company claims 4 million users and 47,000 businesses in over 175 countries run applications on the Progress OpenEdge platform and database.

Progess works on the back end providing tools to build applications, while Telerik provides tools for building the interface on the front end. The two companies together compliment one another as Telerik combined with their other recent purchases, gives Progress front-end mobile development tools it was lacking, giving them a strong portfolio of products across platforms and locations providing customers with a comprehensive development platform in mobile, cloud, on-premises or the web.

Progress is based in Bedford, MA and Telerik’s US headquarters are in Waltham, MA with it’s world headquarters in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Photo Credit: (c) Can Stock Photo