EKNOW Inc. is an independent software vendor (ISV) and the developer of M&A Tools. M&A Tools is a cloud-based software platform, or “software-as-a-service” (SaaS), for managing corporate development, mergers, acquisitions and transformation initiatives.
EKNOW was founded as EKNOW LLC in 1998, and became EKNOW Inc., a Delaware C corporation, the following year. EKNOW is headquartered in the Washington, DC metropolitan area (Arlington, VA). To expand engineering and support operations in Europe, in 2016 EKNOW opened the Lisbon offices of a wholly owned EKNOW subsidiary.
EKNOW’s sole business is developing and supporting its M&A Tools platform for partners and clients. Most EKNOW sales are through consultant partners. EKNOW also sells and supports M&A Tools directly to end customers who do not need consultants. As of 2018, at 20 years, EKNOW is proud to have by far the longest track record of continuous M&A platform innovation in the industry.
For 20 years EKNOW has developed its unique M&A Tools. But EKNOW is not the best known or largest ISV. EKNOW does not have its own M&A consultants. So a frequently asked question is: How has EKNOW fit into the competitive landscape? What kind of animal is EKNOW?
EKNOW began as top level product architects who were obsessed with solving one specific set of problems: M&A business process automation. EKNOW never lost that focus. Today EKNOW remains perhaps the only independent, exclusively specialized, high-level product development house in the M&A space. Most sales of M&A Tools are through partners.
As with any specialized high-end product development house, EKNOW’s goals are defined in terms of product capability, not in terms of the sales volume or market share of our partners. EKNOW’s only mission is to develop the most capable, flexible, and easy to use M&A tool platform – no matter where this leads. This mission has led EKNOW to collaborate closely and continuously with hundreds of client M&A professionals for 20 years. It has led EKNOW to become in effect an elite tool R&D branch for its clients. It has led EKNOW to develop capabilities (see EKNOW Technology) not even considered by normal ISVs, but which are absolutely essential in the real world.
Until 2018 this mission had also meant serving a very exclusive market of large, demanding clients and their management consultant partners. EKNOW’s unique focus hasn’t changed. But EKNOW technology “trickle-down” has enabled M&A Tools to address the full market. Starting in mid-2018, EKNOW is offering M&A Tools at price points for both small M&A teams and mid-market acquirers. EKNOW’s high-end and consulting partner clients will continue to push the platform forward, to the benefit of all EKNOW clients.
Development at EKNOW
EKNOW is proud that M&A Tools have been developed entirely in-house by full-time EKNOW employees. No development has ever been outsourced. EKNOW developers who wrote the system continue to extend and improve the platform.
To non-developers, this may seem like an academic distinction. But every developer knows that it’s 10X easier to extend, repair, or integrate the code you know than someone else’s code. EKNOW’s continuous and independent stewardship of the system has been one of the keys to continuous innovation, faster response to evolving customer needs, and rapid issue resolution.
It’s also one more reason to be confident that the EKNOW merger and acquisition software platform will be actively developed for years to come.
EKNOW M&A Tools is purchased by the corporate teams, or their consultant partners, who are responsible for successful execution of post-merger integration, corporate development, or strategic corporate transformation initiatives.
Historical client profile
EKNOW clients are globally distributed and range in size from under $1 billion to nearly $50 billion in revenues. Historically, over 60% of integrations managed on M&A Tools were for transactions greater than $1 billion.
For consulting organizations, EKNOW provides and supports M&A Tools as the underlying “engine” of a tailored M&A practice toolkit. EKNOW provides M&A Tools primarily through these premium strategic consulting firms, but also sells directly to customer organizations when a consultant is not required.
EKNOW or consultant partner clients on M&A Tools include the world’s largest or among the largest multinationals in aerospace, electronics, entertainment, food & beverage, hospitality, insurance, materials manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals; as well as large banking, health care, manufacturing supplies, petrochemicals, utility, and others. (N.B.: Consulting partner agreements prohibit publication of client names.)
New client markets for 2018
Through 2017 EKNOW’s market was nearly exclusively highly tailored solutions for large clients. Two developments culminated in 2018 to make M&A Tools accessible to the rest of the market: First, over time M&A Tools had accumulated a number of features to streamline administration and configuration. Second, in Q2 2018, EKNOW completed the third generation of its M&A User Interface.
These developments enabled M&A Tools configurations for mid-market and smaller, more cost-sensitive organizations. These are EKNOW’s new Business and Team configurations, to complement the original (now named Enterprise) offering.
M&A Tools Team and Business provide the same high-end technology leveraged by Enterprise clients, but in standardized, easy to adopt and use configurations with low support requirements (customization optional for M&A Tools Business).
Other Facts of Note
- Private and independent
- Never venture funded
- Continuous operation since 1998
- Continuous primary ownership/control since 1998
- Continuous management since 1998-2001
- Continuous core development team since 2000
20 years of accelerating, client-driven improvement
The most advanced, future-proof technology platform from any M&A vendor of any size
High-end technology trickle-down benefits even smallest EKNOW customers
Continuous, independent operation since founding 1998
100% development by EKNOW in-house engineering team