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 corporate clients. Most EKNOW sales are through management consultant partners in M&A or transformation practices.
EKNOW also directly sells and supports M&A Tools to corporate clients who do not require consultants, or who have an independent consultant relationship.
As of 2021, at 23 years, EKNOW is proud to have by far the longest track record of continuous M&A platform innovation in the industry.
How is EKNOW unique?
Unique business model
EKNOW’s flat-fee bundle (system and all support) is the only way to purchase M&A Tools.
In other words, client users are not counted; all are covered by one fee; there are no caps on users; and all necessary support is included with the platform (see /Support).
All clients and partners are offered the same pricing (see M&A Tools Support Levels). There are no discounts except for terms (e.g. pre-payment, multi-year agreements, etc.).
The benefits to EKNOW clients and partners are tremendous: Downstream costs are 100% predicable. User license administration is eliminated. No future hidden costs need be anticipated, budgeted, or approved. The decision and procurement process is streamlined. Most-favored-nation clauses are unnecessary. Neither side must worry about value left on the table. Cost of sales is minimized. And so on.
This business model is truly unique among M&A platform providers, and highly appreciated by EKNOW customers.
Unique product specialization
EKNOW is completely specialized in high-end, customizable platforms for M&A-like activity. EKNOW has no other products, services, or activities.
This is not true of any other M&A tool provider.
The benefit to EKNOW clients is the most actively developed, most capable, and most flexible high-end M&A tool in existence.
Unique organizational focus
The EKNOW organization is entirely dedicated to product development and support. In other words, if something does not support the product development and support mission, it is not part of the EKNOW organization.
That’s why Sales, Legal, HR, Consulting and other activities, when needed, are provided by partners.
This is not the case for any other comparable M&A tool provider.
For 20 years EKNOW M&A Tools purchases were almost exclusively (i.e. > 95%) six-figure annual engagements, for very large, complex M&A projects requiring highly tailored solutions.
This is not true of any other M&A platform provider.
The benefit to clients is the highest confidence in EKNOW’s organizational experience and reliability.
Unique technology approach
EKNOW’s technology strategy is highly unique: The entire M&A Tools platform is created from EKNOW M&A Objects. M&A Objects and ToolBuilder are the no-code development layer of the EKNOW software architecture.
All visible M&A Tools modules, views, data types, charts, automation, and much more, are developed 100% in M&A Objects – not in code. The code that EKNOW engineers do develop makes M&A Objects and ToolBuilder more powerful and flexible with every new release.
The benefits to EKNOW’s approach are decisive.
One benefit is that developing new tool modules and features is faster, lower-risk, and less labor intensive. EKNOW is able to release larger and more frequent functionality updates than is possible with traditional architectures.
Another benefit, just as important, is that any customer system can be unique, in small ways or large, to perfectly fit the client’s business reality. A related benefit is that no client customization diverges from the common code base, so all major updates, bug fixes, patches etc. can be applied to all clients.
This is most certainly not true of any other major M&A tool platform, or of most software generally.
Development at EKNOW
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.
Other Facts of Note
- Private and independent
- Never venture funded
- Continuous operation since 1998
- Continuous primary ownership since 1998
- Continuous management since 1998-2001
- Continuous core development team since 2000