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Wednesday, 11 May 2022 12:51

IFM buys majority stake in Render Networks

By Kenn Anthony Mendoza
Sam Pratt, Dan Flemming and Joe Forbes Sam Pratt, Dan Flemming and Joe Forbes

IFM Investors’ private equity growth fund acquires a majority stake in construction management software Render Networks.

IFM acquired a stake since it views Render as a growing and profitable business. With the acquisition, IFM plans to expand its product offering and footprint into new regions and markets.

The investment of approximately $40 million, including growth capital, was led by Adrian Kerley and Bora Han from IFM Investors.

Kerley and IFM head of private equity Stuart Wardman-Browne will join the Render Network board as non-executive directors.

“We are delighted to partner with Render Networks and see this investment as one that will continue to help IFM deliver on its purpose to protect and grow the retirement savings of working people,” Wardman-Browne says.

“Render Networks is well-positioned to capitalise on the connectivity boom that is increasing at pace, as well as the global transition to a net zero economy, which requires every sector – including construction – to examine all aspects of their operations and adopt technologies that help reduce their operational footprint,” Kerley says.

“We are thrilled to partner with IFM, a global leader in infrastructure and network investment. This transaction will fund a number of clearly identified growth initiatives and help cement our position as a global industry leader in telco construction software,” says Render Networks founder Dan Flemming.

Headquartered in Melbourne and with operations in the US and UK, Render uses a proprietary geospatial construction platform to build networks more efficiently.

Render’s platform leverages algorithms and machine learning capabilities to design, plan and track construction delivery across the project lifecycle.

Among its clients are fibre network utility operators such as Strata Networks, SpringNet, and First Electric Co-operative in the US, and Wessex Internet in the UK.

It services construction contractors and turn-key project managers such as Irby Utilities and The Broadband Group in the US and has a working history with tier one delivery partners across Australia’s NBN rollout.

Render claims its technology has a track record of facilitating networks to be built up to 30% faster and with up to 50% less material waste and rework compared with traditional construction practices, which it estimates could drive cost savings for customers of around 15%.

Efficiency gained by Render’s customers also create sustainability outcomes by helping the sector avoid more than 12,000 tC02e (1*) by reducing transport emissions in the value chain and emissions associated with input materials. This emissions avoidance potential is expected to increase as the business continues to scale.

The company was co-founded in 2013 by Dan Flemming, former head of construction at NBN Co, and Joe Forbes of Biarri, a commercial mathematics incubator of B2B SaaS solutions.

The investment is the second deal for IFM’s Growth Fund, which invests on behalf of institutional investors and targets investments in proven, high-growth companies.

The fund also includes Payapps, a Melbourne-based, global SaaS provider in the construction and building management sector with operations in Australia, New Zealand, North America and Europe.

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