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GP Bullhound advises Rightware on its sale to Thundersoft for EUR64m

Stockholm, 19 December 2016 – GP Bullhound, the European technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Rightware on its sale to Thundersoft in a transaction valuing Rightware at EUR 64 million.

Rightware, founded in 2009, is the leading provider of automotive user interface software. The company’s flagship product, Rightware Kanzi, is used by over 20 global automotive brands. Kanzi enables the creation of digital instrument clusters and infotainment systems that enhance automotive brands and the driving experience.

Thundersoft, founded in 2008 and listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, provides operating system technology and services globally for the mobile, automotive and IoT markets. This arrangement advances Rightware to the next chapter in its growth and strengthens its presence in the global automotive software and connected car market.

Rightware’s existing shareholders include Finnish Industry Investment Ltd, Inventure Fund Ky, Nexit Ventures, the current management and the company founders. The deal is expected to be closed in early 2017. Rightware remains an independent company through its existing brand, products and focus on the automotive industry. The current management will stay at Rightware and re-invest in the company. With this first overseas acquisition, Thundersoft enters the European market and further expands its platform technology and services within the automotive industry.

Jonas Geust, CEO of Rightware comments, “Thundersoft is already an established software player in the automotive industry and the perfect fit for Rightware. Kanzi is expected to power over 25 million cars by 2022. With Thundersoft, we can expand this footprint further. This creates a huge possibility for us to position Kanzi as the industry standard software solution. GP Bullhound’s international team has been fully committed to the success of this deal and really went the extra mile for us. With their strong global reach, particularly in Asia, Per Lindtorp and his team made sure we not only had the best partner, but the right deal for the management and shareholders.”

Larry Geng, CEO of Thundersoft says, “The automotive market is one of the fastest growing segments for Thundersoft, and we are providing in-vehicle infotainment and cluster OS solutions to our customers worldwide. Rightware has the best user experience design technology, which will be featured in more connected cars in the market. In combination with Rightware’s unique technology, design knowhow and world-class talent, we can bring more value to our customers and transform the automotive industry with our innovations”

Per Lindtorp, Director at GP Bullhound, concurred with the assessments of both CEOs, “It has been a pleasure working with the investors and the management of Rightware and Thundersoft to help create a true automotive software Tier 1 supplier. As a true transformational deal in the automotive software industry, this transaction is something we are very proud to have advised on. We are seeing an increasing appetite from Asian technology companies seeking to acquire European technology companies, providing them with the capital and resources to flourish.”

Per Roman, Managing Partner of GP Bullhound, commented: “I am delighted to announce the completion of another strategic technology transaction between a Nordic venture backed company and a public Chinese acquirer. This transaction highlights how European technology is seen as attractive to buyers both in the east and in the west.”

This represents the completion of GP Bullhound’s 21st transaction in 2016 and further highlights the firm’s commitment to working with category leaders in the Software sector, following on from previous successful transactions and investments in the area, including Ecovadis (Investment from Partech Ventures), Emric (sale to Tieto), Signavio (Investment from Summit Partners), Multiposting (Sale to SAP) and Pingdom (sale to Solarwinds), among others.

Enquiries
For enquiries, please contact Per Lindtorp, Director, at per.lindtorp@gpbullhound.com or Per Roman, Managing Partner, at per.roman@gpbullhound.com.

About GP Bullhound
GP Bullhound is a leading European technology investment bank with a passion for entrepreneurship. Founded in 1999, the firm today has offices in London, San Francisco, Stockholm, Berlin, Manchester and Paris. The firm’s advisory team has completed over 230 M&A and Capital transactions to date, working with category leaders including Essence, Avito, Delivery Hero, Fjord, King Digital Entertainment, Pingdom, Innogames, Spotify and many more. Through its principal investment team, GP Bullhound provides institutions, family offices and entrepreneurs with access to some of the most ambitious privately-held technology and media companies in Europe. Furthermore, the firm’s events and speaking activities bring together thousands of Europe’s leading digital entrepreneurs and technology investors throughout the year, and its thought-leading research is read by decision makers globally, and regularly cited in leading newspapers and publications. For more information, please visit www.gpbullhound.com, follow on Twitter @GPBullhound or watch our video here.

About Rightware
Rightware® is the market leader in advanced user interface technology, serving the automotive industry and other embedded industries with its Kanzi® software product family for rapid user interface design and deployment. Featured on Deloitte’s “Fast 50” list of most rapidly growing tech companies in 2015, Rightware is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland with a presence in Silicon Valley, Detroit, Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai, London and Munich. www.rightware.com

About Thundersoft
Headquartered in Beijing and listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (300496.SZ), Thundersoft is a world-leading provider of mobile operating system and smart device solutions. The company de-livers solutions and services to markets (including smartphone, tablet, IoT, automotive and enter-prise markets) with full-stack engineering resources covering software and hardware. Thundersoft offers expertise in operating systems (Android, Linux, Windows and others), a broad software and algorithm technology portfolio, strategic partnerships with key semiconductor vendors and its global support network. These assets make Thundersoft a valuable and trusted partner for worldwide customers aiming to build innovative and high-quality smart devices that can be launched into the market after short development times. Thundersoft has seven R&D centres in China, with a global presence in Japan, South Korea and the U.S. Learn more at www.thundersoft.com.

Thundersoft is a registered trademark of Thunder Software Technology Co., Ltd. in China and elsewhere.