September 27, 2023
SAP acquires LeanIX to focus on AI-assisted IT modernization


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ERP leader SAP today announced the decision to acquire LeanIX, a German startup that provides enterprises with a clear picture of their entire software usage, covering everything from what they’ve bought, licensed, and built, to what they plan to add in the future. 

While the terms of the transaction have not been announced, reports have suggested that the amount paid by SAP is north of $1 billion. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023 and expand the company’s broader digital transformation suite aimed at accelerating modernization for enterprise customers. 

“Systems and processes go hand in hand. Together with LeanIX, we want to offer a first-of-its-kind transformation suite to provide holistic support to our customers on their business transformation journeys,” Christian Klein, CEO of SAP, said in a statement.

What does LeanIX bring to the table?

A long-standing partner of SAP, LeanIX gives enterprises a common language and single source of truth for their entire IT landscape. It uses a data-driven and automated approach to visualize the software architecture – whether built, bought or planned – and flag any applications that may become obsolete and threaten the business. This gives teams a better way to understand and shape their IT state or plan for the future.

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Since its launch in 2012, LeanIX has gathered 1,000 customers around the globe, including more than 10% of the Fortune 500 and half of the German DAX 40.

The company even offers a generative AI assistant that automates tedious documentation tasks, like creating app descriptions, and sets the foundation for an intelligent recommendation engine for IT landscape transformation.

With the latest deal, LeanIX and all it has on offer, including the new generative AI smarts, will be added into SAP’s comprehensive transformation suite.

Combining the power of multiple acquisitions into one intelligent platform

According to SAP, the startup’s IT mapping capabilities will join its Signavio (a business process automation platform acquired in 2021), RISE with SAP, and Business Technology Platform offerings.

This broader suite will give SAP’s customers an integrated, comprehensive view of IT applications and business processes, including overlaying process dependencies and mapping the impact of potential transformations on the IT landscape. With these insights, they will be able to create a culture of continuous adaptability and improvement.

“Building on our decades of expertise, we’ll (also) embed generative AI to offer self-optimizing applications and processes that can help businesses achieve key goals such as maximizing cash flow while minimizing their environmental impact,” Klein added in the statement.

This indicates that the combined offering will also serve as the foundation for AI-enabled modernization. However, it remains to be seen when and how exactly it actually takes shape.

As of now, LeanIX will continue to serve non-SAP landscapes. The company has a strong international presence with offices in Boston, London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Ljubljana. According to data from Crunchbase, it has raised close to $120 million in funding from six investors, including Insight Partners, DTCP, Capnamic Ventures, Iris Capital, Goldman Sachs, and Dawn Capital. 

The valuation, however, remains undisclosed at this stage.

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