Case study: Simplygon
Case Stories
25 May 2018

3D company that became part of Microsoft

Four creative entrepreneurs at the Lead incubator in Linköping had developed a new piece of software for automatic 3D-model optimization. This is the background to Simplygon, which was established in 2007 and bought by Microsoft ten years later in one of Almi Invest’s best ever business deals.

 

Simplygon is now at the forefront of 3D optimization for games. The product can be integrated into the most commonly used game development programs to automatically optimize advanced 3D graphics, saving a great deal of work and computer power. It speeds up the whole process of developing games.

 

Unlike most new technology start-ups, Simplygon was already earning money in the early years. But not enough to be able to maintain the right pace of development without the help of external capital as well. Almi Invest was the first investor back in 2008.

We could see that the technology was world class and the team had a global vision right from the start. The journey with Simplygon wasn’t always an easy one, but it was definitely worth all the effort.
Fredrik Malmström, Investment Manager at Almi Invest

A few years ago the company entered into a partnership with Microsoft, one that would lead to Microsoft buying the whole company in 2017. At the time, Simplygon had a turnover of around SEK 50 million and 30 employees, and customers included a number of gaming companies as well as Audi and Ikea.

 

Simplygon is now part of Microsoft but continues to operate from Linköping, and the software is only used in Microsoft’s products. The idea is to incorporate 3D objects into the Office programs.

Simplygon’s technology will consolidate our position within 3D and make it easier to make use of, create and share 3D products.
Kudo Tsunoda, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft

Simplygon will continue to develop as part of Microsoft. Microsoft is investing in the company and planning to grow in Linköping.

We’re delighted that Microsoft has bought Simplygon, both for Almi Invest and for Linköping. This was one of Almi Invest’s best ever business deals, with a multiple far exceeding the venture capital industry’s target of 10 times the investment, and great for Linköping that Microsoft is getting established here.
Fredrik Malmström, Investment Manager at Almi Invest

Simplygon/Ulrik Lindahl, founder

 

What’s your view of Almi Invest as an investor?
Almi Invest fulfils a vital role by investing in young growth companies before private companies make a move to invest. When we decided to raise capital, we were naturally drawn to Almi Invest.

 

What was Almi Invest’s most important contribution to Simplygon?
Almi Invest believed in our concept and technology at an early stage, despite the fact that we hadn’t completely finalized our business plan and the company wasn’t fully organized. Over the years, Almi Invest, with Fredrik Malmström as our main contact, has given us stability and professionalism in board work and they have also provided financial stability, which has enabled us to be confident about continuing to invest and grow, even during more challenging times.