Infor buys business analytics vendor Birst

Infor wants to merge Birst's enterprise analytics with its industry-focused ERP software.

Enterprise software vendor Infor said it plans to acquire cloud-based business analytics company Birst. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Birst has raised a total of $156 million in venture funding, with the most recent $65 million Series F round completed in 2015.

Based in San Francisco, Birst is known for its cloud BI and analytics platform, which is used by customers such as Kellogg's and Citrix.

Infor said it plans to use Birst to offer customers a consolidated platform to "render insights, discovery, correlations, and predictive analytics in a highly consumable user interface." In other words, Infor wants to merge Birst's enterprise analytics with its industry-focused ERP software.

"BI companies provide the analytics platform but don't understand industry processes and potential insights," Infor said in a press release. "Application companies understand the processes and industries but have lacked the platform to render data and analytics. Infor and Birst represent the convergence of these worlds."

Infor made headlines in November when it was revealed that Koch Industries paid roughly $2.5 billion for a minority stake in the New York-based software firm. The stake was a turning point for Infor and is likely supplying the cash for Infor's deal to buy Birst.

Prior to the Birst deal, Infor's last acquisition was in June 2016 when it bought Starmount, makers of point-of-sale, mobile shopping, and store inventory management software for omni-channel retailers. A month before that, Infor acquired Merit Globe AS, providers of consulting services for Infor's enterprise resource management system across Europe.

One of Infor's largest acquisitions came in August 2015 when it bought supply-chain management software GT Nexus for $675 million.

At the time, Infor said it planned to use GT Nexus to create a global commerce cloud with end-to-end control and visibility. But more specifically, the deal set up Infor to better compete with legacy vendors Oracle and SAP for customers looking for specialized, hands-off business management systems.

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