AquaForest Acquired by French SDK Company, ORPALIS – Boss Equity Advises on the Deal

Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, UK & Muret, Haute Garonne, France 

16th February 2021 - When Neil Pitman, MD at digital search technologies company, Aquaforest, first approached Boss Equity to handle the sale of his business, he initially didn't have any fixed ideas regarding potential acquirers.  As the process unfolded, however, it became clear that the preferred acquirer would need to be one that would gain strategic value from Aquaforest. Importantly, they would also need to have a similar company culture.

Both Neil and Mark Edwards, (CEO at Boss Equity), felt this would achieve the best results for the merged companies, post-acquisition.

After meticulous research by Boss Equity, all parties were very happy to discover ORPALIS, who have a similar culture as well as complementary, industry-leading technology.  With ORPALIS focussing on markets for software developers and Aquaforest primarily targeting administrators and power users, both companies’ solutions are closely aligned.


Aquaforest logo

Aquaforest Solutions – "Making Content Findable"   

Aquaforest’s solutions are built around one critical need: making content findable.

The company’s flagship products provide high performance automated batch OCR and conversion to searchable PDF’s for Windows servers (Autobahn DX), an audit, OCR conversion, and metadata tagging tool for SharePoint and Office 365 documents (Aquaforest Searchlight), and a no-code, low code automation tool for the Microsoft platform Power Automate (PDF Connector).

Moving forward, Aquaforest will be able to take full advantage of the document technologies provided by ORPALIS, enhancing value by extending their solutions and adding to their product set, whilst also fuelling further growth over the coming years.

ORPALIS is the publisher of SDKs for PDF, document imaging, OCR, barcodes and formats, for desktop (GdPicture.NET Document Imaging SDK), web (DocuVieware HTML5 Viewer and Document Management Kit), and Cloud (PassportPDF) applications. It also develops the popular PaperScan Scanning Software, used by millions of people worldwide.


ORPALIS Imaging Technologies logo

ORPALIS – The rationale behind the acquisition   

Elodie Tellier, Managing Director of the ORPALIS Group and member of the PDF Association Board of Directors, explained some of the rationale behind the acquisition: “Right from the start, Boss Equity highlighted that our two companies were truly complementary, with both a good strategic and cultural fit. Although both companies were acting in a global market with an international team, we’re still based in different countries so, before progressing the deal, we needed to be sure that Aquaforest and ORPALIS shared a common vision.

She continued: “By combining our extensive SDK with Aquaforest solutions, customers will benefit from an enhanced set of features all in one place. This means they will no longer have to rely on several tools to manage their PDFs and electronic documents.”

It’s well-known there is growing demand for contextual data capture and analytics by extracting intelligence and knowledge from unstructured information held in PDF documents. ORPALIS is focused on building the engines to satisfy this demand. Their SDK offer goes far beyond PDF analysis and OCR, covering the full life-cycle of electronic documents, from acquisition to storage. With the Orpalis’set of tools, Aquaforest’s enterprise solutions will benefit from an extended set of features.

Neil Pitman, Founder and CEO of Aquaforest, commented: “This is great news for existing and future Aquaforest customers.   Extending our solutions to take full advantage of the industry-leading document technologies provided by ORPALIS will bring even greater value to our product set.”

Looking forward..

The enforced upsurge in remote working over the past year, means that more than 200 million global users now rely on and trust SharePoint. Any organization that has not completed their digitization process will need to progress this at pace or risk being left behind.

Additionally, companies with existing solutions will need to go further and integrate the latest technologies to facilitate and secure their workflows.

Depending on their needs and constraints, customers of the combined companies will now benefit from the choice between a complete SDK (Software Development Kit) to develop a customized solution or a set of enterprise software.

Neil Pitman commented: “One of the key trends we see is a growing demand for contextual data capture and analytics by extracting intelligence and knowledge from unstructured information held in PDF documents.   ORPALIS and Aquaforest are focused on building the underlying technology to meet this demand. The combined offer goes even beyond PDF analysis and OCR, as it covers the full life-cycle of electronic documents, from acquisition to storage and ongoing management. By incorporating ORPALIS technology, Aquaforest’s enterprise solutions will benefit from an extended set of features and we believe that together we can create solutions that will be highly significant in the electronic document industry.”

About ORPALIS   
Muret, France-based ORPALIS is a privately held and fast-growing company, specialized in document imaging editing software, PDF processing tools and large-scale document flow management solutions for professionals of all industries and individuals worldwide.

About Aquaforest Ltd
Aquaforest was established in 2001 to provide High-Performance PDF, OCR and SharePoint products to a worldwide market. Aquaforest are experts in Searchable PDFs. Thousands of organizations rely on Aquaforest solutions as part of their document workflow processes.

About Boss Equity & Mark Edwards
Boss Equity are international, strategic M&A advisors for the software sector. Established in 1999, Boss Equity work wth clients to position them for sale and unlock greater returns at exit.
CEO, Mark Edwards has several decades of experience in the software tech sector and over 100 successful business sales to his name. More about Mark Edwards

19 February 2021