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The history of Visma

Øystein Moan on the rise of Visma

CEO Øystein Moan looks back at the events and strategic decisions that took Visma from
near bankruptcy to becoming Europe's leading software provider. (6:56) 



Highlights in the history of Visma

1996 Visma is founded in Oslo, Norway through the merger of MultiSoft, SpecTec and Dovre Information Systems. 21,694 NA
1997 Financial crisis and turnaround.

Re-financed and re-structured.

New strategy.

Replaces most of the management and the Board of Directors is replaced.

Øystein Moan named CEO.
−37,177 310
1998 A stable and strong enterprise. 

Building the Visma Marine Division to a global leader within the shipping industry.
 27,994  325
1999 Visma Software enters Denmark and the UK.

First step towards SaaS: Visma Business e-commerce was launched, and work started on developing Web and WAP extensions of all the Visma applications.
 42,062  400
2000 The Visma Marine division sold to Dutch company Station12 for NOK 730 million.

Considerable financial resources to ensure growth.

New strategy: To offer both software and outsourcing within accounting, finance and payroll.

New division structure: From Visma Business, Visma Logistics, Visma Marine to Visma Business (Software), Visma Services.
 659,749  180
2001 Visma Logistics launched two new Internet products: one for e-procurement and one for CRM.

Spcs acquisition.

Acquires 11 leading accounting practices.

Enters Finland through the acquisition of Liinos.
 48,456  1,570
2002 Avendo (Spcs) launched in Norway - Visma enters the Norwegian micro market.

Visma Services enters the Danish market through the acquisition of Bogholderi & Administrasjon.

Through the acquisition of Møre Datasystemer, Visma enters the public sector market.
 72,537  1,570
2003 Visma enters major cooperation agreements with Norway's largest bank (DNB) and the national postal service. 91,507  1,749
2004 Establishes electronic data centre in Oslo: 2 million incoming invoices in 2005.

Visma enters the public sector market with debt collection and temp services.
113,329  2,097
2005 Major re-branding campaign in Sweden.

New division: Visma Financial & Productivity Service (Collectors, Personnel, Ajourit, Advantage).

Management Trainee Program introduced.
 258,000  2,347
2006 Enters The Netherlands through the acquisition of AccountView.

Change of ownership: British private equity firm HgCapital becomes new majority owner.

De-listed from the Oslo Stock Exchange.

Major branding campaign in Norway.
 304,913  2,515
2007 60 % growth in EBITDA.  489,969  2,843
2008 3 billion NOK in revenue establishes Visma as a major player in the Nordic region.  555,395  3,092
2009 Retail division established.

New HQ on Skøyen, Oslo.

Becomes second largest accounting firm in Finland.

10 000 SaaS users.
 684,179  3,758
2010 KKR new majority owner.

The acquisition of Sirius sees Visma enter the Software Consulting market in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
 815,103  4,442

Visma aquires Mamut.

The acquisition of Active24 sees Visma enter the hosting market.

 934,104  4,501
2012 Visma launches Visma.net - a world-leading SaaS solution for small and medium sized businesses.

Visma introduces Net Promoter Score - a renowned customer satisfaction and nurturing program.
 1,114,343 5,385

Visma signs its biggest deal to date to develop admin and communication solution for Norwegian schools.

Visma enters partnership with Swedish Internet company InExchange enabling Visma customers to send and receive e-invoices plus a range of other services.

Visma acquires Duetto Group and enters the Finnish debt collection market.


 1,325,145  5,648

Visma widens shareholder base and is valued at NOK 21 billion. New owner constellation is KKR 31,3 %, HgCapital 31,3%, Cinven 31,3%, and management of Visma 6%.

Visma enters the Latvian ERP market through the acquisition of the FMS Group.

Strong growth in Finland through the acquisitions of Logium, Finvalli and Priorite.

Visma acquires Wallmob – an innovative multi-channel retail solution.

 1,475,633  6,300


Visma establishes a new business unit – Visma Employee Management – dedicated to payroll and HRM outsourcing services.

Visma conducts several major acquisitions: e-conomic (DK), SpeedLedger (SE), Huldt & Lillevik (NO), PBJ (DK), Viklo Oy (FI), Aditro Public (SE), Digital Booker (FI) and Abalon (SE).

Visma becomes the title sponsor of Visma Ski Classics – the long distance championship. Through the sponsorship deal Visma reaches more than 50.000 participants and 70 million TV viewers.

1,744,331 7,440 


Visma has an ambitious cloud strategy, investing increasingly in cloud R&D and acquisitions of cloud software companies all over Europe. 2016 marks an all time high in both these respects. This will continue to strengthen Visma’s positions as Europe´s leading provider of SaaS solutions for businesses in both public sector and all segments of private sector.

Visma has acquired 20+ companies during 2016, supporting the strategy above. Some of them are mentioned here: Starsoft (FI) and VSWAre (IRL) will strengthen Visma’s position in the market for school admin solutions. EasyCruit (UK) is a HR SaaS solution with promising future. Both Tripletex (NO) and Dinero (DK) contribute significantly to Vismas’ portfolio of cloud ERP and accounting software for the micro and SMB markets.

In December, the BPO division of Visma was sold to HgCapital, and by that Visma is even more financially able to further strengthen and develop it´s position as the leading cloud software company for business customers.





Visma enters 2017 as a pure software company, and cloud revenue continues to be the main growth driver. By continuing its fast pace acquisition strategy, Visma strengthens its position as a leading provider of cloud software in Northern Europe.

Through acquiring Bluegarden, Visma’s largest acquisition to date, the company gains a significant position in the Danish payroll segment. During the year, Visma acquires a total of 12 companies, among them Admincontrol, Megaflex Oy and NYCE solutions, expanding its offering in several new business areas.

In June, Visma’s shareholder structure changes after KKR sells its entire remaining stake in Visma to an investor group led by HgCapital together with GIC, Montagu and ICG.






Visma expands into new markets by acquiring Szamlazz in Hungary and SaldeoSMART in Poland. The company acquires new competence in Finland with several new cloud businesses, including Weoptit, a leading company in artificial intelligence solutions.
Growth continues in the Netherlands through the acquisition of Raet, a market leader in HR and government software, along with several other companies in the same market. Visma announces its title sponsorship of Team Jumbo-Visma, world-class cycling and speedskating teams, commencing January 1, 2019.


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