2018 was a year of European expansion for the Visma Group. Visma has gone from being a strong Nordic player to being the largest cloud software provider in Northern Europe.
During the year, Visma has become one of the leading software providers in the Netherlands through four strategic acquisitions, among them Raet – Visma's largest acquisition to date. Visma also expanded to Estonia through the acquisition of the leading SaaS accounting provider Merit Tarkvara and Hungary through the acquisition of the fast-growing e-invoicing service Szamlazz. We have sharpened the strategic focus on our core cloud software offering through the divestitures of Visma Hosting and Visma Retail.
Overall, the economies in Visma's core markets are performing well despite a turbulent global political climate. The Norwegian and Swedish export sectors have been benefiting from weak currencies and have contributed to good economic growth in these countries. Also, the Danish, Dutch and Finnish economies showed healthy growth during 2018. Overall, the Nordic economies are stable with above-average growth rates compared to Europe and we remain positive about the macro-economic situation, although the global political situation may hold surprises for 2019.
Strong growth across all segments
Visma experienced good revenue growth across all segments. The strongest growth was in the Enterprise segment, which grew 53,8 % year on year. Revenues in Visma's largest segment, SMB, grew by 18,9 %. Custom Solutions grew by 49,7 %. Commerce Solutions grew by 38,5 %. Visma is combining its organic revenue growth with an active acquisition program. During 2018 Visma acquired 18 companies, most of them fast-growing cloud computing companies. Through the acquisition program, Visma gets access to new technology, new talent and new markets.
Cloud computing continues to be a key driver for growth
With more businesses seeing the benefits of SaaS software, the demand for cloud computing and mobile solutions will keep growing. Visma has invested heavily in its SaaS products since 2010, and we are now seeing the benefits of the demanding transition to becoming a cloud company. Revenues from Cloud Computing grew by 56,4 % in 2018, to NOK 7 553m.
The entry-level solution eAccounting now has more than 100,000 customers across Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands. Adding local SaaS champions, such as e-conomic in Denmark, Netvisor in Finland and Tripletex in Norway as well as the international flagship solution Visma.net, Visma has well over 650,000 SaaS customer contracts.
Growth across all markets
Visma has a strong presence in the Nordic, Baltic and Dutch markets where we have achieved good market positions, high brand awareness, operational efficiencies and competitiveness. Visma's ambition is to be the national and regional leader in its product categories, an advantage versus global competitors. During 2018, Visma experienced strong growth in all markets. Through the acquisition of Raet, Visma's largest acquisition to date, we also got a significant position in the Dutch payroll and HRM market. We look forward to improving and expanding our payroll and HRM offering to customers across all markets in the years to come.
In the coming years, Visma will consider expansion to new, well regulated, politically stable geographies through the acquisition of market leading local SaaS companies. We will remain loyal to the strategy of being a strong and sizeable player in each market, rather than spreading thin globally.