TA Associates, a global growth private equity firm, and LEA Partners, a technology-focused private equity firm, announced an agreement to merge Enscape, a leading developer of real-time rendering and design workflow technology for the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industries, and Chaos, a world leader in photorealistic rendering technology. The merger will establish a global leader in the 3D visualization and design workflow software sectors, with a focus on the AEC, Visual Effects (VFX), and Product Design verticals.
Founded in 2017, Enscape offers solutions that connect directly to modeling software for the AEC industry—integrating design and visualization workflows seamlessly into one. This allows the company to support its customers through the entire design process with unprecedented ease of use, enabling faster concept iteration, real-time collaboration, and feedback. With its innovative solutions, Enscape has quickly grown since entering the market, establishing its position as a leading provider to the AEC industry.
Chaos, founded in 1997, is widely known as a world leader in visualization and computer graphics, offering an ecosystem of 3D rendering, real-time visualization, and simulation software. Chaos’ flagship rendering solution, V-Ray, is the go-to visualization tool across multiple industries, supporting everything from architecture, product designs, and world-class advertising campaigns to visual effects in film and television. In addition to V-Ray, Chaos provides a broad suite of connected tools, including Phoenix, Cosmos, Vantage, Scans, and Cloud, as well as the Corona Renderer.
The newly-combined company, which will retain the Chaos name, aims to develop and strengthen its product portfolio to create a comprehensive end-to-end visualization ecosystem, designed to meet the evolving needs of its customers. All products from both company portfolios will continue to operate and be available under their respective name, including leading products, Enscape, V-Ray, and Corona.
Peter Mitev, CEO and co-founder of Chaos, and Christian Lang, CEO of Enscape, will share the title of co-CEO for the new company. Vladimir Koylazov, co-founder of Chaos and current head of software operations, will also continue to drive R&D and innovation in a leadership position. The joint workforce will total more than 500 employees across the globe, with corporate headquarters in Karlsruhe, Germany, and additional offices in Sofia, Prague, Tokyo, Seoul, Los Angeles, and New York.
“Enscape has seen a period of extraordinary growth, outpacing an already fast-growing market. We are thrilled to join forces with Chaos as we seek to further our scale, recognizing that our companies are highly complementary and share an end-to-end product vision. With the support of LEA and TA, we will significantly increase our investment in growth, technology, and people,” says Lang.
“Visualization is critical to creating the future—both in the real world and the metaverse,” says Mitev. “We are excited to team up with Enscape, TA, and LEA Partners to bring forth the world’s best 3D visualization ecosystem.”
“Since our initial investment, we have worked closely with the Enscape management team to grow the company into a leading provider for the AEC industry, and this is only the beginning,” says Christian Roth, managing partner at LEA Partners. “We find that bringing together Enscape and Chaos offers a unique opportunity to build a tech powerhouse to lead the way in AEC and beyond.”
“We have been impressed by the growth, high-quality product offerings, and loyal customer base of both Chaos and Enscape. Together, we believe the company can build on its strong momentum to create a global leader in the 3D visualization and design workflow space. In partnership with LEA, we are excited to invest in the company’s future by deepening product capabilities and growing the breadth of offerings and geography,” said Stefan Dandl, principal at TA.
TA will join LEA, Enscape’s current majority shareholder, in the newly-combined company alongside the management of Chaos and Enscape, who will retain a significant minority stake. As part of the transaction, Sean Flaherty will also become chairman of the board of directors of Chaos. Flaherty, the former CEO of Vectorworks and Chief Strategy Officer of Nemetschek Group, currently serves as chairman of the board at Enscape.
The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2022. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.