Canadian software firm builds UK presence with £12m Bristol proptech acquisition

May 21, 2021

Bristol market-disrupting specialist software firm Terrafirma has been bought by a leading international business in the sector for £12m.

Terrafirma, which is based at Aztec West, specialises in identifying ground hazards which may have been hidden for years. 

Its team of geologists, soil scientists and mining engineers have developed pioneering techniques, using artificial intelligence (AI) to create innovative ground risk models which can be implemented globally.

Its new owner, Toronto Stock Exchange-listed Dye & Durham, is a leading provider of cloud-based software and technology for legal and business professionals.

It said the acquisition was a natural extension of its workflow platform and provided its legal and conveyancing client base with seamless access to these valuable insights.

Terrafirma CEO Tom Backhouse, pictured, launched the company in 2015 with the ambition to educate the conveyancing sector about mining-related ground stability risk. 

He said the takeover would enable Terrafirma to level up and continue its growth journey in the UK’s property and legal markets.

Dye & Durham CEO Matt Proud added: “This acquisition is consistent with our stated objective of expanding within the ecosystems in which we operate, and in this case, brings onto our platform mission critical aspects of the UK property transaction process.

“The company is now at a scale where we can fund these types of acquisitions from the free cash we generate from our operations, leaving our $1bn capital intact to fund larger acquisitions as we execute on our ‘build to a billion’ strategy.”

Terrafirma’s shareholders were advised by Bristol boutique law firm Roxburgh Milkins, Corsham, Wiltshire-based accountancy firm Purple Lime, and Hazlewoods, the Cheltenham accountancy firm.

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