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Smallpdf acquires leading document processing technology provider, PDF Tools

Smallpdf, the Zurich-based document and contract management solution provider and one of the world’s top 200 most visited websites with over 50 million active users every month, has acquired Swiss-owned PDF Tools for a cash consideration of $30 million. This acquisition comes at a time of hyper-growth for Smallpdf, solidifying its position as a leading force in the $22 billion global document management market.

PDF Tools is a best-in-class document processing technology provider founded in 2002 and is focused on superior PDF output quality and security. Their unmatched document processing capabilities, especially compression and their blue-chip software solutions, as well as their Swiss standard of engineering has made them the top choice for over 6,000 clients in 70 countries, including Smallpdf, Lufthansa, UBS, and Swiss Life, among others.

‘We’re very proud and excited to announce this milestone in Smallpdf’s journey,’ says Dennis Just, CEO of Smallpdf. ‘PDF Tools has been a superb partner of ours over the years. Their market-leading document rendering, manipulation, and conversion solutions have been the backbone of Smallpdf’s most used products. Joining forces will help us accelerate our product roadmap to make our easy-to-use document management software solutions more powerful and deliver even more value to our current and future customers.’

Since its founding in 2013, Smallpdf has expanded from a single PDF compression tool to a suite of over 20 PDF tools with over a billion lifetime users from every country in the world. The company has more than doubled its staff in the past year and now counts over 90 employees between its Zurich, Belgrade, and newly opened Barcelona offices. This acquisition will strengthen the company’s core offerings and opportunities at vertical integration, besides strengthening expansion opportunities into new market segments and product lines.

The acquisition was made possible because of Smallpdf’s strong positive cash flow generation. This comes at a time of high growth and expansion for Smallpdf and will help cement the company’s position as a global leader in PDF management and technology. PDF Tools’ suite of solutions will complement Smallpdf’s vision to offer a comprehensive document management solution to its users and clients.

Hans Bärfuss, Founder and CEO of PDF Tools, notes, ‘This is the next big step for PDF Tools and we are confident that it will bring more value to our clients and employees. I will be transitioning to an advisory role and I’m happy to see that PDF Tools will be safe in the hands of another Swiss success story with similar values to ours. As both companies believe in quality products delivered through Swiss excellence, we expect a smooth transition and compatibility in terms of work ethic and culture fit with Smallpdf.’

Building on its vigorous growth and expansion, Smallpdf is actively looking to fill several new vacancies in Zurich, Belgrade, and Barcelona. Having adopted a hybrid working model to suit everyone, the company also offers a host of other benefits to support a colorful and fulfilling work experience. Click here to view all current vacancies.

About Smallpdf

Made in Switzerland, the land of watches, banks, and clean design, Smallpdf is an award-winning company that offers a suite of clever document management tools for everyone—for work, for home, for life. Founded in Switzerland in 2013, Smallpdf provides a simple, secure, and reliable answer to the world’s PDF challenges, and has become the most loved and trusted PDF software on the planet. We’ve served over a billion users in 24 different languages since 2013, and in every country in the world!

Smallpdf integrates seamlessly with professional and personal tasks, boosting productivity and simplifying the way people manage their documents, with tools to compress, convert, edit, sign, protect, and unlock PDF documents in just a few easy steps.

Smallpdf.com is the most visited website in Switzerland and consistently ranks in the top 200 websites in the world. The Smallpdf team works tirelessly to keep its servers in top shape for its 50+ million monthly users. We believe simple software solutions should be accessible to everyone, which is why our software is affordable, easy to use, and device-agnostic.

Users can get exclusive, unlimited access by subscribing to Smallpdf Pro, which boasts a host of additional features, like connected tools, batch processing, and offline access via the Smallpdf Desktop App. Teams and businesses are also covered with Smallpdf for Teams and Smallpdf for Business, which offer all the features of Smallpdf Pro, plus additional benefits, like priority support, billing management, and bulk discounts.

Welcome to Smallpdf, the first and only PDF software you’ll love.

About PDF Tools

PDF Tools AG is a leading global provider of software solutions and programming components for the creation, editing, reproduction, and archiving of PDF and PDF/A files. The company was founded in 2002 by the internationally renowned expert, Dr. Hans Bärfuss. Today, PDF Tools AG has more than 6,000 customers in 70 countries. In addition, the company’s PDF programming components and tools are employed by thousands of users around the world every day through an international OEM partner network.

The company provides PDF standard solutions and components that are renowned for their scalability, high performance, and platform independence. The software is suitable for servers and individual workstations. The architecture is designed for the efficient processing of large volumes of documents. The technologies are used by developers, integrators, consultants, and large-scale IT departments for their information and document processes. OEM partners incorporate the technologies into their own products and solutions in order to enhance them. PDF Tools AG is the Swiss representative on the ISO committee for PDF/A and PDF 1.7.


Questions & Answers

  • Who is Smallpdf? Made in Switzerland, the land of watches, banks, and clean design, Smallpdf is an award-winning company that offers a suite of clever document management tools for everyone—for work, for home, for life. Founded in Switzerland in 2013, Smallpdf provides a simple, secure, and reliable answer to the world's PDF challenges, and has become the most loved and trusted PDF software on the planet. We've served over a billion users in 24 different languages since 2013, and in every country in the world!
  • When did the acquisition take place? The acquisition of PDF Tools by Smallpdf was officially announced in Zurich on Monday, March 7th, 2022.
  • Why did the acquisition take place? PDF Tools and Smallpdf have enjoyed a longstanding relationship, where PDF Tools’ best-in-class document processing technology has been powering some of Smallpdf’s most popular products, such as its tools to compress and edit PDFs. Beyond providing innovative PDF solutions to a global customer base, both Swiss-based companies also share common values as well as a unified vision for the future of the document management space.
  • How will the acquisition affect PDF Tools in the short term? PDF Tools will remain its own brand and will continue to operate its day-to-day activities independently from Smallpdf. Founder, Hans Bärfuss, will remain on board PDF Tools in an advisory role and will continue to contribute to product development.
  • How will the acquisition affect PDF Tools in the long term? PDF Tools and Smallpdf will aim to provide clients with a bolstered joint product offering comprising a complete suite of document management solutions accessible to users the way they want, from developer and enterprise to end-user solutions. With this shared product vision in mind, the ability to join forces will allow PDF Tools to accelerate its product roadmap and thus deliver additional value to customers even more rapidly. Additionally, they will double down on efforts to provide world-class service by building a dedicated customer success team.
  • Will the acquisition affect PDF Tools’ customers? The acquisition of PDF Tools will not affect services to any of its customers, nor disrupt or delay any ongoing negotiations between PDF Tools and organizations with an active interest in our product offerings.
  • Will PDF Tools be relocating? PDF Tools will continue to operate from its headquarters located in Oerlikon, Zurich.
  • Will there be any disruption to services? PDF Tools will continue to be fully operational following the acquisition announcement on Monday, March 7th, 2022.
  • Can we meet the team at Smallpdf? The management team at Smallpdf would welcome the opportunity to meet with you virtually, or in-person at one of our office locations. Please contact sales@smallpdf.com for any meeting enquiries.
  • How can I get in touch if I have any questions? If you have any questions for the Smallpdf or PDF Tools teams, please write to us at sales@smallpdf.com or pdfsales@pdf-tools.com and we’d be happy to get back to you.
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