PFU Invests in ABBYY

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PFU Limited has reportedly invested about $100 million in ABBYY. PFU is a Fujitsu subsidiary which manufactures the scanners sold by Fujitsu subsidiaries worldwide, including FCPA. ABBYY is a developer of recognition technology including OCR/ICR and IDR used in document imaging applications.

This continues a trend of document imaging hardware vendors investing in software ISVs over the past few years. Of course, HP’s acquisition of Autonomy, is the most recent example, with Lexmark acquiring Perceptive in 2010. PFU has also invested heavily in KnowledgeLake.

The investment reportedly values ABBYY’s business at around $2 billion as it supposed to be for about a 5% stake. Not sure, what ABBYY’s annual revenue is, but as Harvey Spencer values the worldwide document capture market at somewhere south of $2.5 billion, with ABBYY holding less than a 10% share of that…well PFU seems to have paid a pretty good premium for its investment, which is certainly in-line with what we’ve been seeing by hardware vendors looking to diversity into sofware.

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