Native Instruments Getting New Majority Owner

Native Instruments, EMH Partners, and Francisco Partners have announced an agreement to sell the majority shares of NI to the investment firm Francisco Partners.

Both EMH Partners and the founding shareholders will remain involved with NI as significant minority shareholders.

In 2017, EMH Partners invested 50 million Euros in Native Instruments, followed by a further investment in 2020 to achieve majority ownership in the company. They say that revenues in NI’s music creation tools increased by 60% since the investment in 2017 and that the ownership changes will let the company expand further.

Constantin Koehncke, CEO of Native Instruments, says “We’re thrilled to team up with Francisco Partners to enter the next phase of our journey, combining their global resources and expertise with our passionate team, deep relationships within music and proven track record of technical innovation. Together we can realize our mission to empower and inspire the global community of music creators and help them to unlock their creative potential.”

Matt Spetzler, Co-Head Europe and Partner at Francisco Partners, who will join the Native Instruments board of directors adds, “Native Instruments is a perfect platform and partner for Francisco Partners. We look forward to working together with the management team and the existing shareholder group, utilizing our broad operational and strategic experience and M&A capabilities to help the company accelerate its growth trajectory.”

55 thoughts on “Native Instruments Getting New Majority Owner

      1. Subscription services, Cloud expansions, Maschine MK4 + nothing new, Colored Maschines, Updates to gear allowing further connections to already existing gear so sell more stuff no one wanted before… but now its integrated. Finally getting audio tracks in Maschine 2.0 cause what else can you do with that program besides just making it a legit DAW.

        All the things that bring in money and cease innovation, pretty much what they’ve already been doing.

        1. Yeah, what he said. And what I said which was what everyone else said, just my comment didn’t show up. Thats writing.

        2. Haha, Limey has seen some things. Sadly this is the truth. NI didn’t adapt quickly enough, they should have been watching Arturia — who saw where the industry was going and responded. Hopefully they will have a chance to do so now, there is some brilliant talent there.

      2. The writing on my wall said “Fuck you NI for making all my old software that I paid for no longer installable when I had to update a hard drive.” After years of buying your products going way back to first releases, and 2 Komplete upgrades and Machine Studio you will never get another penny from me. Cheers.

        1. Same here! I switched my Komplete Kontrol61 for a Novation MK3 and don`t use my komplete ultimate anymore. I don`t miss anything. Any important VST has been replaced for alternatives from other competitors.

    1. The writing says, “Prepare to pay a ridiculously high monthly subscription fee.” Because that’s the way VC firms think; they want ever-increasing repeating revenue streams so they can take the company public as a unicorn with impossible earnings. Let’s not forget that most software unicorns (a) incorporate advertising (facebook, google) and (b) get the customer to write the content (youtube, facebook, etc).

      Komplete will become Roland Cloud XL, except with a mechanism that allows people to banks of patches for NI instruments in return for gold stars.

  1. “We look forward to working together with the management team and the existing shareholder group, utilizing our broad operational and strategic experience and M&A capabilities to help the company accelerate its growth trajectory. And what was your product again?”

  2. Massive X rollout was a mess. Seems like nobodys in charge, at least compared to the old days. I regret buying Komplete this year – full of fluff.

  3. I hope they also focus more on other things besides the obvious plugins on MAC/PC.

    – More standalone hardware.

    The Maschine+ is a nice start.

    – More serious focus on the iOS platform.

    A Komplete version for iPad would be incredibly useful. In lots of cases even better than using a laptop or desktop. iPad’s nowadays should be able handeling it with ease and I hope NI knows there’s a big opportunity there to please a lot of musicians, producers, engineers etc.

    1. The Maschine+ was a mediocre start. If you own it, you understand. The Akai standalone line has 4 of the cheapest sounding synths BUT you can program them. There is no programming happening in the maschine+ with the interface. FM8 is even missing half of the parameters. Massive is just impossible. So its a preset player.
      They didnt really create a new product, they made an existing product usb-less. If it were truly standalone, it would at least be powerful enough to run the included synths so you dont have to bounce everything down to audio.
      They released a product to compete with an older product and the older product won.

    2. You are in luck, because it sounds like you are the kind of consumer NI are now focused on courting.

      However, you are out of luck, because NI is about to destroy itself building you a Homer car.

  4. As someone who has devoted the last 15 years of their life programming shit in reaktor – man I really hope support continues for it, maybe not the most profitable product, but the one that started it all, and a truly incredible piece of software. Big investment firms like this getting involved make me worried though….

  5. There’s a Wikipedia entry for Francisco Partners. They tend to buy up high-tech companies or divisions, but NI is their first music tech acquisition.

    1. Looking on the bright side Maschine Mk3 got cheaper second hand :-). (I realise my joy will be short lived when the new Francisco Partners business proposal of an “Enhanced offering of a a transcendent new colour while we delete all support for the older models, but look this one has a girl with tattoos pouting over it’ arrives), but – Hey – It was nice for a while….

  6. I fear this is the death knell for NI… I don’t think Francisco Partners have much to contribute when it comes to the vision of what the future of audio software development holds. I think NI’s days of being a leader in audio software is coming to an end.

  7. There is always something good in everything bad … The main thing i fear is N.I. going into some rental/subscription model. If anything like that happens, then i will simply stop buying (sorry, i meant renting) new N.I. products and keep on using the current ones which are enough already (for me anyway). I have tons of plugins and libraries for more than one lifetime (and i know i will not have a second one), so i will have more time for actual music making, no more time wasted on downloading and upgrading, no more money down the drain on overpriced upgrades …. yes, N.I. will lose sales, but why should i care IF they go down a road i disagree with? I will be happy making music using what i already bought and will be spending the money i save (from software rent) on trips and pizza.

    1. And in a certain amount of time it won’t work as OS versions make it obsolete. You will have a good fw years but it will become redundant. It’s very annoying. It’s a reason hardware “lives”.

  8. What a wad of corporate-speak! As a Logic user, I’d be rather hosed if Apple cratered or was carved up by equity firms, but other than that, I can deal. I prefer diverse instruments from several houses like Arturia that get it right with no issues worth mentioning.

    This new NI mess is a good example of why I’ve never invested in one platform too deeply. I’ve had to pass on a few things that were Kontakt-only, but I’ve also missed out on the lurching drama of criss-crossing upgrades and sudden abandonments. Historically, when a company gets bought like this, stay tuned for dilution, breakdowns and extinction.

  9. I bought the Maschine 2 second hand. The seller couldn’t transfer the dongle or activation code, so I went to a pirate site and downloaded the software.
    I thought the Maschine had some good sounds and patterns, but having downloaded the software, I didn’t really need the hardware, so I sold it.
    I think the world could still use a proper, stand alone sampler, that behaves like a keyboard with layers and splits (the Akai One does not do this). Perhaps the new Native Instruments will surprise us.

    1. “The seller couldn’t transfer the dongle or activation code, so I went to a pirate site and downloaded the software”

      Dongle for the software to use a piece of hardware that you own? I can’t see why anyone would put up with that kind of garbage.

      Anyway, there are too many fantastic, dongle-free hardware and software instruments to ever bother with dongles again.

    2. NI dont use dongles. Any serial can be transfered without a problem. Warzed is killing music industry as illegal downloads are killing musicians. Shame on You.

  10. “We’re thrilled to team up with Francisco Partners to enter the next phase of our journey, combining their global resources and expertise with our passionate team, deep relationships within music and proven track record of technical innovation. Together we can realize our mission to empower and inspire the global community of music creators and help them to unlock their creative potential.”

    Translation: we’re taking the money and running. So long, suckers.

  11. This is the beginning of the end for NI. A shareholder only want‘s benefit and ebit. NI will die a long and brutal dead. Mark this and You will see witin 2-3 years that I am damned right.

  12. Native Instruments doesn’t use dongles – everything is licensed and updated thru one app, Native Access, which works just fine for most people. Once licensed on a particular computer (and you CAN legally have it installed on multiple computers), the only time you have to be connected to the Internet is when you want to check for updates or license additional software. And, licenses CAN be legally transferred to a new owner ~ if the seller is wiling to take the little effort it requires to do that.

    Sounds like someone above was misinformed and/or completely clueless about how NI software/hardware works ~ and also admits to using pirated copies of the NI software, so I wouldn’t put to much thought in his/her statements…

    1. For Frank, “any serial can be transferred without a problem.”
      For RR, “licenses CAN be legally transferred to a new owner ~ if the seller is wiling to take the little effort it requires to do that.”

      What do you gentlemen do when you buy a new hardware synth with software discs? Do you, a) jot down the company codes and serial numbers that flash in front of you, and store them a safe place? Or do you, b) open the packet, load the CD’s impatiently, and play your new gear? I imagine most people choose b).

      Now, what do you do when you want to sell your hardware synth and the software discs it came with? Do you explain to the seller that a) you will have to troll through your e-mail addresses and correspondence, and volunteer to write to the parent corporation, and hope the corporation will transfer the codes at a later date, or, b) say nothing, take the buyer’s cash, and evade his pitiful pleas when he asks for a refund?

      All this propietary malarky is failing musicians and the marketplace. I have twice bought second hand hardware synths with software applications which failed to boot. I was very grateful that I could turn to a pirate site, download the software, and hear the instrument I had bought. I suspect many gear heads on this site have bought dead instruments which couldn’t be activated.

      Instead of getting all cavalier about pirate sites, might I suggest sellers be careful about opening and logging in their new gear, and that software synth companies carry a caution about propietary transfers?

  13. Doesn’t these guys have a reputation for abandoning most products? Also, it seems everyone and their grandmother are using their sound libraries. Always seemed cheesy to me, glad I never invested in their stuff.

  14. It’s really clear from most of the comments that you lot have no idea what the investment means, what it might do to NI, or any understanding of how their business runs. You do seem pretty confident in your lack of knowledge and opinions though.

  15. After all the billions that have been ” invested ”the past years, I must say, the whole seems like a money laundry.

  16. I must admit, that after a 50 billion dollar investment back in 2017 and 20% redundancies of the company’s staff the amount of investment in the industry is quite a surprise.
    It reminds me how a legit cash laundry works.

  17. Late to comment here, but I had to LOL a bit reading many of the comments, specially those comparing to Arturia. This headline is generally good for all, the influx of cash allows to streamline and get talent to build better and/or new products. I LOL’d because back in 2019 Arturia suffered a similar fate, the difference this time is the NI majority acquisition became a news headline on this site. Since many of the commenters decided to compare NI with Arturia, well then, Arturia has shown what that influx of investment cash does.

    Go read for your self
    https://mergr.com/emz-partners-acquires-arturia
    https://www.bryangarnier.com/portfolio/bg-sole-financial-advisor-audio-tech-arturia-led-by-emz-partners/

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