UL Acquires Futuremark, Expanding into Benchmarking Services

UL Acquires Futuremark, Expanding into Benchmarking Services

Earlier this week, in something of an unexpected move, UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and Futuremark announced that UL had acquired the benchmarking company, signaling their expansion into the software development industry and benchmarking services. This might seem a bit of an odd fit at first, as UL is a large corporation that's more than a century old and they have a history of providing "safety science" – they certify, validate, test, inspect, audit, and advise consumers and businesses in matters of safety. Reading further into the announcement however clarifies things:

"Embedded software is now an important part of product design. With an increased focus on mobility, we see more and more products being connected, making the Internet of Things a reality. Consequently, software quality is a significant driver of product safety and performance; and we believe that benchmarking is an important way to help our customers to improve the performance of their products. This acquisition provides [UL] with an opportunity to build a new business line in testing a wide variety of technological devices so they offer the performance, safety and privacy that consumers expect."

In other words, Futuremark's expertise in building benchmarking and testing software, including perhaps most notably the recent release of 3DMark and PCMark for Android, will help UL in testing and certifying a variety of modern devices. The announcement goes on to note that UL plans for additional investments into Futuremark's product development, increasing the range and types of benchmarks that are offered.

For their part, Futuremark obviously gets much deeper corporate funding, and UL is a global company with many resources and contacts. Futuremark's current staff of 39 employees will all remain, including the CEO Jukka Mäkinen. UL by comparison already has over 10,000 employees located around the world. Details of the amount of the acquisition are not known, but UL notes that both Futuremark and UL have a history of neutrality and independence that they intend to continue, and at present UL will continue to support Futuremark's distribution of benchmarking software for PCs and mobile devices.