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About Autodesk, Inc.

Autodesk is a leading provider of computer-aided design software, offering a broad portfolio of 3D computer-aided design (CAD) applications and tools. Its AutoCAD and Revit software programs are used by architects, engineers, and structural designers to design, draft, and make models of products, buildings, and other objects. The company also provides 3D animation software for movies and games as well as applications for manufacturing, construction, and civil engineering. Autodesk is shifting its tools and services to cloud-based applications and has developed CAD programs for mobile devices. Customers in the US account for about a third of sales. Autodesk pioneered computer-aided design software, introducing the first AutoCAD program in 1982.


Autodesk's biggest operating segment is Architecture, Engineering, and Construction, which generates more than 40% of revenue. It develops software for designing, building, and managing buildings, civil infrastructure, and manufacturing plants. The segment's BIM 360 product helps manage construction projects. BIM stands for building information modeling.

The Manufacturing segment, about 25% of revenue, makes prototyping software for manufacturers of automotive, industrial machinery, consumer, and building products. The segment's lead product is Autodesk Inventor.

The AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT business, which accounts for close to 30% of revenue, is the home of Autodesk's flagship product and biggest revenue producer, AutoCAD. The companion product, AutoCAD LT, allows sharing of documents.

The Media and Entertainment segment, more than 5% of revenue, offers computer animation programs such as Autodesk Maya, for design visualization, visual effects, and games production.

Geographic Reach

Autodesk's revenue is spread among its major geographic regions. The US is Autodesk's biggest single market, accounting for about a third of sales, but the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region generates 40% of sales and the Asia/Pacific region accounts for about a fifth of sales. The company's products are translated and localized for users who speak German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Korean, and simplified and traditional Chinese. Autodesk is based in San Rafael, California.

Sales and Marketing

Although about 70% of Autodesk's sales are made through its network of 1,300 distributors and resellers around the world, about a third of total revenue funnels through one distributor, Tech Data Corp.

Autodesk sells directly to enterprise and named account customers as well as those who buy from its online store.

Financial Performance

Autodesk's revenue is on a two-year upswing after declining for two straight years. The company cut its net loss in 2019 (ended January) after posting a combined loss of about $1.4 billion over the previous three years. 

Sales surged 25% to $2.5 billion (a company record) in 2019 from about $2 billion in 2018. Product subscription revenue jumped 102% year-to-year as customers switched from maintenance subscriptions, which sent maintenance revenue 36% lower in 2019 from 2018. Each of the company's product families reported higher revenue in 2019 from 2018 as did each geographic area.

Autodesk's loss in 2019 was $80.8 million compared to $566 million in 2018. The company's cost of revenue and operating expenses were just $29 million higher in 2019 than in 2018, which, combined with greater revenue, lifting the company's bottom line closer to break-even.

The company's cash holdings were about $886 million in 2019 compared to $1.1 billion in 2018. Operating activities produced $377.1 million in 2019, while investing activities used $710.4 million and financing activities provided $151.9 million (due, mostly, to a $500 term loan facility).



Autodesk has embraced the cloud and subscription sales and its customers have responded. By the end of 2019 (ended January), Autodesk had more than 3.5 million subscribers compared to 2.3 million at the end of 2018. The move to a subscription model for selling software follows the path taken by many other software companies. While the switch can hurt revenue and profit during the transition, it can result in better performance over time as customers keep buying without a new sales push every two or three years. 

In the same vein, the company has made much of its software available as a service, meaning that customers can get access to it from just about anywhere. That's especially true of AutoCAD 360, a mobile version of its AutoCAD software.

Autodesk continued investing in its construction products in its 2019 fiscal year with internal research and acquisitions. To beef up its BIM 360 product, the company bought Assemble Systems (for better data access), PlanGrid (for document-based workflows and field execution), and BuildingConnected (for improved bidding and estimation processes). Broadening the product's offerings expands its utility for sub-contractors, trades people, and building owners.

With some 65% of its revenue generated overseas, Autodesk is vulnerable to trade turmoil and quick changing economic conditions. About 10% of its sales are to customers in Brazil, Russia, India, and China, countries with some sort of political or economic uncertainty.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Autodesk acquired BuildingConnected, a digital network for the construction industry with about 700,000 participants, for about $275 million in 2019. BuildingConnected centralizes the bid management process and risk analysis, adding to Autodesk's offerings for the construction industry. The company is to integrate BuildingConnected's tools with its Autodesk BIM 360, Revit, and AutoCAD applications.

In 2018 Autodesk bought PlanGrid, a provider of construction productivity software, for $875 million. Autodesk integrated PlanGrid's software with its Autodesk Revit and Autodesk BIM 360 products. 

In 2018 Autodesk acquired Assemble Systems to bolster its offerings in building information modeling. Assemble sells a software-as-a-service product that allows construction managers to better use BIM data. Autodesk intends to integrate Assemble's product into its new BIM 360 project management platform.

Company Background

John Walker founded Autodesk in 1982 as a diversified PC software supplier, and when he bought the software rights to AutoCAD from inventor Michael Riddle, Autodesk took off. While competitors went after more complex computer systems, Autodesk focused on PC software. When PC sales boomed in the early 1980s, the firm was there to take advantage of a growing market. Autodesk went public in 1985.

Autodesk, Inc.

111 Mcinnis Pkwy
San Rafael, CA 94903-2700
Phone: 1 (415) 507-5000

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: ADSK
Stock Exchange: , NASDAQ
Chairman: Crawford W. Beveridge
Interim Co-CEO, SVP, and Chief Product Officer: Amar Hanspal
Director, Corporate Development: Marty Molkenbuhr
Employees (This Location): 400
Employees (All Locations): 10,100

Major Office Locations

San Rafael, CA

Other Locations

Palo Alto, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Rafael, CA
Denver, CO
Tampa, FL
Alpharetta, GA
Rockford, IL
Boston, MA
Newburyport, MA
Novi, MI
Manchester, NH
Houston, TX
Plano, TX
Bengaluru, India
Hyderabad, India
Mumbai, India
New Delhi, India
Pune, India
Nagoya, Japan
Osaka, Japan
Calgary, Canada
Montréal, Canada
Ottawa, Canada
Toronto, Canada
Brussel, Belgium
Merelbeke, Belgium
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Gümligen, Switzerland