FinancialForce.com, the ERP provider built on top of Salesforce.com, announced today they have received $50M from private equity investors, Advent International. The investment is actually part of a broader investment in UNIT4, FinancialForce.com’s majority investor.
Salesforce.com is also a minority investor. UNIT4 remains the majority stakeholder, even after this investment from Advent. The company launched in 2009, and this is their fourth investment round for a total of $76.3M to date. The last round came in October, 2012.
CEO Jeremy Roche says the company is focused on backend operations like accounting, billing and supply chain management among other things.
What’s more, he explained, because FinancialForce is built on top of Salesforce, they can focus on development of the core product and take advantage of the infrastructure that SFDC provides. That means when SFDC upgrades the platform, FinancialForce gets all of the advantages without having to develop any of that core technology themselves. As Roche put it, his company doesn’t have to worry about the foundation. It can just build the house on top of it.
Being built on SFDC also gives the company a customer base to target.
Roche says there is tremendous market potential in the back office market, and he believes that a market that has been dominated by big players like SAP and Oracle is ripe for new technologies. (Of course, there’s also NetSuite, which has been in the cloud ERP space for years.)
But he is right that FinancialForce.com is competing with established companies who have had years to develop their markets. To that end, Roche says they plan to use that $50M in cash to expand their sales and customer success consulting. That’s because he recognizes that as a cloud subscription business, his company needs to be invested in his customer’s success in a very direct way.
The company already has a presence across the U.S. and Europe with headquarters in San Francisco and offices in Manchester, NH, Harrogate, UK, Granada, Spain and Toronto.