Just a couple of years ago Apttus, a quote-to-cash SaaS company built on top of Salesforce.com, had a couple of hundred employees. Today it has 900 and projects more than 1,000 by the end of the year.
And it’s not hiring all of those bodies for nothing. The company’s year-over-year growth is in the 60 percent range. While not willing to provide an exact figure, it claims to have a valuation north of a billion dollars. Even though reaching Unicorn territory has lost a bit of its shine these days with so many companies tipping the billion dollar valuation point, it still carries some Silicon Valley street cred.
As you might imagine, that kind of growth tends to get VC attention and today the company announced a $108 million round. It comes on the heels of $41 million raised in February and brings the total investment to $186 million.
This round’s investors include Salesforce Ventures — which led the February round — Iconiq Capital, K1 Capital and KIA.
Apttus software can handle quotes, contracts and revenue management. CFO Jeff Van Zanten says there are competitors who do pieces of this process, but claims none that has the breadth of services his company offers.
He was thrilled to be part of an organization that was growing so fast and the money from this round gives him and the executive team many options. “This is the kind of long-term big deposit into our bank account that is going to fuel growth for the next couple of years and gives us a war chest for digital acquisitions,” he said. Ultimately, he says the money can help build the sales team to keep adding new business.
Although he admitted that Apttus had reached the size to become a public company, he wouldn’t go so far as to say that it was going to take a shot at an IPO just yet.
“We are of a size today where we could go public, and we’ve had a lot of interest, but we feel no pressure to IPO. It’s our option when to go out. Certainly the money is going to fuel what I expect to be growth whether we are a public or private company,” he said.
Apttus is closely aligned with Salesforce.com, and not only because Salesforce Ventures has been a significant investor, but because Van Zanten says that the two sales teams work shoulder to shoulder inside customers. The two products are well aligned as Apttus comes into play where CRM leaves off in the customer record. As soon as you begin quoting prices, signing contracts or collecting money, Apttus takes over.
One reason Van Zanten is so excited is that he says the company has experienced this phenomenal growth trajectory and so far has only signed up 1 percent of Salesforce’s top 20 percent of customers. That leaves tremendous room for additional growth.
“As a CFO I’m in wonderland,” he said. “We have no churn, significant growth and are strong across all verticals.”
If the company is as strong as he says — and the hiring spree, year-over-year growth and the recent multiple big rounds suggest it is — this company is going to do just fine, as long as it can continue to manage that growth.