SteelBrick Nabs Missing Billing Piece With Invoice IT Acquisition

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SteelBrick, the company that provides configure, price and quote (CPQ) software built on top of Salesforce.com’s Salesforce 1 platform, announced today that it was buying Invoice IT, an online billing company based in England.

The terms were unavailable, but it was heavily weighted toward equity over cash, according SteelBrick CEO Godard Abel. Both parties are betting on a joint company, he said.

With Invoice IT, SteelBrick gets a company that provides the invoicing and cash collection functions at the end of the sales cycle it had been missing up until now. After you send a customer a quote and get a signature on a contract, you need to start billing and collecting money. Up until this acquisition, SteelBrick passed this part of the process onto an accounting system.

With Invoice IT in the fold, which will be known forevermore as SteelBrick Billing, the company can offer a soup-to-nuts set of “quote to cash” services to its customers.

Although SteelBrick has been working on a billing piece internally, this deal solves the problem, and gives the company an experienced team to boot, Abel told TechCrunch.

“They have been working on [the software] since 2009. We are getting a much more mature product with 60 customers,” he said.

Not only that, Invoice IT is also built on top of Salesforce 1, meaning that integrating the two companies should be much easier than is typically the case in an acquisition scenario like this.

In addition, the Invoice IT team will remain in place in London, giving SteelBrick a foothold immediately in the EU.

Invoice IT is built to handle subscription billing, and not coincidentally many of SteelBrick’s customers are subscription businesses. “As companies move to subscription models, legacy accounting packages aren’t equipped to handle that,” Abel pointed out. He believes this will give his company an edge.

Just last week another quote to cash company, Apttus, also built on top of Salesforce. 1, announced a $108 million round. Both companies are being financed in part by Salesforce Ventures and both play in the same space, but Abel says there are key differences.

His company sells primarily to SMBs with 1-3500 employees, whereas Apttus is more of a larger enterprise play. Abel is also quick to point out that his company’s products are designed for simplicity and quicker installations to appeal to these smaller businesses.

This could explain why Salesforce Ventures is pouring money into two companies, which now primarily do the same thing.

With the purchase of Invoice IT, SteelBrick gains its 30 employees, half of which are engineers and its 60 customers (although there is some overlap). Prior to this purchase SteelBrick had 260 customers including Cloudera, Jive, Marketo and Nutanix.

The company is also announcing it’s going to be incorporating the Salesforce Wave analytics products into SteelBrick, branding it as SteelBrick Analytics. This will enable customers to get detailed information out of SteelBrick including total quotes, contracts signed, billing information and other details.

SteelBrick has raised just under $30 million since it launched in 2009.

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