Sprinklr has been busy the last few years acquiring a dozen companies, then rewriting their code base and incorporating them into the company’s customer experience platform. Today, the late-stage startup went back to the fundraising well for the first time in four years, and it was a doozy, raising $200 million on a $2.7 billion valuation.
The money came from private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, which also invested $300 million in buying back secondary shares. Meanwhile the company also announced $150 million in convertible securities from Sixth Street Growth. That’s a lot of action for a company that’s been quiet on the fundraising front for years.
Company founder and CEO Ragy Thomas says he sought the investment now because after building a customer experience platform, he was ready to accelerate and he needed the money to do it. He expects the company to hit $400 million in annual recurring revenue by year’s end and he says that he sees a much bigger opportunity on the horizon.
“We think it’s a $100 billion opportunity and our large public competitors have validated that and continue to do so in the customer experience management space,” he said. Those large competitors include Salesforce and Adobe.
He sees customer experience management as having the kind of growth that CRM has had in the past, and this money gives him more options to grow faster, while working with a big private equity firm.
“So what was appealing in this market for us was not just putting some more money in the bank and being a little more aggressive in growth, innovation, go to market and potential M&A, but what was also appealing is the opportunity to bring someone like a Hellman & Friedman to the table,” Thomas said.
The company has 1,000 clients, some spending millions of dollars a year. They currently have 1,900 employees in 25 offices around the world, and Thomas wants to add another 500 over the next 12 months — and he believes that $1 billion in ARR is a realistic goal for the company.
As he builds the company, Thomas, who is a person of color, has codified diversity and inclusion into the company’s charter, what he calls the “Sprinklr Way.” “For us, diversity and inclusion is not impossible. It is not something that you do to check a box and market yourself. It’s deep in our DNA,” he said.
Tarim Wasim a partner at investor Hellman & Friedman, sees a company with tremendous potential to lead a growing market. “Sprinklr has a unique opportunity to lead a Customer Experience Management market that’s already massive — and growing — as enterprises continue to realize the urgent need to put CXM at the heart of their digital transformation strategy,” Wasim said in a statement.
Sprinklr was founded in 2009. Before today, it last raised $105 million in 2016 led by Temasek Holdings. Past investors include Battery Ventures, ICONIQ Capital and Intel Capital.