Lest there be any doubt some startups are riding high even amid the macroeconomic uncertainty, process mining software vendor Celonis today announced that it secured a whopping $1 billion in additional capital at a $13 billion post-money valuation, a mix of equity ($400 million) and debt (a five-year $600 million credit line). Technically an extension of Celonis’ Series D, the infusion brings the late-stage startup’s total capital raised to $2.4 billion.
Now one of Germany’s most valuable private companies and one of New York’s most valuable startups (with offices in Munich and NYC), Celonis started as a university project around 11 years ago. Alex Rinke, Bastian Nominacher and Martin Klenk launched the company as a spin-off from the Technical University of Munich, and in 2012, Celonis joined the SAP Startup Focus program, an accelerator for analytics startups building new applications on the SAP HANA platform.
Process mining can be (but isn’t always) a part of robotic process automation, or RPA, which, using software, aims to automate monotonous, repetitive tasks traditionally performed by human workers. Process mining involves spotting root cause issues by pulling data from systems including desktop, IT, email apps and workflows. It sets the stage in RPA for task capture, which comes as RPA users move through a process that they’d like to automate.
Like other process mining technologies, Celonis’ uses automated actions to find process problems inside of enterprise systems. But it also goes one step beyond, attempting to automatically fix the process problems without requiring users to touch the underlying systems.
Major RPA vendors have invested in building out process mining. Automation Anywhere rival UiPath developed some of its own tools before buying Process Gold and StepShot for their process mining capabilities. IBM recently acquired process mining software company MyInvenio. Blue Prism released a task mining solution called Capture, meanwhile, while other vendors including ABBYY and Nintext-owned Kryon are slowly expanding their own process mining offerings.
Celonis — evidently benefitting from the acute interest in process mining — claims that it currently has over 2,500 enterprise deployments worldwide; works with 10,000 consultants and 2,000 consulting firms and tech partners (among them IBM, Accenture, PWC, KPMG and ServiceNow); and has graduated over 100,000 “practitioners” from its certification program.
“Since the first days of Celonis, we have built a company that is operating on sound fundamentals, immutable customer value, and the kind of resiliency that performs at the highest levels in any economic environment,” Nominacher, who serves at CEO of Celonis, said in the announcement. “These fundamentals are what puts Celonis in such a unique position to lean into the wind, while others are stepping back. With an additional $1 billion in liquidity, Celonis will have maximum flexibility to aggressively innovate, capitalize on new market opportunities, and extend our market leadership.”
The Qatar Investment Authority, Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, led the new investment in Celonis. Other participants include Activant Capital, Arena Holdings, T. Rowe Price, Franklin Templeton, Durable Capital Partners, TCV, 83North, Accel Partners and Sator Grove. Celonis says the new cash will be put toward product development, customer acquisition and general market expansion.