Aug
10
2021
--

OwnBackup reels in $240M Series E on $3.35B valuation, up from $1.4B in January

OwnBackup, the late-stage startup that helps companies in the Salesforce ecosystem back up their data, announced a $240 million Series E today at a $3.35 billion valuation. The latter is up from $1.4 billion in January when the company announced a $167.5 million Series D.

Alkeon Capital and B Capital Group co-led today’s investment, which also included BlackRock Private Equity Partners and Tiger Global along with existing investors Insight Partners, Salesforce Ventures, Sapphire Ventures and Vertex Ventures. The company has now raised close to $500 million, with more than $455 million coming since last July.

That’s a lot of capital, but OwnBackup CEO Sam Gutmann says that as the Salesforce ecosystem has grown, which includes not only Salesforce itself, but companies like Veeva and nCino, business has been booming, growing 100% year-over-year since 2018. That kind of growth gets investor attention, and Gutmann reported a lot of inbound investor interest in this round.

What’s more, the company announced that it will now support the same type of backup for Microsoft Dynamics 365 customers, thereby greatly expanding its potential market. “We’re also announcing that we are expanding into the Microsoft ecosystem specifically around Microsoft Dynamics 365’s huge ecosystem. I think it’s the second-largest B2B SaaS ecosystem beyond Salesforce. We’re just getting started there, but super excited about the opportunity,” he said.

The company also sees the opportunity to grow the business through acquisition. Over the last year, it bought two small companies, but he says that was more focused on acquiring specific talent to develop the platform, while future acquisitions could be more focused on expanding the business itself.

As the company takes on this kind of investment, Gutmann sees an IPO possibility at some point in the future, but for now he’s concentrating on growth. “We’re not focused on exiting. We’ve really focused on developing what is already a huge market and growing into an even bigger market, continuing to expand with a business that has great unit economics and continues to grow nicely,” he said.

The company has ballooned to 500 employees this year, with plans to double that number in the next year. As he does that, Gutmann says that hiring in general is challenging, but he is always looking to find ways to diversify his workforce. “It’s really, really hard. Our hiring managers definitely focus on [diversity], but at the end of the day, we want the best employees for the job. I think we’ve made a lot of strides. We’re working with one of our largest investors, Insight, who is co-sponsoring a program to train, more on the junior side, some underrepresented minorities in technical fields and bring them on as full-time employees after that program,” Gutmann said.

Gutmann says his offices have remained open throughout the pandemic, but nobody was required to come in. In fact, he says that his company is one of the few that has actually added office space to make it easier to distance. The company, which is located in New Jersey, has also expanded space outdoors for working outside when the weather permits.

Jan
14
2021
--

Harness snags $85M Series C on $1.7B valuation as revenue grows 3x

Harness, the startup that wants to create a suite of engineering tools to give every company the kind of technological reach that the biggest companies have, announced an $85 million Series C today on a $1.7 billion valuation.

Today’s round comes after 2019’s $60 million Series B, which had a $500 million valuation, showing a company rapidly increasing in value. For a company that launched just three years ago, this is a fairly remarkable trajectory.

Alkeon Capital led the round with help from new investors Battery Ventures, Citi Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Sorenson Capital and Thomvest Ventures. The startup also revealed a previously unannounced $30 million B-1 round raised after the $60 million round, bringing the total raised to date to $195 million.

Company founder and CEO Jyoti Bansal previously founded AppDynamics, which he sold to Cisco in 2017 for $3.7 billion. With his track record, investors came looking for him this round. It didn’t hurt that revenue grew almost 3x last year.

“The business is doing very well, so the investor community has been proactively reaching out and trying to invest in us. We were not actually planning to raise a round until later this year. We had enough capital to get through that, but there were a lot of people wanting to invest,” Bansal told me.

In fact, he said there is so much investor interest that he could have raised twice as much, but didn’t feel a need to take on that much capital at this time. “Overall, the investor community sees the value in developer tools and the DevOps market. There are so many big public companies now in that space that have gone out in the last three to five years and that has definitely created even more validation of this space,” he said.

Bansal says that he started the company with the goal of making every company as good as Google or Facebook when it comes to engineering efficiency. Since most companies lack the engineering resources of these large companies, that’s a tall task, but one he thinks he can solve through software.

The company started by building a continuous delivery module. A cloud cost-efficiency module followed. Last year the company bought open-source continuous integration company Drone.io and they are working on building that into the platform now, with it currently in beta. There are additional modules on the product roadmap coming this year, according to Bansal.

As the company continued to grow revenue and build out the platform in 2020, it also added a slew of new employees, growing from 200 to 300 during the pandemic. Bansal says that he has plans to add another 200 by the end of this year. Harness has a reputation of being a good place to work, recently landing on Glassdoor’s best companies list.

As an experienced entrepreneur, Bansal takes building a diverse company with a welcoming culture very seriously. “Yes, you have to provide equal opportunity and make sure that you are open to hiring people from diverse backgrounds, but you have to be more proactive about it in the sense that you have to make sure that your company environment and company culture feels very welcoming to everyone,” he said.

It’s been a difficult time building a company during the pandemic, adding so many new employees, and finding a way to make everyone feel welcome and included. Bansal says he has actually seen productivity increase during the pandemic, but now has to guard against employee burnout.

He says that people didn’t know how to draw boundaries when working at home. One thing he did was introduce a program to give everyone one Friday a month off to recharge. The company also recently announced it would be a “work from anywhere” company post-COVID, but Bansal still plans on having regional offices where people can meet when needed.

Jul
13
2020
--

UiPath reels in another $225M as valuation soars to $10.2B

Last year, Gartner found that robotic process automation (RPA) is the fastest growing category in enterprise software. So perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that UiPath, a leading startup in the space, announced a $225 million Series E today on an eye-popping $10.2 billion valuation.

Alkeon Capital led the round with help from Accel, Coatue, Dragoneer, IVP, Madrona Venture Group, Sequoia Capital, Tencent, Tiger Global, Wellington and T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. Today’s investment brings the total raised to $1.202 billion, according to the company.

It’s worth noting that the presence of institutional investors like Wellington is often a signal that a company could be thinking about going public at some point. CFO Ashim Gupta didn’t shy away from a future IPO, saying that co-founder and CEO Daniel Dines has discussed the idea in recent months and what it would take to become a public company.

“We’re evaluating the market conditions and I wouldn’t say this to be vague, but we haven’t chosen a day that says on this day we’re going public. We’re really in the mindset that says we should be prepared when the market is ready, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s in the next 12-18 months,” he said.

One of the factors that’s attracting so much investor interest is its growth rate, which Gupta says is continuing on an upward trajectory, even during the pandemic as companies look for ways to automate. In fact, he reports that recurring revenue has grown from $100 million to $400 million over the last 24 months.

RPA helps companies add a level of automation to manual legacy processes, bringing modernization without having to throw out existing systems. This approach appeals to a lot of companies not willing to rip and replace to get some of the advantages of digital transformation. The pandemic has only served to push this kind of technology to the forefront as companies look for ways to automate more quickly.

The company raised some eyebrows in the fall when it announced it was laying off 400 employees just six months after raising $568 million on a $7 billion valuation, but Gupta said that the layoffs represented a kind of reset for the company after it had grown rapidly in the prior two years.

“From 2017 to 2019, we invested in a lot of different areas. I think in October, the way we thought about it was, we really started taking a pause as we became more confident in our strategy, and we reassessed areas that we wanted to cut back on, and that drove those layoff decisions in October.

As for why the startup needs all that cash, Gupta says in a growing market, it is spending to grab as much market share as it can and that takes a lot of investment. Plus, it can’t hurt to have plenty of money in the bank as a hedge against economic uncertainty during the pandemic. Gupta notes that UiPath could also be looking at strategic acquisitions in the months ahead to fill in holes in the product roadmap more rapidly.

While the company doesn’t expect to go through the kind of growth it went through in 2017 and 2018, it will continue to hire, and Gupta says the leadership team is committed to building a diverse team at all levels of the organization. “We want to have the best people, but we really do believe that having the best people and the best team means that diversity has to be a part of that,” he said.

The company was founded in 2005 in Bucharest, outsourcing automation libraries and software. In 2015, it began the pivot to RPA and has been growing in leaps and bounds ever since. When we spoke to the startup in September 2018 around its $225 million Series C investment (which eventually ballooned to $265 million), it had 1,800 customers. Today it has 7,000 and is growing.

Powered by WordPress | Theme: Aeros 2.0 by TheBuckmaker.com