SaaS provider Apttus raises $108m series C funding, takes aggressive approach

Software as a service (SaaS) provider Apttus has secured $108 million (£70.4m) in series C funding, just seven months after its previous funding round.

Apttus delivers SaaS apps providing an unbroken funnel throughout the sales process, with the company claiming to pioneer the ‘quote to cash’ cycle, which is an end to end process covering an entire sales lifecycle in the cloud. The latest cash injection comes after a $37m round in September 2013 and $41m in February this year, with the investors this time round include Iconiq Capital, K1 Capital, KIA, and Salesforce Ventures.

Securing more than $100m such a short time after a previous round naturally indicates a fast growing company, yet the company shunned venture capital for the first seven years of its existence.  Now, having earned a unicorn valuation the company is going for the jugular, as Apttus CEO Kirk Krappe explains. “It’s about market opportunity, pure and simple,” he tells CloudTech. “Hiring one salesperson means bringing on more engineers, a BDR (business development representative) to develop leads, and more.

“Our current customers represent about 1% of our target accounts, and if we’re going to maximise our potential, it was time to expand, via funding.”

The link with Salesforce is key, as Apttus is delivered on the Salesforce1 platform. According to Krappe, the funding round is a ‘tremendous show of support’ from the cloud software giant – which is also a customer of Apttus – adding: “Apttus and Salesforce are in sync – where their process ends, the quote to cash cycle begins.”

A key sign of Apttus’ expansion is through its workforce; the California-based firm began 2015 with 500 employees, is now at 900 and aims to end the year at 1400. Apttus has also opened offices in London, Sydney and Chicago, with another in Japan on the way. Krappe explains: “That kind of growth does not come without a unique set of growing pains. The next 12 months will be about getting our team and workforce ready for the next step, whatever or whenever it may be.”

Regarding that next step, Apttus is understandably remaining tight lipped. After the last funding round, many in the media speculated whether Apttus would go to IPO or be acquired, possibly by Salesforce. Krappe notes the company is under no pressure from investors, saying: “There are no definite plans as far as a liquidity event – it simply could go either way.”