Investors have made another large bet on Apttus and its Quote-to-Cash solution — this time for $88 million. The Series D funding, announced today, brings the San Mateo, Calif.-based software provider's total funding to $274 million.
Apttus simultaneously revealed a new team member: Max, an intelligent agent that interacts with salespeople in augmented reality environments. Max, born through cognitive technologies, is designed to help enterprises with mundane, repetitive tasks in the revenue process.
"This takes care of any capital needs for a while and also allows us to invest more in machine learning capabilities," Kamal Ahluwalia, Apttus chief revenue officer, told CMSWire.
Ahluwalia said Apttus is using data in its Quote-to-Cash suite to build a machine-learning engine "that drives intelligent insights and actions."
Gulf Islamic Investments LLC (GII), a United Arab Emirates-based financial services company, led the Series D round, with participation from a mix of old and new investors, including K1, Iconiq and KIA.
Apttus closed its largest round of financing — $108 million — last September. It followed earlier rounds of $41 million and $37 million, which were both led by Salesforce Ventures, Salesforce's investment arm.
Quote-to-Cash software helps enterprises with pricing, payments, invoices, quotes and contract renewal.
Apttus, founded in 2006, has more than 1,200 employees. Valued now at more than $1.3 billion, it has had plans for months to launch its initial public offering. Company officials now say they are planning to take the company public in the first half of 2017.
New Machine Learning Intelligence
The idea to bring machine learning intelligence into the Apttus Quote-to-Cash suite started about 12 to 14 months ago, Ahluwalia said. They company realized it was doing well automating the Quote-to-Cash process, but wanted to bring more value to those using the platform.
The Apttus Intelligent Cloud powers all of Apttus’ Quote-to-Cash solutions, including Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ), Contract Management, Omni-Channel E-Commerce and Revenue Management.
"Process automation is fine, but it's now table stakes," Ahluwalia said.
So Apttus opted to add machine learning to every transaction. For instance, a salesperson driving home from a meeting can get help from the machine-learning engines to create a proposal for the potential customer.
"You can tell the system you need a proposal, and the system gives you guidance," Ahluwalia said. "Our core competency is Quote-to-Cash but machine learning and Max are maximizing production for sales teams."
Machine Learning Capabilities
What else can Max do? Customers can use voice commands, text or augmented reality to channel Max to:
- Set up tasks and execute when customers ask
- Help with quote, contract or invoice creation
- Recognize similar tasks and therefore preempt a user before even being asked to perform a task
- Prompt users to make decisions consistent with company goals
- Help a salesperson understand the impact of a product or discount recommendation on her commission
Apttus is expected to demonstrate Max at the Salesforce Dreamforce conference next week in San Francisco.