JMP Securities Analysts Patrick Walravens and Peter Lowry predicted Salesforce will realize 100 percent revenue growth from its partner Apttus this year. Now Salesforce itself is helping to make that prediction come true.

Salesforce Ventures, Salesforce's investment arm, is taking part in another funding round today for San Mateo, Calif.-based Apttus, which makes Quote-to-Cash software on the Salesforce1 platform.

This time, with the help of Salesforce Ventures, Iconiq Capital, K1 Capital and KIA, Apttus raised $108 million — nearly three times as large as its previous round. This Series C round, led by KIA, follows a $37 million Series A round in September 2013 and a $41 million Series B round in February.

The round give Apttus unicorn status — defined as a company that has a $1 billion valuation or higher, based on fundraising. 

Growing and Spending

headshot of alex cohen of apttus

Alex Cohen, director of corporate marketing at Apttus, told CMSWire the company had 250 employees in 2013, 500 last year and expects to close 2015 with 1,400. All told, it’s a two-year staffing increase of 460 percent.

“You want to talk about explosive growth? We’re there,” Cohen said. “A lot of it is international.”

The new round of funding will be used to provide new business solutions and services to Apttus customers and prospects in fields such as manufacturing, life sciences, financial services and telecommunications. But Cohen said the company could not offer any more specifics about where the money would go.

In February, Apttus officials told CMSWire they intended to use the Series B funds for international expansion, growth of new verticals and research and development.

Founded in 2006, Apttus helps companies find products, match specifications, quote prices and finalize contracts.

John Somorjai, executive vice president of corporate development and Salesforce Ventures, has said Apttus's leading quote-to-cash capabilities extend the value of the Salesforce1 platform. “Apttus’ acceleration is a testament to the growth potential and power of the Salesforce1 Platform, across all industries,” he noted in a statement.

Learning Opportunities

Big Plans

Apttus has been growing quickly. It has new offices in London, Sydney, Chicago and plans to open one in Japan. It has 500,000 users — 1 percent of Salesforce’s customers — and boasts that it will dominate the Quote-to-Cash market.

According to Gartner, "Configure, price and quote (CPQ) is evolving as an integrated process automating tool used from opportunity to contracting and ordering."
Gartner calls it $31 billion market, with the potential to reach $41 billion by 2018.

screenshot of the apttus technology

“Our relationship with Salesforce is critical,” Maria Pergolino, vice president of marketing at Apttus, told CMSWire. She said the main users of the Apttus platform are those responsible for revenue and revenue optimization.

Apttus also partners with Microsoft. Users who want to leverage Excel or Word from their Salesforce CRM can do so with an Apttus product, X-Author for Excel. It allows Salesforce users to use the Excel UI for many of their Salesforce tasks.

“We’ve inspired a lot of good faith in the investment community,” Cohen said. “We’re expanding internationally by building out teams and making sure we’re building our products as fast as possible.”

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Title image by Krsto Jevtic.