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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

May 15, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Apptio raises $45 million, primed for IPO

Today’s forecast for Bellevue: Cloudy with showers of cash, raining down on business software startup Apptio.

Apptio today is announcing that it has raised a whopping $45 million, ending a relatively quiet period in the funding of Seattle-area startups.

The funding will be used mostly to expand distribution of its products and increase professional services that it provides to customers. It’s also planning to expand overseas, increasing its presence in Europe and establishing itself in Asia.

Founders of the company have said they intend to build Apptio into a major, independent company in the region, rather than cash in quickly by selling to a larger company as they did previously with iConclude. That venture sold to Opsware in 2007 for $60 million, two years after it started.

“We are really intent on building a long-lasting company that changes the way IT is managed,” Apptio co-founder and Chief Financial Officer Kurt Shintaffer said.


The company now has plenty of money to run until it goes public. Shintaffer acknowledged that’s a likely outcome, saying the company would go public if that presents “an opportunity to drive more growth.” But he wouldn’t say when an initial public offering may happen.

Pressure to go public could come from investors, including big investment groups leading the latest round of funding. They include Janus Capital, Fidelity and The Hillman Company, along with previous investors such as Madrona Venture Group, Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, Shasta Ventures and T. Rowe Price Associates.

That lineup probably won’t have the patience to slowly and steadily build a private software company without the pop of an IPO or merger.

“Clearly the set of investors we’re working with here are investors who invest primarily in public companies so clearly that dynamic suggests something about what the investors think our potential outcome could be,” Shintaffer said.

Altogether Apptio has raised $136 million since it was started in 2007 by veterans of the enterprise software space with a knack for building companies that ride trends in corporate computing. Apptio builds tools that managers at big companies use to manage and analyze their technology investments.

Apptio calls itself the leading provider of “technology business management” products, which companies are using to keep track of their software, hardware and services as they evolve and blend on-site technology with online technologies.

“In the midst of this services transformation, TBM is a must-have set of business management applications and analytics for Global 2000 enterprises,” Apptio founder and Chief Executive Sunny Gupta said in a release.

So far Apptio only has about 125 customers but they are big ones — 29 of the Fortune 100, including Boeing, Target, Xerox, Safeway and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Apptio isn’t disclosing sales other than to say they nearly doubled last year. Employment has soared, from 115 at the end of 2010 to about 350, including 220 at its headquarters in downtown Bellevue.

With the funding in hand, employment should grow to 450 or 500 people over the next year, according to Shintaffer.

Here’s a screenshot of an Apptio console window:





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