Samir Bodas, co-founder and CEO of Bellevue-based Icertis, thinks the contract-lifecycle management industry his company serves could become as large as the customer-relationship management industry that propelled Marc Benioff into the Salesforce Tower. He just raised $50 million in additional funding to prove that theory.
The Series D round, led by Meritech Capital Partners, brings the total amount of money raised by the company to just under $100 million. The round also included the company’s current investors as well as two new ones, PSP Capital Partners and Cross Creek Advisors, and GeekWire has learned that the new round values the company at a little less than $500 million. (Bodas declined to comment on the valuation.)
It marks one of the largest venture capital rounds in a Pacific Northwest company so far this year.
Icertis built software delivered over Microsoft’s Azure public cloud that helps companies keep track of deals with suppliers and customers that require extensive contracts. Given how the legal system works, that’s a lot of contracts, and Icertis’ software also helps companies negotiate better contracts by highlighting ways to save money or move faster.
“There’s tremendous opportunity to tease out risk, to tease out more value, to look at the text of the contract and say, ‘this clause doesn’t look right,’” Bodas said in a recent interview. He compared contract-lifecycle management software to the emergence of cloud-delivered CRM software used by a lot of companies to manage their sales cycles.
Both those services used to be handled as part of a huge enterprise-resource planning software package companies bought from vendors like IBM or SAP and installed on their own servers, but cloud computing has upended that market much the same way it has everything else. Icertis counts companies like Microsoft and Daimler among its customers, and has around 600 employees, including 400 or so based in India working on its technology.
The company has about 100 people in the U.S., 75 of whom work in Bellevue. Like most startups with fresh cash, Icertis plans to open new offices (mostly in Europe) and expand its work on sales, marketing, and customer support, Bodas said.
Icertis is also working on technology improvements that will bring machine-learning capabilities into its products, which is also something the CRM industry is trying to do. As noted above, such technology could be used to help customers find problems in contracts before it’s too late, and it could also make it easier to do the most important part of managing contracts: making sure the other party is living up to their end of the deal.