In summary: Infusionsoft secures $54 million and makes an acquisition, Microsoft’s bad year continues, more SAP HANA announcements, and Rimini Street sets a record…
Infusionsoft caught the eye in January. The Gilbert, Arizona based developer of an all-in-one CRM, email marketing, e-commerce, marketing automation application for small businesses, secured $54 million of funding from Goldman Sachs. The firm has been on a tear of late accumulating 12,000 customers and 44,000 users in pretty short order and showing how much progress can be made, in a pretty established market, if you’re able to offer something new and different.
While terms weren’t disclosed, some of those funds appear to have been put to quick use with the announcement of the acquisition of the Utah based social media marketing company, GroSocial. Described as the Buddy Media (who were acquired by Salesforce.com last year) of the SMB market, and, interestingly, including among its investors Dharmesh Shah and Mike Volpe, CTO and CMO respectively, of the Boston based, inbound marketing software company, HubSpot.
Another software as a service (SaaS) company on the acquisition trail was Silicon Valley based financial accounting, ERP, CRM, e-commerce company, NetSuite, who, again for undisclosed terms, announced the purchase of point of sale application provider, Retail Anywhere, presumably with a view to better enable retail chains to run their physical stores and online operations off the same back end.
Netsuite followed up by announcing a strong set of Q4 results which saw revenues up 33% year on year to $85 million, and overall revenues for the year up 31% to $308 million. The company noted it was looking to expand aggressively in 2013/2014, expecting revenues around the $400 million mark.
SAP also posted its Q4 figures, with sales up 12% to 5.06 billion Euros. Operating earnings fell 5% however, mainly due to acquisition related expenses and staff share-related pay on the back of a rising share price.
Earlier in the month the company announced the availability of its SAP Business Suite on HANA, its in-memory database technology. This will dramatically speed up routine tasks such as end of period reporting while also beefing up real-time analytic capabilities. Hasso Plattner, SAP’s co-founder, announced that the HANA database will be an option for all existing applications and future projects.
SAP closed out the month with the announcement it was planning to buy German provider of online sports and entertainment ticketing and CRM applications, Ticket-Web. Just in case there was any danger anyone had forgotten HANA, the technology’s potential to provide insights from ticket sales which might total tens of thousands in a few hours, was specifically highlighted in the press-release.
Perhaps less good news for SAP (and Oracle for that matter) was the announcement by third party maintenance provider, Rimini Street, of a record sales quarter. Targeting enterprise accounts the company said it had acquired 40 new customers and invoiced $26.6 million in the period, up 61% year on year, despite a looming court room battle with Oracle due later in 2013.
2012 was something of an annus horribilus, for Microsoft, at least from a CRM perspective, and 2013 didn’t start any better. No sooner had the long awaited multi-browser capability been released in its ‘Rollup 12’ for on-premise customers, than it was pulled again due to the company ‘discovering an issue that could potentially impact a customer’s database’. The upgrade was re-released a few weeks later.
While January also saw the general release of the ‘December 2012 service update’ for its online customers, the company still seems to be struggling to meet its 2011 commitment to a six monthly release cycle, and, if the comments on the Rollup 12 update are to be believed, there’s some frustration in its community with regard to the company’s communication around these issues.
If Microsoft continues to stumble, potential beneficiaries will include Zoho, who announced a number of new CRM features in January including advanced email filtering, a central document library and location aware capabilities in its mobile application.
Finally, Salesforce.com (who seemed otherwise uncharacteristically quiet in January) pick up my award for the canniest piece of marketing during the month, setting up an official command centre at the CES 2013 event in Las Vegas, using its Marketing Cloud capabilities to monitor and report on all the buzz around show.
Anyway, that concludes my take on the news for January 2013. If I’ve missed or misunderstood anything significant please feel free to comment!