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Icertis enters unicorn club with $115-mn cheque from PremjiInvest, others
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Enterprise contract lifecycle management company Icertis Inc. has raised $115 million (Rs 791.6 crore at current exchange rate) in a Series E round of funding that propelled it into the club of technology unicorns with a valuation of at least $1 billion.

The funding was co-led by PremjiInvest, the family office of Wipro’s billionaire Azim Premji, and US-based Greycroft Partners, which has previously invested in the company.

In a statement, Icertis said the latest round has vaulted it into the unicorn club of startups.

Other participants in the round include existing investors B Capital Group, Cross Creek Advisors, Eight Roads, Ignition Partners, Meritech Capital Partners and PSP Growth, Icertis said in a statement.

The Seattle-headquartered company, led by information technology industry veteran Samir Bodas, said it will use the funding for several purposes, including increasing its investment in Icertis Contract Management (ICM) platform and extending the reach of Icertis Blockchain Framework, which it integrates with its platform to solve challenges such as transparency in the supply chain.

It will also use the fresh capital to further integrate artificial intelligence and cognitive services into ICM, as well as scale its sales and marketing efforts around the globe. The company will also explore acquisitions to add value to its services.

Bodas, who is Icertis’ co-founder and chief executive officer, said companies need to re-imagine their business processes in order to be competitive in the current global environment. “Nothing is more foundational than contract management as every dollar in and every dollar out of a company is governed by a contract,” Bodas said.

Greycroft partner Mark Terbeek said the PE firm was confident about Icertis’ ability to become a giant in the enterprise software-as-a-service market. PremjiInvest lead partner in the US Sandesh Patnam added that the company’s products delivered substantial value for its customers, and that it had deep cash reserves as well as a “track record of flawless execution”.

“As we run a long-term evergreen crossover fund, we look for companies with enduring growth prospects that can execute and thrive well beyond an initial public offering,” Patnam said.

Founded in 2009 by Bodas and Monish Darda, Icertis provides enterprise contract management software in the cloud. Its flagship product, ICM, manages sell-side, buy-side and corporate enterprise contracts across the globe through the cloud.

In February last year, the company raised $50 million (around Rs 321.34 crore) in a Series D round led by US-based Meritech Capital Partners. Before that, it raised $25 million in a Series C round led by B Capital Group, the venture capital fund founded by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and Silicon Valley-based Indian-origin investor Raj Ganguly.

The company says its platform helps its customers manage over 5.7 million contracts with an aggregate value of more than $1 trillion (around Rs 68.86 trillion). It has offices in the US, India, France, the UK, Singapore and Australia, among other countries. Some of the entities it has worked with include Airbus, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft and Cognizant.

Investors

Greycroft was established in 2006. According to its website, the firm typically holds stake in a company for over 10 years.

Apart from Icertis, its portfolio includes business process fin-tech compliance company Beam Solutions, media group The Huffington Post and Venmo, a digital wallet.

PremjiInvest has invested in several firms over the past year, according to VCCEdge, the research arm of Mosaic Digital.

In February, it was part of a clutch of investors that bought a 10% stake in fast-moving consumer goods major Emami Ltd. The transaction, which included non-banking financial company IDFC, fetched Emami Rs 1,600 crore (around $224 million).

Last June, PremjiInvest picked up a stake in Future Retail Ltd.

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