The Silicon Review
In today’s shifting economy, cash flow remains the most important aspect in revolutionizing a company’s position in the market. But to maintain a solid financial position, and maximize the profitability and liquidity, every organization must focus on retaining cash flow from the investment made in building the company. This process of retaining revenue begins with a client quote and ends when the payment is received, and the money is in the bank, thus making the process highly complicated for the organizations to adopt. It is, therefore, vital to ensure an efficient Quote-to-Cash process that aligns not only with customer’s needs, but also incorporates the control necessary to increase revenue and margins, reduce risk, and improve working capital for businesses. Given thesecomplications, Apttus was founded in 2006 to deliver successful customer outcomes, improving the realization of revenue from the top-down, while solving common business problems within the sales cycle.
Apttus, the leading Quote-to-Cash (QTC) software provider, was founded to drive vital business processes between a buyer’s interest and the realization of revenue. Apttus’ offerings are fueled by the Apttus Intelligent Cloud, which maximizes the entire revenue operation by streamlining and improving business processes, aligning and driving revenue winning behaviors and recommending relevant, intelligent actions.
Headquartered in San Mateo, California, the company’s founding team spent decades in the software business striving their way through the different stages of booms and crashes, experiencing every situation imaginable. The co-founders initiated Apttus in typical startup fashion; three guys were writing out the values of the company on a napkin only to realize what they wanted to build and offer to the business world. They knew there was a need for, at the time, a contract management tool, and they were tired of selling products for other companies that didn’t work as they should. This need helped the company in building its pillars on three core values: Tier 1 everything, 100% customer satisfaction, and respect for all people.
Quote-to-cash is the process of driving revenue for organizations, which starts with its client’s buyer’s intention to buy, and ends with cash in the bank for the clients. If the process is managed properly, businesses are empowered to confidently adopt new business models, predict quarter outcomes, and meet increasingly complex customer demands without delays or risks. Quote-to-cash connects a customer’s intent to buy and a company’ realization of revenue, and encompasses the entirety of client’s sales, contracts, and customer relationship lifecycles.
Apttus Intelligent Cloud; an end-to-end solution
The Apttus Intelligent Cloud is a flexible and scalable solution that maximizes the entire revenue operation by streamlining and improving business processes, aligning and driving revenue winning behaviors and recommending relevant and intelligent actions. The solution combines process-based application such as Configure Price Quote, Contract Management, E-Commerce and Billing & Order Management with innovative behavioral applications.
The company has also developed the world’s first and only Quote-to-Cash virtual assistant known as Max that is uniquely built to manage any aspect of client’s Quote-to-Cash process. Max was designed to help organizations create optimal deals, configure solutions, prepare quotes, update contracts, manage discounting and pricing and manage many other user functions, all via its conversational user interface. The virtual assistant listens to voice commands, understands texts, and it handles interaction with salespeople in augmented reality environments.
Blueprint of the company’s expansion over the years
One of the most unique traits that Apttus bears with regards to its expansion over years was its decision to turn down early investment and bootstrap the company for its first seven years. As CEO Kirk Krappe explains in a Forbes article, “I don’t pretend that this was an easy road, or that it’s for everyone. The associated commitment and pressure were impactful to say the least. -Operating for so long without outside investment at times felt like performing a high-wire act without a net – every decision, every customer and every hire often seemed like life or death for the company we’d all poured so much of ourselves into. But it’s an interesting phenomenon: knowing that it was indeed our company made those risks easier to take. It forced us to go the extra mile, to single out the best path toward success. It brought out the best in every committed member of the team, and there’s no doubt in my mind that without everyone’s best we would not have succeeded.”
One of the prime reasons that private valuations and the public markets don’t always agree is the matter of profits. This led Kirk and his co-founders to bake profitability into the company’s DNA since its inception. The idea was to maximize the ROI from credit cards that were used for investment. Due to its subscription model of receiving annual payments upfront, the company’s early successes created a positive cash flow that enabled its expansion, product development and made an impact in its community without sacrificing quality or turning away prospective customers.
After several years of retaining the company’s profitability, in late 2013 the time arrived when the company could scale its business and invest in a go-to-market engine, thus raising a $37M Series A Round. To date, the company has raised $274M in 4 rounds, and its CEO attributes a large amount of this success to the strong foundation established by him and his co-founders while initially bootstrapping the company.
The roadmap ahead
Lately, Apttus has been working to incorporate artificial intelligence, machine-learning and dynamic analytics programs into its solutions for the customers so that it can bring something akin to Amazon’s recommended bundles features into the B2B world.
Roll out the Red carpet for the CEO
As an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist, and Forbes’ 2015 Unicorn Class – Entrepreneur of the Year, Kirk Krappe is the Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Apttus, the category-defining Quote-to-Cash (QTC) software company. Kirk has been the driving force behind Apttus’ double digit revenue growth since its founding in 2006.
In October 2016, he authored the Amazon best-selling book “Intelligent Quote-to-Cash: The Outcome-Based Approach to Transforming Your Business” to help readers understand why Quote-to-Cash is the most valuable part of business. To date, the company has raised $274 Million in 4 rounds of funding from ICONIQ, K1 Capital, KIA and salesforce.com. Under Kirk’s leadership, today Apttus boasts 600 enterprise customers, including 100 of the Fortune 500, over 1 million users worldwide, and more than 1200 employees, making it the industry’s fastest-growing provider of Quote-to-Cash solutions.
"We combine process-based applications with modern and innovative behavioral applications to align and drive revenue winning behaviors across all sales channels."