Connect with us

Uncategorized

Creatio raises $68M as the low-code space keeps attracting huge checks

Published

on

This morning Creatio, a Boston-based software company, announced that it has raised $68 million. Volition Capital, a growth-equity fund, led the round. The deal was a minority investment in the startup.

The deal is notable not merely thanks to its sheer size, but because up until today Creatio had bootstrapped. That’s according to founder and CEO Katherine Kostereva, with whom TechCrunch caught up with last week regarding the investment.

Per Kostereva, her company’s low-code platform helps other companies automate business processes. Creatio’s competitive edge, she said, comes in part from how quickly it can help companies automate; the faster that companies can get from a low-code platform to live apps matters.

Creatio also has a genre-focus, namely that it touts its platform’s ability to help automate work in the CRM space — think marketing and sales-related tasks. But its crowning “jewel,” Kostereva said, is Creatio’s underlying low-code automation platform.

The low-code world that Creatio competes in is a broad space that is seeing active investment from the very-early to the very-late stage. For example, last month TechCrunch covered no-code focused Stacker’s $1.7 million round. And earlier this month TechCrunch wrote about low-code focused OutSystems’ $150 million raise at a $9.5 billion valuation.

To see another low-code company raise a big check was therefore not too surprising.

TechCrunch was curious where the company and its founder came down on the concept of low-code versus no-code, a topic that is always good to ask players in either space. Kostereva highlighted the importance of citizen developers, folks who can use drag-and-drop interfaces to create apps but who are less adept with code. But she added that with today’s no-code tools one can only build simple things. Creatio, she continued, is more focused on the mid-market and enterprise. As such, it’s just not possible for Creatio to go no-code today. But, her view did appear to be that citizen devs should be able to do more and more in time without code.

It’s a fair perspective, and an encouraging one. The more that folks can do sans code, the more power that can shift into the hands of business orgs that traditionally had to depend on other departments for dev lift.

Back to the money side of things, Creatio has historically targeted breakeven financial results per its CEO. That means it reinvested in itself as it grew, an arrangement that made us was curious as to why the company would raise capital now; why change up a working formula?

In short the company was getting itself ready for to accelerate, according to its founder. Kostereva said that she wanted Creatio to have “world class” numbers for metrics like net retention, revenue growth, and net promoter score before it took on external funds.

Was the wait worth it? The company’s net retention was 122% last year, and its NPS score is 34, she disclosed. On the growth side of things, Kostereva said that her company started off doubling and tripling and is still close to doubling. Our read of her comments is that Creatio is probably growing its ARR in the high double-digits today.

The company wants to use its capital to invest in sales-and-marketing to help spread the the word about its business, invest in its partner program, a key growth mechanism, and R&D, it said. So, a little bit of everything.

TechCrunch has recently noticed just how big the software world really is, indexing off the fast that there is enough room for a host of OKR-focused startups to grow and raise external capital without weeding weaker players out. Given how many businesses processes there are in the world to automate, it may be that Creatio and other low-code platforms that want to help other companies accelerate will enjoy similar market dynamics. Investors, at least, are betting like that’s the case.

Lyron Foster is a Hawaii based African American Musician, Author, Actor, Blogger, Filmmaker, Philanthropist and Multinational Serial Tech Entrepreneur.

Continue Reading
Comments

Uncategorized

Qualcomm veteran to replace Alain Crozier as Microsoft Greater China boss

Published

on

Microsoft gets a new leader for its Greater China business. Yang Hou, a former executive at Qualcomm, will take over Alain Crozier as the chairman and chief executive officer for Microsoft Greater China Region, according to a company announcement released Monday.

More to come…

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Autonomous drone maker Skydio raises $170M led by Andreessen Horowitz

Published

on

Skydio has raised $170 million in a Series D funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz’s Growth Fund. That pushes it into unicorn territory, with $340 million in total funding and a post-money valuation north of $1 billion. Skydio’s fresh capital comes on the heels of its expansion last year into the enterprise market, and it intends to use the considerable pile of cash to help it expand globally and accelerate product development.

In July of last year, Skydio announced its $100 million Series C financing, and also debuted the X2, its first dedicated enterprise drone. The company also launched a suite of software for commercial and enterprise customers, its first departure from the consumer drone market where it had been focused prior to that raise since its founding in 2014.

Skydio’s debut drone, the R1, received a lot of accolades and praise for its autonomous capabilities. Unlike other consumer drones at the time, including from recreational drone maker DJI, the R1 could track a target and film them while avoiding obstacles without any human intervention required. Skydio then released the Skydio 2 in 2019, its second drone, cutting off more than half the price while improving on it its autonomous tracking and video capabilities.

Late last year, Skydio brought on additional senior talent to help it address enterprise and government customers, including a software development lead who had experience at Tesla and 3D printing company Carbon. Skydio also hired two Samsara executives at the same time to work on product and engineering. Samsara provides a platform for managing cloud-based fleet operations for large enterprises.

The applications of Skydio’s technology for commercial, public sector and enterprise organizations are many and varied. Already, the company works with public utilities, fire departments, construction firms and more to do work including remote inspection, emergency response, urban planning and more. Skydio’s U.S. pedigree also puts it in prime position to capitalize on the growing interest in applications from the defense sector.

a16z previously led Skydio’s Series A round. Other investors who participated in this Series D include Lines Capital, Next47, IVP and UP.Partners.

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Space startup Gitai raises $17.1M to help build the robotic workforce of commercial space

Published

on

Japanese space startup Gitai has raised a $17.1 million funding round, a Series B financing for the robotics startup. This new funding will be used for hiring, as well as funding the development and execution of an on-orbit demonstration mission for the company’s robotic technology, which will show its efficacy in performing in-space satellite servicing work. That mission is currently set to take place in 2023.

Gitai will also be staffing up in the U.S., specifically, as it seeks to expand its stateside presence in a bid to attract more business from that market.

“We are proceeding well in the Japanese market, and we’ve already contracted missions from Japanese companies, but we haven’t expanded to the U.S. market yet,” explained Gitai founder and CEO Sho Nakanose in an interview. So we would like to get missions from U.S. commercial space companies, as a subcontractor first. We’re especially interested in on-orbit servicing, and we would like to provide general-purpose robotic solutions for an orbital service provider in the U.S.”

Nakanose told me that Gitai has plenty of experience under its belt developing robots which are specifically able to install hardware on satellites on-orbit, which could potentially be useful for upgrading existing satellites and constellations with new capabilities, for changing out batteries to keep satellites operational beyond their service life, or for repairing satellites if they should malfunction.

Gitai’s focus isn’t exclusively on extra-vehicular activity in the vacuum of space, however. It’s also performing a demonstration mission of its technical capabilities in partnership with Nanoracks using the Bishop Airlock, which is the first permanent commercial addition to the International Space Station. Gitai’s robot, codenamed S1, is an arm–style robot not unlike industrial robots here on Earth, and it’ll be showing off a number of its capabilities, including operating a control panel and changing out cables.

Long-term, Gitai’s goal is to create a robotic workforce that can assist with establishing bases and colonies on the Moon and Mars, as well as in orbit. With NASA’s plans to build a more permanent research presence on orbit at the Moon, as well as on the surface, with the eventual goal of reaching Mars, and private companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin looking ahead to more permanent colonies on Mars, as well as large in-space habitats hosting humans as well as commercial activity, Nakanose suggests that there’s going to be ample need for low-cost, efficient robotic labor – particularly in environments that are inhospitable to human life.

Nakanose told me that he actually got started with Gitai after the loss of his mother – an unfortunate passing he said he firmly believes could have been avoided with the aid of robotic intervention. He began developing robots that could expand and augment human capability, and then researched what was likely the most useful and needed application of this technology from a commercial perspective. That research led Nakanose to conclude that space was the best long-term opportunity for a new robotics startup, and Gitai was born.

This funding was led by SPARX Innovation for the Future Co. Ltd, and includes funding form DcI Venture Growth Fund, the Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, and EP-GB (Epson’s venture investment arm).

Continue Reading

Trending