As Samir Bodas, co-founder and CEO of Icertis, pointed out, when building a large software company, you “either have to create a wave or ride a wave.” When Bodas and fellow co-founder, Monish Darda, created Icertis, a cloud-based contract management platform provider, they chose to “ride the wave” — the cloud wave, specifically.
However, Icertis, which was founded in 2009, wanted to differentiate itself from what else was out there in the contract management solution space. Its aim: build an agile, cloud-based contract management platform that was “deep and wide and end-to-end,” Samir said, and one that could be integrated into existing business solutions.
Contract management is becoming more strategic, more centralized to the business, Bodas pointed out. The decision making around contract management is no longer just revolving around the chief legal officer or CFO, for instance — it’s more widespread and more departments. Integration of contract management into existing business solutions is also important.
“That is how we think about it,” he said. “We are very careful in positioning ourselves as a contract management platform that integrates into everything, as opposed to a contract management platform that is going to build into everything.”
Before starting Icertis, Bodas said he kept hearing that the existing contract management solutions available were either “too wide but shallow,” or “deep, but narrow” — shallow in the sense they were not enterprise-class, and narrow meaning they tackled just one aspect of the contract management process. Bodas said Icertis aimed for for a more extensive, “enterprise-plus” solution. It’s contract management solution can be integrated into existing business software solutions, like Salesforce, or a sourcing suite, he said.
Funding Support and Plans for the Future
Icertis has gained support for its take on contract management software. It just announced it raised $15 million in a Series B financing round, led by Ignition Partners. This funding brings it current total company funding to $21 million to date, according to its press release.
For Icertis, the latest $15 million will go a long way, Bodas said, and help the company grow significantly. For Bodas, it’s about being strategic and spending money in the right place to build a company into something substantial. As far as acquiring other technologies, though, Icertis isn’t there yet.
“I haven’t found anything that is interesting yet, or something interesting hasn’t found us,” Bodas said.
Icertis’ current customers include Microsoft, Roche and AbbVie — Fortune 500 firms that helped Icertis grow revenue by four times in 2015, Bodas said, adding he believes Icertis can at least double that in 2016. The focus in 2016 and beyond will be on marketing, investment and increasing Icertis’ leadership position in the space. The company is also looking to increase its reach around the world, opening offices in London and Singapore as well as in the United States in cities like Chicago and Dallas.
Spend Matters Take
Jason Busch, founder and head of strategy of Spend Matters, said Icertis is cleverly pursuing the broader procurement and contract lifecycle management opportunity through a technology-centric approach where the underlying platform (e.g., integration, business process management, workflow, etc.) is as important as the functional capability itself.
“As an example, the fact that users can optionally expose Icertis functionality in third-party applications and third-party user interfaces speaks to their embrace of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) thinking and capability,” Busch said. “But even more important, it speaks to embedding contract, sourcing and risk management capability within an organization in a flexible manner the way customers want to consume it as opposed to forcing procurement, finance and others to deploy applications the only way vendors can sell them based on architectures that require the use of their own modules and suites alone.”