By Jeff Klemens, Principal of Sageview Capital -
The funding environment in Silicon Valley today is best classified as both dynamic and robust. Buoyed by both strong consumer successes such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and GoPro, and enterprise winners including Splunk, Workday, Palo Alto Networks and ServiceNow, the venture capital and growth equity community have seen a rebound in investor returns and a corresponding increase in capital allocated to finding the next disruptive growth company. This comes at a time when the impact of mobility, cloud computing, social media, open source development, and as-a-service business models have moved beyond the fringes and into the mainstream of the technology landscape. This has caused a major shift of budget dollars and has quickly created new winners and losers in nearly every technology market category. These mega-trends impact how both consumers interact with technology and enterprises purchase and deploy technology. And it makes for an incredible petri dish to cultivate innovation and new ways to deliver value to customers.
At Sageview, we focus on finding established businesses with a strong customer value proposition that are looking to scale their business and achieve the next level of their strategic vision. Our philosophy is to find just a few companies each year in which to invest both our capital and our time. Once invested, we work closely with the company – formally as board members but more broadly as strategic capital partners – to add value where our skill set and relationship network can be put to work in support of the company’s objectives. So while we see hundreds of interesting opportunities, we focus our energy on the ones we perceive to have the best combination of innovative product, large market opportunity, compelling strategic vision, and track record of company execution.
We are excited today to announce our investment in Alfresco because we believe it is a great fit on all of these dimensions. Alfresco has benefitted from the vision of the founding management team, led by John Newton, which architected Alfresco from the beginning to be a disruptive solution in the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) market. For nearly 10 years, customers have adopted Alfresco over competing legacy solutions to solve their business-critical content challenges due to its open, modern architecture that is both flexible and fully compliant, along with offering a compelling TCO proposition. We try to be as comprehensive as possible during our business diligence to have customers corroborate the company’s story, and in Alfresco’s case our conversations with customers and partners were very confirming of the product’s market-leading position and the company’s strategic direction. With 1,800 customers today, there is no shortage of case studies where Alfresco has delivered strong customer value. Alfresco’s track record of success in the ECM market is consistent and well established.
Driven by a desire to increase its market presence, Alfresco hired Doug Dennerline as CEO 19 months ago. Doug, together with the impressive senior leadership team he has recruited around him, has developed a clear strategy for the company to drive further growth, expand the breadth of the product portfolio and further enhance value for partners and customers. Alfresco’s hybrid cloud product strategy is bringing innovation to the intersection of the ECM, Business Process Management (BPM) and Collaboration markets. On the heels of their success in ECM we believe Alfresco is well positioned to penetrate these large adjacent markets. The investment we are leading will support the product, sales and marketing investments needed to ensure Alfresco delivers on this big vision. The acceleration of growth the company is experiencing today is evidence of the strategy paying off, and it’s still very early innings.
We look forward to working with Alfresco’s management team, Board of Directors, customers and partners to help achieve this compelling vision. While there are ample big promises amidst the disruption happening in technology today, the combination of product, market opportunity, vision and execution made Alfresco rise above the crowd for Sageview.