BetterCloud CEO David Politis says it’s not just social distancing that’s keeping him from throwing a party to commemorate the SaaSOps company’s $75 million fundraising announcement. Even though he’s obviously excited about what the investment says about BetterCloud’s business model, he says this moment is more about going heads-down.
“There’s not a lot to celebrate per se,” Politis said in an interview with Hypepotamus. “This about knowing we have the financial capacity to execute on our vision.”
The big growth investment speaks to BetterCloud’s digital workplace management and security capabilities, which could prove pivotal to the company’s success during the current challenges and realities of companies having to operate with remote employees through SaaS platforms during COVID-19’s disruptions.
The rise of corporate and small business usage of such cloud suites as Google’s GSuite, Microsoft Office 365 and Salesforce has created “major inflection points” in the digital workplace over the last decade, and particularly the past two months, according to a statement from BetterCloud. And Politis says now that so many companies have been forced to consider work-from-home setups they didn’t have before, there’s no turning back.
“Every company has seen a dramatic change in how they work, prompting a rush to adopt SaaS applications to enable their workforces. Remote work, however, has created a greater need to manage and secure the cloud-based applications that power their businesses,” Politis said in the statement. “Our customers need us more than ever and this fundraise will help us deliver on our promise to help them navigate this new way of working.”
The funding round, announced this morning, was led by global private equity firm Warburg Pincus and included participation from Bain Capital Ventures, Flybridge Capital Partners, Amsterdam Growth Capital, Greycroft, e.ventures and Accel. The new funding will ramp up product innovation to meet rising demand, and brings BetterCloud’s total amount raised to $187 million.
“Our product is all about helping IT discover, manage and secure the SaaS applications in their environment, like Zoom, Slack, Box, Dropbox, MS Sharepoint — the applications people are using day-in, day-out to do their work,” Politis says. “We give IT professionals the opportunity to deploy those in their environment, and to have control.”
Politis says understanding of, appreciation for and use of BetterCloud has been “tremendous” in the last two months. And while shelter-in-place and working from home realities is not how he wanted to see BetterCloud adoption accelerate, he says the company is ready for the moment.
“It has accelerated digital transformation in companies by at least five years. Large orgs that had plans to move to the cloud and start adopting cloud apps, which are doing great because people are relying on them to run their businesses. Businesses have been forced to let their employees use them because it’s the only way they can be productive at home. And IT is relying on BetterCould to have control over them.”
Politis admits getting a funding round done in the middle of a pandemic was different from the norm, with lots of 3-4-hour meetings happening on Zoom. “I’ve raised a lot of money in my career. This has been the most unique experience I’ve ever gone through and probably will ever go through in my life.”
Brian Chang, managing director at Warburg Pincus, which has been actively investing in enterprise technology software, says BetterCloud has both of the attributes the firm looks for in investments, being category creators and market leaders. “David and his team have developed an impressive SaaSOps category and movement from scratch, building a platform that helps tens of thousands of IT professionals enable their workforces through SaaS applications,” he said.
And it’s not just new companies who are taking advantage of BetterCloud’s services, which include content scanning, file security and monitoring cloud sharing to make sure employees aren’t inappropriately moving documents outside departments or organizations. Even employee offboarding, which Politis says could take 130 or more steps in a normal SaaS application environment, can be automated to be finished in seconds with BetterCloud.
“We’re seeing more and more of these larger, traditional, legacy-type industries who are usually late to adopt SaaS applications. We’re talking 100-year-old insurance companies, food service companies, manufacturing companies signing up with BetterCloud. We have truly diversified the mix, and we’re investing to make sure they’re aware that there’s actually a solution out there.”
BetterCloud, which Politis founded in 2011, is based in New York City, but its technology office has always been in Atlanta, since Politis had engineering connections from his undergraduate studies at Emory University.
“We started to build our engineering team in Atlanta,” he says, “and very quickly we realized it made sense for us. As a startup team with very few people, you really want to be in one place and one office, but there’s amazing talent and opportunity in Atlanta. So we kept a strict line: New York was customer facing, and ATL was product engineering and DevOps, up until a year ago. We’ve now started to diversify the roles we hire for in Atlanta, including sales and customer success roles.”
Politis says the funding will ultimately help BetterCloud “play offense” on product development in the coming months, and solve more use cases for clients, particularly leaning into those legacy industries.
“This is kind of our Super Bowl, if you will. It’s our opportunity to help them be successful at this time and adopt these applications.”