Excel-killer Anaplan just raised another $90 million proving that VC money 'has not disappeared'

Anaplan CEO Frederic Laluyaux

Business Insider/Julie Bort

Anaplan CEO Frederic Laluyaux

Despite the "anti-unicorn" climate that has descended on Silicon Valley lately, hot, growing startups can still raise a boatload of investment at billion-dollar valuations, especially if the lead investors are outside of the U.S.

So it is for Anaplan, which just raised another $90 million, led by Indian VC firm Premji Invest.

Scottish firm Baillie Gifford also participated, as did Founders Circle Capital, Harmony Partners, and Anaplan's existing investors which includes Salesforce and Shasta Ventures.Advertisement

Anaplan has now raised $234.4 million in total, according to Crunchbase.

CEO Frederic Laluyaux tells us this is the last round the company plans to raise. Next stop, an IPO. And in addition to the fundraising, the company also hired a new CFO James Budge, previously at Genesys.

Anaplan offers a financial planning cloud app that's as easy to use as a spreadsheet, but also does things Excel can't do, like modeling and letting groups work together. A planner can use it to see how adding more employees might affect sales and profitability, for instance. Its claim to fame is that it's a lot less expensive than planning software from giant SAP.

Tighter terms

In 2014, Anaplan made waves when it raised $100 million, a whopping amount at the time. It said then it had about $1 billion valuation.

It is now valued at $1.09 billion, TechCrunch reports.This indicates that, while the cash is still available, terms have gotten tighter than last year, when startups with $1 billion valuations were popping up like weeds. (CB Research is tracking 150 of them.)Advertisement

Anaplan CEO Frederic Laluyaux explains, "Multiples have retracted but good companies still get funding, i.e., the money has not disappeared."

In other words, VCs are being more pragmatic when looking at a startup's revenue/ bookings to determine how much money to offer, and how to value the company.

Because some billion-dollar startups have hit troubled times like missing sales projections, with at least one investor writing down valuations, there's a growing sentiment against them. (One of them, Good Technology, even sold itself to its hated competitor for less than half of its previous value.)Advertisement

One of the Valley's most active investors, Salesforce's Marc Benioff, has even been speaking out against the billion-dollar-valuation startup trend, too, and urging startups to go public instead of raising more money. (Salesforce is one of the biggest corporate investors of cloud based startups and, as we mentioned, it's an investor in Anaplan, too.)

Healthy pressure

Laluyaux says that this kind of pressure is good for the startup world. Anaplan's first round, in the spring of 2014, was just before unicorn madness really started, when the soft economy was finally lifting itself out of the doldrums.

"This is actually the second time that we raise in 'difficult markets' - our last round was in spring 2014- and I think it is actually a pretty healthy process," Laluyaux says.Advertisement

For this round, Anaplan was trying to raise $75 million, he said, and "ended up raising a little bit more."

Most important to him was finding international partners to help him expand overseas, particularly in India and Asia, which he feels he got with new investor Premji, he says.

As for the $1.09 valuation, he calls it "a solid valuation based on 2016 revenue multiple - but not a crazy one- which I think is very healthy in the long term," he says. He says if he couldn't raise money with good terms, he wouldn't have done it. Advertisement

Anaplan says it's still growing fast, with revenues up 134% year-over-year in the first half it its fiscal 2016. It counts 50,000 employees as users, and 325 global companies as customers, with over 100 partners developing add-on apps for it.

Anaplan hasn't discussed recent revenues figures, but some time ago the company told Business Insider that it grew from making about $10 million in all of 2012, to $10 million per quarter in 2013 to $10 million per month as of Jan. 2014.