The North of England has a new billion-dollar technology company in the form of enterprise software firm Anaplan.
The startup, founded in York, North East England, has raised $90 million (£62 million) in a Series E funding round at a valuation of $1.1 billion (£760 million) for its web-based business-planning and operations platform that competes with products from Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft.
The business was founded in a Yorkshire barn in 2006 by CTO Michael Gould. Today it employs between 500 and 600 staff across 12 offices worldwide. Although Anaplan has technically relocated its headquarters to San Francisco, much of its engineering is still done in York, where it employs approximately 80 people. Elsewhere in the UK, Anaplan has offices in Maidenhead and London.
Premji Invest led the round that also included Baillie Gifford, Founders Circle Capital and Harmony Partners, as well as existing investors like Salesforce. Total investment in Anaplan now stands at $240 million (£166 million) and the company has 400 paying customers including large enterprises like HP and Aviva.
Gould told Business Insider over the phone today that the latest funding round will allow Anaplan to build its workforce to approximately 1,200 people over the next year, adding that the majority of those roles will be in engineering and sales.
Raising the funding round wasn’t too difficult, Gould said, adding that Anaplan had been talking to investors over the last two months.
“There was a lot of interest but the market has changed in some ways,” said Gould. “People are asking harder, tougher questions of businesses to get investment. People are looking at the path to profitability.
“Part of the reason we’re raising money is because we’re not profitable at this stage but we have a very clear path to get there soon.”
Despite government efforts, the North of England has struggled to create technology companies as big as those in London, Edinburgh, Oxford or Cambridge. According to a report released last June by research firm GP Bullhound, there is only a single billion-dollar technology startup in the North of England: ao.com. It’s a website that sells fridges and washing machines, so although it’s a successful business, it’s not exactly revolutionary.
Gould said he wasn’t sure companies in the North of England were growing to the same size as those in London.
“I think there’s a lot of innovation [in the North]. Perhaps not in software but there is in nanotech in Manchester. There’s quite a lot of activity.”
The company is now looking ahead to a possible stock market listing but it does not have a date in mind at this stage.
“We’re working towards an IPO,” said Gould. “When and whether that happens will depend on a lot of factors. Market conditions aren’t great at the moment.”
In order to help prepare for the IPO, Anaplan has appointed a new chief financial officer in the form of James Budge, who has has held executive roles at US tech companies such as Rovi and Genesys.
Here is Anaplan in action: