SpringCM Reels in another $25 Million, Appoints a New CEO
SpringCM, a document and sales contract management solution for Salesforce customers, has raised $25 million in funding. In conjunction with the funding, SpringCM has appointed Dan Dal Degan, a veteran software exec who joined Chicago-based SpringCM's board last year, as its new CEO. Founder and former CEO Greg Buchholz will stay on as president and chief operating officer.
“Our aggressive growth strategy is emboldened through this funding as we expand our leadership team, international go-to-market presence, and engineering talent,” said Dal Degan. “SpringCM was one of my top-performing solution partners during the 11 years I built and ran Salesforce’s Central U.S. business. As a SpringCM board member, I was delighted to contribute to increasing our global reach and solution footprint in the Salesforce ecosystem. As CEO, I’m thrilled to be accelerating our progress and further establishing SpringCM as a leader in the Chicago software technology market.”
Backers include Crestline Investors, Inc., a credit and structured capital focused institutional investment firm, and Foundation Capital. This funding round has taken the total amount of raised equity by the startup to $65m, including $17.5 million last summer and $18 million back in 2014. The company intends to utilize the funds for continued development of new applications for document and contract management, as well as expanding the software firm’s reach both in North America and Europe such as building a data center in Europe and to recruit more employees in sales, service, and technology.
SpringCM 2016 in Review
2016 has treated SpringCM well. The company established its first international office in May 2016 and raised a $17.5 million round in June. Around that time, the organization also welcomed former Salesforce executive Dan Dal Degan to its board of directors. At Salesforce, Dal Degan helped create and execute the cloud apps sales and support model that has become the industry’s standard, and was responsible for more than 15 percent of total bookings worldwide. Earlier in his career, Dal Degan was one of the first 100 employees at Salesforce and was referenced in Marc Benioff’s book, “Behind the Cloud.”
"When I joined the board, the plan was for me to spend most of 2016 on the board, and for Greg and me to work together and design a growth plan," said Degan in an interview. "Greg reached out to me and asked me to do this. I was very excited, and for nine months, we did that together." With the new organizational change, Degan will head up SpringCM's client-facing operations, while Bucholz will continue to take point on development, finances, and other internal operations.
Prior to Salesforce, Dal Degan worked for Siebel Systems and Oracle over the past 30 years. He's a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. Although he is originally from Chicago, Degan has spent most of his career working for Silicon Valley companies. On a funny note, "I spent most of my career working for companies based in Silicon Valley," he said. "My wife asked if I was ever going to work for a Chicago-based company."
Speaking of organizational changes, last year the company added over 107 customers, acquiring a total of 51 customers in the last quarter alone. The new clients include Uber, Spotify, Valvoline, Qlik and IKEA. Keeping all these events in mind, the timing of the investment couldn’t be any better.
What’s next for SpringCM?
In the wake of the funding round, part of SpringCM’s growth plan is expanding into the federal government with a pending Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) certification. FedRAMP is a government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. The company believes that they have the upper hand in the cut-throat competition when it comes to the public sector as last June, former CEO Greg Buchholz stated: “With a leading contract management app on the Salesforce AppExchange, a sales content management solution designed for Salesforce users and a document management platform that also addresses the unique needs of the public sector, SpringCM is well-positioned to take advantage of three very large markets.”
The public sector which spends close to $200 billion per year on technology-based solutions seems to be on the vendors’ radar lately. As an example, if you may recall, this project is also something that Jive is working on as well. Jive’s CEO Elisa Steele said: “We received sponsorship from an existing federal customer and we believe this important certification will be a meaningful avenue to drive new federal and regulated industry business over time.”
Another part of the growth plan is global expansion. The company, which is one of the top 15 partner apps for Salesforce, plans to increase its presence of knowledge workers and infrastructure in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. This marks the first non-U.S. market presence for the organization. "We'll be expanding the go-to-market presence, partnering more with Salesforce," Del Degan said. SpringCM currently employs 120 people, the vast majority of whom are based in Chicago. Although we do not know the specifics just yet, the company confirmed that the number of staff will increase "substantially."
The Document Management Software Market
In recent years, the Document Management System (DMS) market has introduced new features, trends, and players. One of the most prominent trends is, most obviously, the rise of mobile functionality. Almost all vendors in the space now offer mobile capabilities by default. Not only can users access files from their smartphones or tablets, but they can also collaborate with other users, make edits or upload images. This leads us to the second emerging trend in the market; collaboration. Nobody likes the hassle of tracking changes by the user. Today’s solutions enable users to work on the same files together in real time in the most productive way. Actually, some vendors have even gone beyond allowing users to work on the same document together by offering them more sophisticated simultaneous collaboration features where they can also chat with each other within the document.
The document management systems are more than the software that enables users to just go paperless. Employing a cloud-based document management software solution comes with a trench of advantages. These systems:
Serve as a central repository for all your important documents that can subsequently be accessed, viewed, changed and shared with colleagues.
Keep the confidential business information safe through strict security policies and role-based access control, meaning that authorized users are only allowed to reach to certain files or documents.
Provide the ability to access files and documents anywhere, anytime, regardless of the device used, meaning that team members who are on the go or located remotely can also collaborate on projects in real-time.
Allow continuous information flow between disparate platforms through integration with third-party software.
As a result, save time and reduce cost.
Salesforce has been a big catalyst for SpringCM, and the Chicago-based tech startup has been rapidly growing through its strategic investments in the continued development of new applications for document and contract management as well as its expansion. It is great to hear that the company is planning to broaden its product line beyond contracts by adding the capability to store and manage content.