UPDATED 15:22 EST / SEPTEMBER 13 2017

CLOUD

Now AI-enabled, Apttus reels in $55M from investors

The everyday aspects of a company’s operations are often where technology can make the biggest impact. Apttus Inc. has carved out a niche worth more than a billion dollars in such an area, and today it announced that it has raised $55 million to keep the momentum going.

The San Mateo, California-based company sells a cloud service dedicated to streamlining what’s known as the quote-to-cash process. This term covers many of the logistical steps involved in large business deals, from the delivery of a price estimate to billing.

What has historically made the task difficult is the sheer number of details that must be sorted out. Producing a quote alone requires taking into account product availability, the price of each item and a company’s discount policies, as well as numerous situational considerations.

Then there’s the matter of managing payments. Large transactions often consist of multiple separate orders that can have different billing terms, or may need to be changed after the contract is signed. And that’s not even mentioning the need to calculate commissions for the salespeople or partners involved in each deal.

Apttus provides a centralized interface for carrying out these tasks. Last December, the company expanded the core feature set with a chatbot called Max that uses machine learning to automate repetitive work. The assistant can be instructed to create business documents with voice commands and is capable of offering advice on how to go about certain chores.

Apttus’ service is used by more than 600 organization,s including household names such as TiVo Corp., Adobe Systems Inc. and Lenovo Group Ltd. Another notable customer is Salesforce.com Inc., which is arguably the company’s most important partner.

Apttus originally built its service on top of the cloud giant’s customer relationship management platform and continues providing close integration to this day. Support for the rival Dynamics 365 offering from Microsoft Corp. was only added last year. In a move that should further cement their alliance, Salesforce Ventures contributed to the new funding round.

The provider was joined by K1 investment Management, Iconiq Capital and the private equity arm of Indian outsourcing giant Wipro Ltd., which led the investment.

Image: Apttus

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