India: PremjiInvest leads $55m round in US-based AI startup Apttus

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PremjiInvest, the family investment arm of Wipro chairman Azim Premji, has led a $55-million Series E round in US-based Apttus, according to a press statement.

Existing investors Salesforce Ventures, the venture arm of Salesforce, K1 and Iconiq also participated in the round. With the new round, Apttus, the unicorn quote-to-cash vendor built on the Salesforce platform, has raised a total of $329 million till date.

Apttus was founded in 2006 and received its first external investment in 2012.

“Apttus pioneered and defined the Quote-to-Cash and Contract Lifecycle Management markets and is a leader in these segments. Now with the advent of Max, Apttus’ artificial intelligence agent, we have redefined this market yet again,” said Kirk Krappe, chairman and CEO of Apttus.

“Today, we’ve secured funds that will allow our ongoing advancement of an industry we helped create over a decade ago,” he added.

The amount raised in the fresh round is subject to change, as the round remains open to additional investments for a short period of time. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC served as placement agent for the transaction, according to the statement.

Max, Apttus’ artificial intelligence agent, uses a conversational interface to simplify enterprise applications, including quote-to-cash and customer relationship management (CRM), and can be extended to any business application.

“Salesforce Ventures invests in the next generation of enterprise technology to help companies connect with their customers in entirely new ways,” said John Somorjai, EVP of corporate development and Salesforce Ventures.

PremjiInvest targets consumer, financial services, healthcare, IT, automobile, education and hospitality sectors, and has a corpus of over $1 billion through its two funds—PI Opportunities I and PI Opportunities II. In July, it invested in Kishore Biyani’s Future Lifestyle Fashions Ltd to hike its stake in the company by 3.26 per cent.

In January, 2016, PremjiInvest also led a $90 million Series E round in US-based Anaplan Inc.

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