Posted on Wednesday, Nov 30th 2016
According to Gartner, worldwide dollar-valued IT spending growth in 2016 is expected to register a slight decline of 0.3% over the year. Despite the weak forecast on enterprise spending, Billion Dollar Unicorn Infor appears to be doing rather well.
New York-based Infor was founded in 2002 under the name Agilsys with the objective of developing enterprise software. Today Infor has become an enterprise software provider and strategic technology partner for more than 90,000 organizations worldwide.
Its software is purpose-built for specific industries, providing complete suites that address areas including customer relationship management, enterprise asset management, enterprise resource planning, financial management, human capital management, performance management, product lifecycle management, supplier relationship management, supply chain management, business specific inventory management, transportation logistics, and warehouse management software. It builds business applications with last mile functionality and scientific insights for select industries and offers these products on a SaaS cloud-based model.
Unlike other ERP players, Infor offers comprehensive industry suites that don’t require much customization for customers because they have been built with the industry in mind. It understands the need for integration with existing legacy applications. Its next-generation middleware ION leverages HTML5 so that users can securely access information from a wide range of browsers and devices. It offers flexible deployment options to allow businesses to run applications either in the cloud, on-site, or as a hybrid service. The application has also been devised with the user in mind and offers an intuitive and a user friendly interface.
Infor has grown over the years through acquisitions. It began its journey with the acquisition of Brain AG in 2002. It added a few smaller players to its portfolio before acquiring Germany-based Infor Business Solutions in 2004. By the end of that year, it had wrapped up another few acquisitions and renamed itself as Infor Global Solutions. In 2005, it started making some bigger acquisitions. It made one of its bigger acquisitions by adding MAPICS for $347 million followed by GEAC ERP in the following year for $1 billion. In 2011, it bought Lawson Software, a maker of ERP and other enterprise software for an estimated $2 billion.
More recently, Infor acquired GT Nexus, the world’s largest cloud-based global commerce platform for $675 million. GT Nexus is a provider of a global order management system that coordinates commerce across partners and supports the retail, fashion, and manufacturing industries by helping them collaborate with suppliers to manage and optimize shipments to customers, distribution centers, and retail outlets to meet demand. The merged entity will work together to provide customers with visibility into their supply chains to manage production and monitor goods in transit and at their warehouses.
It is these constant acquisitions that have helped Infor deliver a strong topline. Being a privately held company, it does not disclose detailed performance, but reports reveal that the company had earned revenues of $2.8 billion in 2014. It ended the current fiscal with strong growth as well and saw its fiscal fourth quarter revenues grow 35% over the year. Its SaaS model is also seeing increased adoption as SaaS accounted for 40% of the company’s software license revenues compared with 10% three years ago.
Infor has been venture funded and does not disclose the total financing that it has raised so far. In November this year, it did raise $2.5 billion in a round led by Koch Equity Development at an undisclosed valuation. Other investors in the firm include Golden Gate Capital, Salesforce Ventures, and Summit Partners. Analysts estimate that Infor is currently valued at $9 billion including a debt of $5.5 billion.
Analysts expect that Infor may be looking to go public soon. It has engaged Morgan Stanley to find possible exit options which include private equity buy outs and an IPO.
More investigation and analysis of Unicorn companies can be found in my latest Entrepreneur Journeys book, Billion Dollar Unicorns. The term Unicorn was coined in a TechCrunch article by Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures.
Photo Credit: Alexander Matt/Flickr.com
This segment is a part in the series : Billion Dollar Unicorns
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