Posted on Wednesday, Oct 17th 2018
The rise of digital solutions has led to the creation of Digital Adoption Platforms (DAPs), which act as a guidance and navigation tool for organizations to help customers and employees understand next-generation digital tools. It helps drive adoption of digital solutions by improving individual performance on software applications. The platform was pioneered by San Francisco-based WalkMe, which recently entered the Billion Dollar Unicorn Club.
WalkMe was founded in 2011 by Dan Adika, Eyal Cohen, and Rafael Sweary. One of the co-founder’s mom used to call him and ask him how to use online banking. The co-founder would walk her through the process, but a few weeks later, she would call back with the same question. The founders figured that there had to be a better way to help people use websites. That is how the idea of WalkMe was born.
Initially, the company wanted to build a platform that would sit on any website and help the users understand how that website worked. Within two years, it realized the importance of its offering for the enterprise segment and redefined its platform to meet these needs. Today, its platform helps an organization adapt to the varying standards of the digital platforms that it engages with. For every new feature, process, and platform, WalkMe’s platform shifts the burden of learning the system to its platform. It enables users to use technology faster and more efficiently.
According to Gartner, more than 75% digital transformations that happen in an organization fail because people are not trained properly to use these tools. WalkMe addresses the concern by anticipating what the people are trying to do and giving them step-by-step guidance on how to do those things.
The company claims that it now has more than 2,000 corporate customers with more than 30% of Fortune 500 as its clients. It has 660 employees in seven offices in the US, Europe, and Asia Pacific.
WalkMe is privately funded and does not disclose detailed financials. But in my interview last year, Rephael seemed focused on costs and revenues. It has raised $207.5 million in funding so far from investors including Insight Venture Partners, Mangrove Capital Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Greenspring Associates, Giza Venture Capital, Flint Capital, and Gemini Israeli Ventures. Its latest round of funding was held earlier last month when it raised $40 million at over $1 billion valuation. An earlier round, held last year, had valued the company at $935 million.
WalkMe is not currently planning for an IPO, but it knows that it will have to list in the future. As of now, it wants to “build barriers to entry while it is still a private company” and is using the newly acquired funds to expand into other markets.
To drive growth, the company recently acquired machine learning technology player DeepUI.AI. Founded in 2014, DeepUI.AI operated in stealth mode to develop a patented machine learning technology that helps understand business software at the graphical user interface level, without the need for an application programming interface. Its algorithms can anticipate individual users’ needs, automatically create customized step-by-step guidance, and complete tasks in the quickest and most efficient way possible. The acquisition will help WalkMe automate every facet of the digital user experience, thus driving higher return on investment while continuing to improve employee productivity.
The growing popularity of DAPs is driving the entry of other vendors in the market as well. Today, WalkMe competes with other companies such as Appcues, AppLearn, and WhatFix within the segment. Market share of these players is not known. Additionally, the company also believes that its competition stems from corporate technology training teams.
I would like to hear from WalkMe users about their experience with the service. Did you use it as a replacement tool for in-house training services, or for your end customers? What did you like best about the service? And, like Rephael mentioned in his interview, I would like to know about the problems you face with the service. What is it that they can do better?
More investigation and analysis of Unicorn companies can be found in my latest Entrepreneur Journeys book, Billion Dollar Unicorns.
This segment is a part in the series : Billion Dollar Unicorns
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