Posted on Thursday, Mar 11th 2021
According to a recent
Comserve report, the global accounts receivable (A/R) automation market is estimated to grow at 12.7% CAGR over 2020 to 2025. The current pandemic has accelerated the need for an efficient A/R collections process as the A/R management is critical in helping businesses complete their order-to-cash process. BlackLine (NASDAQ: BL) is leveraging its recent acquisition to make inroads in this market. BlackLine’s Financials
BlackLine’s fourth quarter revenues grew 19.2% over the year to $95.71 million, ahead of the market’s estimate by 4.49%. Net loss was $17 million, compared with a net loss of $9.2 million a year ago. Adjusted net income was $13.1 million, or $0.21 per share, compared with the market’s estimates of $0.07 per share for the quarter.
Among key metrics, it added 207 net new customers to end with 3,433 customers at the end of the December quarter. It expanded its user base to 291,873 and reported a dollar-based net revenue retention rate of 106%.
Revenues for the fiscal year grew 22% to $351.7 million. It ended the year with an EPS of $0.76.
For the first quarter, BlackLine expects revenues of $95.5-$96.5 million with an EPS of $0.04-$0.06. It expects to end the year with revenues of $410-$415 million and an EPS of $0.38-$0.41. The market was looking for revenues of $94.98 million for the quarter with an EPS of $0.09 and revenues of $410.20 million for the year with an EPS of $0.51.
During the quarter, BlackLine announced the acquisition of UK-based Rimilia for $150 million. Founded in 2008 by Steve Richardson, Rimilia is a SaaS platform that uses AI and machine learning to simplify the order-to-cash processes by automating the collection and allocation of customer cash. Prior to the acquisition, Rimilia had raised $40 million in funding from investors including Eight Roads Ventures, Kennet Partners, and Silicon Valley Bank.
The acquisition will allow BlackLine to strengthen its position in controllership offerings by ensuring data integrity and end-to-end automation of the cash lifecycle. The acquisition will also broaden its capabilities by adding AR automation and accelerating its long-term plan for modernizing and transforming Finance & Accounting.
BlackLine has already released BlackLine Cash Application, its AI and machine learning order-to-cash service that has been built on this acquisition. The product will allow BlackLine to enter into the A/R automation market and compete with the likes of Bill.com.
Bill.com is already a formidable player in this space. Its
cloud-based solution automates back-office financial operations for SMBs allowing them to digitize their entire business transaction lifecycle including collecting A/R and disbursing accounts payable (A/P). According to a recent report, there are more than 30.7 million SMBs in the US, and Bill.com is targeting 6 million businesses with 1 to 499 employees. It already has more than 100,000 customers, accounting for nearly 1.7% market share. Bill.com has been growing in the market through unique APIs that have helped integrate its payment and workflow automation features with financial accounting solutions. Bill.com, though remains focused on the SMB segment, unlike BlackLine that is geared toward the enterprise.
BlackLine currently does not have a long-term PaaS strategy. It currently operates on an API-based model, allowing developers to build connectors to extract relevant data from various ERP solutions. Its integrations allow users to send data from their ERP to BlackLine as well as from BlackLine to their ERP, thus making BlackLine truly ERP and system agnostic. In addition, for organizations with multiple systems and complex needs, BlackLine’s APIs can also help connect with any number of general ledger systems simultaneously, resolving issues associated with consolidating data across systems. BlackLine currently has more than 50 ERP integrations.
BlackLine’s stock is trading at $114.33 with a market capitalization of $6.6 billion. It had touched a 52-week high of $154.61 in February this year and a 52-week low of $38.32 in March last year.
Disclosure: All investors should make their own assessments based on their own research, informed interpretations, and risk appetite. This article expresses my own opinions based on my own research of product-market fit, channel execution, and other factors. My primary interest is in product strategy. While this may have bearing on stock movements, my writings tend to focus on long-term implications. The information presented is illustrative and educational, but should not be regarded as a complete analysis nor recommendation to buy or sell the securities mentioned herein. I am not a registered investment adviser and I am not receiving compensation for this article. This segment is a part in the series : Cloud Stocks . Smartsheet Acquiring Bootstrapped Startups to Drive Growth . Bootstrapped Unicorn Atlassian is Acquiring Capital Efficient Startups . Netflix Price Hike Ruffles Competition . How Will Carbon Black Differentiate? . 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