When asked what he would like to do today, Signavio’s CEO Dr. Gero Decker will tell you that he would like to try to take over the world. Decker was part of a team that developed the world’s first web modeler for business process management and it was that initiative that became the blueprint for Signavio’s business software. While the Berlin-based company can call the likes of SAP, DHL, Liberty Mutual and Comcast as customers, they were eager to add to their product offerings and expand into overseas markets. The only challenge was they needed funding to help them get there.
Enter the Apax Digital Fund – a $1 billion tech-focused growth fund launched by Apax Partners in 2017. They recently led a $177 million funding round for German startup Signavio and Decker’s plans for world domination/expansion are that much closer to being realized thanks to their capital contribution.
“[Ten] years ago, we set out on a journey to tackle the time-consuming practices that limit business productivity,” said Dr. Gero Decker, CEO and co-founder of Signavio. “This significant new investment further validates our approach to solve business problems faster and more efficiently, unleashing the power of process through our unique Business Transformation Suite. We are thrilled to welcome Apax Digital as our new lead partner, and look forward to building upon our success to date by leveraging our partners’ operating capabilities and global platforms for our international expansion.”
Apax Partners was originally founded as a venture capital firm and in its early years, 1980s and early 1990s, forged the path for venture investing in the US and Europe. It was at this time that the firm developed a deeper expertise in specific sectors and started to focus on growing their portfolio companies. In the later 1990s, Apax began to explore investments in buy-outs and raising “balanced funds” with these strategies generally supplanting the more speculative strategies of early days.
With offices in Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, Munich, New York and Shanghai, Apax has a strong global presence and over 35 years’ experience with raising and advising funds with aggregate commitments of $51 billion. As Apax wants to play to their strengths, their digital fund will be used in subsectors where the firm has expertise, including vertical software, data & analytics, tech-enabled services, marketplaces, digital media, and disruptive e-commerce companies. Signavio is one such example.
“As businesses have become more global, and workforces more distributed, business processes have proliferated, and become more complex,” Daniel O’Keefe, managing partner, and Mark Beith, managing director of Apax Digital, said in a joint statement. “Signavio’s cloud-native suite allows employees across an enterprise to collaborate and transform their business by digitizing, optimizing and ultimately automating their processes. We are tremendously excited to partner with … [their] team and to support their vision.”
The Apax Digital Fund has also made investments in fashion sales platform Moda Operandi in New York, a digital provider of aesthetic medical services SoYoung Technologies from Beijing, and software development project manager Wizeline in San Francisco.