Cognite Teams Up With Accel To Scale Its Business

Cognite, an Oslo, Norway-based SaaS developer for asset-intensive industries has announced that it has entered a partnership with Accel, a leading global venture capital firm with deep domain experience and expertise in building world class software companies.

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Founded in 2016 by Chief Executive Officer John Markus Lervik and Geir Engdahl, the Scandinavian startup develops industrial software-as-a-service used for the full-scale digital transformation of asset-intensive industries around the world. Their key product, Cognite Data Fusion (CDF), helps with contextualized OT/IT data to drive industrial applications that increase safety, sustainability, and efficiency, and drive revenue.

Cognite has 450 employees across offices in Oslo, Norway, Houston, and Austin, Texas, as well as Tokyo, Japan. Its client portfolio includes around 30 energy and shipping customers, including OMV, DEW Wintershall, Aker BP, and Lundin Petroleum.

Accel will work together with Cognite to accelerate its growth and expand its go-to-market strategy and product development. Cognite will also leverage Accel's long history of being the first partner in innovative and disruptive companies, including Facebook, Slack, Dropbox, Atlassian, and UiPath.

“Accel’s broad experience in scaling best-in-class software companies globally will complement the deep industrial knowledge brought in by our majority shareholder, Aker,” said Lervik. “This partnership is a confirmation and validation of Cognite’s proven technology which will redefine industrial data management and drive digital transformation of global industries.”

Prior to this deal, Cognite was owned by the Norwegian industrial investment company Aker, which controlled about 65% of the shares. Aker was the initial investor backing the company at the very beginning in 2016. As part of the agreement, Accel will become a minority shareholder.

The announcement arrives as Cognite announces its Series A funding round of $75 million. The latest funding brings Cognite’s valuation to $550 million, and also marks one of the largest SaaS financing rounds in Europe, according to the company. It’s also the largest software growth financing in Scandinavia to date.

In 2019, during an exclusive interview with Forbes, Lervik revealed that an IPO was on the horizon and would be a "natural route" to take for the firm. While those plans may be on hold for now, this certainly isn’t Lervik’s first rodeo. He founded Fast Search And Transfer in 1997, where was the CEO until the company was acquired by Microsoft for $1.2 billion in 2008.

In the meantime, the company plans to use the funding for further product development and to expand operations.