Appian raised just $48m as a private company, compared with $163m for Alteryx, $220m for Okta, $259m for MuleSoft and more than $1bn for Cloudera. In fact, all four of the unicorn IPOs raised more in a single round of private-market funding than Appian did in total VC funding.Not having done an IPO-sized funding in the private market meant that Appian could come public with a more modest raise. (It took in just $75m, compared with this year’s previous IPOs that raised, on average, $190m for the four unicorns.) And, probably most importantly, the Appian offering showed that these types of IPOs can work, both for issuers and investors. (Appian created about $900m of market value, and saw its shares finish the first day of trading up about 25%.) So when it comes to IPOs for the second half of this year, the ‘Appian way’ could help a lot more startups make it to Wall Street. “Will the ‘Appian way’ lead more startups to Wall Street?”
Put another way: maybe you don’t have to be unicorn class to IPO now? Who knows really, it’s always a bit of a mystery.
Pretty RAD, customer count and profile
Appian provides app development software for its business and government customers. “With our platform, organizations can rapidly and easily design, build and implement powerful, enterprise-grade custom applications through our intuitive, visual interface with little or no coding required,” the company explained in their S-1 filing…. Appian acknowledges that its biggest competitors are Salesforce and ServiceNow. IBM and Oracle are also in related spaces.
Founded in 1999, Appian offers a software as a service platform that helps business people create enterprise applications, especially for managing business processes, without needing programming expertise. The company is known for its “low-code” approach that allows non-programmers to create applications using building blocks and data, but managed and deployed by developers in a company’s information technology department, all on the same technology platform.
- “…booked $135 million in sales for the 12 months ended March 31, albeit at a loss of $12.5 million.”
- “The company’s client base includes the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Sprint, Ryder, Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, BUPA North America, CenturyLink and the Department of Homeland Security.”
Meanwhile, Gartner’s magic quadrant on this space (“Enterprise High- Productivity Application Platform as a Service”), says of Appian:
Appian is an hpaPaaS vendor with strong business process management (BPM) and case management capabilities. Appian has been delivering its Appian Cloud platform since 2007. It has taken a uni ed-platform approach that enables a single application de nition to be accessed on a range of devices without additional development. Appian applications can be developed and executed both on-premises and on its aPaaS offering. Appian has positioned its Appian Cloud platform for general-purpose application development, which includes robust process orchestration, application life cycle management and integration capabilities that compete with both hpaPaaS and high-performance RAD vendors, with a common per-user or per-application-and-user pricing model.
And a few more interesting items from Gartner:
- “There are more than 400 customers using Appian Cloud”
- “90% of the reference customers delivered applications in less than three months, which is a much higher proportion than average.”
- “With a predominantly direct selling effort and higher price point, Appian’s focus has been at the higher end of hpaPaaS market and not on small or midsize businesses (SMBs).”
- It uses OSGi!