MWD on Appian

Scott Francis
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Recently saw an update from MWD on Appian’s positioning:

Earlier this week Appian Corp announced that seasoned VC Harry Weller of New Enterprise Associates (NEA) has joined its board. Weller is an acknowledged VC star; he’s been on Forbes’ Midas List (a list of who Forbes calls “the venture capitalists who generated the top returns for their investors and who were most instrumental in creating the most impactful and valuable companies of tomorrow”) for the last three years. As part of the deal to bring Weller in, NEA made a minority investment in Appian worth $37.5 million.

That’s a serious investment in Appian, similar in size to what Spredfast in Austin raised (in a different market) – congrats to Appian!  I, like Neil, assume this is in serious prep for an IPO.  In a different market and regulatory environment, Appian and lots of other firms in their size range likely would have gone public already.  I’m curious what the post-money valuation for Appian is, not covered in Neil’s post; always interesting to startup investment watchers, rarely reported.

Neil noticed a few other tidbits:

The other thing that piqued my interest about the announcement is the term that Appian’s now using to describe its offering. Until recently Appian talked about ‘worksocial’ technology; now it’s pulled back from the tight association with enterprise social software and is taking another crack at describing what it provides to customers: a Work Platform.

As Neil points out, Social just isn’t a differentiating characteristic anymore… and it isn’t clear the “Work Social” positioning was really helping Appian, rather than confusing it with companies it simply didn’t compete with.  Sometimes BPM is just BPM.  That’s good enough, in my book.

 

 

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    • Ah, thanks for the link… from the blog linked:
      “Appian, which has a list of top-flight customers and is profitable,
      has a post-money valuation above $250 million, NEA General Partner Harry
      Weller said.”

      That’s great news for Appian and, I believe, puts the valuation ahead of what Lombardi sold for back in 2009 (granted, there’s four+ years between the two transactions, and valuations are quite a bit better now with respect to revenue, than they likely were back then).

      If Appian is getting a 4x multiple on revenue, then we can estimate roughly $60M in sales, if 7x, then we’d be looking at close to $35M in sales. That probably gives a decent range for revenue, though I have no inside knowledge whatsoever on what the real revenue numbers might be.