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Celonis, a Munich-based startup raised $50M Series B investment at a valuation of $1 Billion recently. The round was led by existing investors Accel and 83North. The startup plans to use the funding proceeds to accelerate hiring and expansion plans throughout the world.
Reportedly, Celonis is a process mining software that provides visibility into existing process flows, analysis of process metrics, and software-based process improvement for big companies like Exxon-Mobil, 3M, Merck, and Lockheed-Martin.
Here are the three surprising things about Celonis that set it apart from other startups.
#1 It’s rare for startups to become a unicorn as early as Series B
The odds of tech startups becoming billion-dollar businesses so early in the funding cycle are slim. While we do see tech unicorns like Airbnb and Uber achieve massive valuations, they usually achieve profitability much later in their funding cycles.
Celonis not only achieved this massive valuation but also maintained profitability since it was founded in 2011.
#2 Celonis piggy-backed established IT systems like SAP, Salesforce, Oracle
We’ve heard a lot about innovation and disruption in the past few years. Amid all these noise startups usually try to over-innovate for the sake of it and miss the less-sexy business opportunities that can be turned into a massive business.
The core solution offered by Celonis essentially piggy-backs the IT systems of more established companies like SAP, Salesforce, Oracle, and Netsuite. Here’s how Celonis CEO and co-founder Alexander Rinke explains this to TechCrunch.
“Celonis is an intelligent system using logs created by IT systems such as SAP, Salesforce, Oracle, and Netsuite, and automatically understands how these processes work and then recommends intelligently how they can be improved,” said Alexander Rinke.
#3 Celonis is profitable from day one despite its hyper-growth
Startups these days achieve growth by sacrificing profitability. In order to grow massively, startups usually discount their prices and only become profitable once they have 1000s of customers.
Despite a growth rate of 5,000% in the past 4 years and 300% in the past year, Celonis has managed to stay profitable. This means the Munich-based startup was careful with its cash-burn and kept the bottom line pretty for investors.
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