Mar 4 2014, 2:16pm CST | by Forbes
When a Coca-Cola employee needs to check up on a Coke machine and when a General Electric technician goes to check up on a windmill, both may do the same thing–check their iPad or smartphone to make sure their timing is correct and the right parts are ready to go. Both are customers of a quiet software company, ServiceMax, that offers software on the cloud to connect field service workers to the logistical and operational back-end of their business.
The company says there are 5 million such technicians in the United States alone, part of a $15 billion market. ServiceMax works with over 300 companies, but it’s got a long way to go in picking up clients like GE, Medtronic and Procter and Gamble. So that means another infusion of cash for a company that claims over 100% revenue growth but has to spend aggressively to build out its market.
ServiceMax announced Tuesday it had raised $71 million in a late-stage Series E round from Meritech Capital Partners, the growth fund of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, as well as Cross Creek Advisors, QuestMark Partners and Sozo Ventures, as well as its existing investors like Emergence Capital Partners and Mayfield Fund. It also got some validation from a new strategic investor, Salesforce.com, for which ServiceMax is a major reseller.
“We’ve been under the radar, but this round might get a few people looking at our market,” says CEO David Yarnold. “There is an attraction to becoming the name synonymous with field service. Who is known for field service software? There isn’t one, but we want to become that.”
ServiceMax’s pitch is that while companies can automate or outsource customers service to cut costs, they’re spending a ton on field service for maintenance on everything from an oil and gas rig to a hospital’s cancer treatment machines. Companies using ServiceMax, the company claims, see a 22% average increase in service revenue and a 14% reduction in cost, as well as boosts to productivity and success rates of each fix. Coca-Cola, for example, has seen its service productivity increase in its European market by about 50%.
The company’s had a European presence for several years but just recently opened an office in Singapore to build out international expansion, and that’s where Yarnold says most of the money will go. The executives says his company is in a land grab before on-premise players like Oracle and SAP wake up to the opportunity and launch their challenge.
“We are running like crazy to establish market position before that,” Yarnold says. “You never know how these things will play out, but I’d expect they’ll pump up their own features but they won’t be truly mobile.”
ServiceMax’s cloud and mobile focus make it a natural partner for Salesforce.com and founder Marc Benioff’s message of cloud-based enterprise applications running over the mobile-friendly Salesforce1 platform. Like Benioff, Yarnold’s evangelizing a message of cloud apps globally, and ServiceMax has an educational arm to train technicians in new regions to get them up to speed.
Bringing in Meritech also points the company toward the path of an IPO before too long–perhaps as early as next year. Yarnold declined to comment on any planned timing for a public offering, but said the company hopes it’ll eventually be the largest public company known for field service when such an event might come.
“We see that as something down the road,” Yarnold says. “It’s a tremendous opportunity and I’d love to be the public entity here.”
Source: Forbes Apple
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