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Francisco Partners’ Plex inks $30m strategic investment from Accel

19 Dec 2012

Global venture capital firm Accel Partners has made a $30m strategic investment in Francisco Partners-backed Plex Systems, a provider of cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software for manufacturers.

As part of the financing, Accel Partners will gain a seat on the company’s board of directors, joining Francisco Partners, which acquired Plex Systems earlier this year.

Plex serves hundreds of customers across a range of industries including aerospace, automotive, electronics, general industrial & manufacturing, and food & beverage.

The investment will further support its “shop floor to top floor” cloud technology for ERP, manufacturing execution, quality management, supply chain management, and business intelligence.

As part of a broader shift of core business processes to the cloud — including storage, backup, and development — manufacturers are demanding cloud-based ERP systems.

Working from the cloud provides many benefits including lower organisational burden, higher reliability, frequent updates, and lower total cost of ownership, the company said.

“Plex Systems was early in bringing the cloud to manufacturing ERP, and it now has the most advanced offering in the industry, which has brought them a large and loyal customer base and resulted in a high growth business with significant upside,” said Accel partner Sameer Gandhi.

“Accel’s investment philosophy is to invest in companies that have the greatest potential for success due to their market position, disruptive technology and prospects for future growth.

“Plex Systems represents an opportunity to help move a highly complex and diverse industry — manufacturing — to the next computing platform, based in the cloud. We believe the manufacturing ERP market represents at least a $5bn opportunity, and that less than 10 per cent of the market has transitioned to SaaS so far.”

Francisco Partners bought Plex Systems in June from Apax Partners.

The company’s revenues have tripled since it changed to a subscription-based business model in 2007, and its employee count also grew by more than three-times since Apax invested in 2006.

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