Welcome to a special video interview with Alex Rinke, the co-CEO of execution management system leader Celonis.
The interview started with a focus on yesterday’s news from Celonis that it has secured an additional $1 billion in funding through a $400 million equity round and a $600 million credit facility. That $1 billion puts the company’s total funding over $2.3 billion, and its valuation at nearly $13 billion.
The company said that the funding will be used to support product innovation, expanded customer adoption, potential acquisitions, and a broader footprint through its partner ecosystem.
Rinke met with Acceleration Economy co-founder John Siefert and Acceleration Economy analyst/Cloud Wars Horizon host Tom Smith. He addressed a wide range of topics including the drivers behind this new funding, customer buying activity, customers’ IT complexity, and the value of partner ecosystems.
Highlights of our discussion are below.
02:32 — The widespread supply chain challenges that companies are experiencing, which Celonis helps address through its Execution Management System technology, appear to make it the right company in the right place at the right time as it secures $1 billion more in funding.
03:03 — The backdrop for the new funding is a “surge in demand for execution management software,” which Rinke says is happening because companies need help with optimizing their day-to-day operations, figuring out how to outrun inflation and a potential recession, and dealing with pressing supply chain problems (including supplies not being available).
07:05 — Customer conversations are increasingly elevated and taking place at the C-level, where execution management “has moved up in priority.”
09:45 — Celonis is finding success with customers who have IT sprawl because “we provide the ability to say that’s OK, that’s reality. Don’t try to reverse gravity and try to re-consolidate everything into one system,” Rinke says. “It’s not going to work anyway. Embrace execution management, it’s a cross-platform, cross-process discipline to really understand how your business is running across all these different systems and processes.”
013:35 — Rinke explains what the additional funding will mean for customers who “can expect a thriving and vibrant platform ecosystem community that continues to deliver innovation and value at a very rapid pace.”
14:37 — Are there specific voids the company is looking to fill through acquisitions or internal development? Rinke says the company aims to deliver value faster and to deliver more of it to customers. Sometimes, customers use its platform “in places we wouldn’t have believed.” He cited the example of airline and retail customers with staffing issues that use the platform to optimize people-related processes and make the workforce more productive.
15:32 — Recent acquisitions have focused on improvements, including the ability to embed execution management everywhere.
16:35 — Additional funding will help the company “double down on product innovation” and expand its partner ecosystem so it can identify as many opportunities — and use cases — as possible. “We can only understand a small portion of domains and there’s a huge opportunity in the ecosystem” by partnering with ISVs, integrators, strategy consultants, and business process optimization consultants. The company aims to “build a deep ecosystem centered around innovation and customer value.”
For more exclusive coverage of innovative cloud companies, check out Cloud Wars Horizon here: