| SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 28
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 28 Software maker Apttus has
raised raised more money from private investors, postponing
plans for an initial public share offer until next year because
of the current uncertainties facing markets, including the U.S.
Apttus said on Wednesday it has raised $88 million from
investors, nudging its valuation to more than $1.3 billion. The
round included new investor Gulf Islamic Investments, a
financial services firm based in the United Arab Emirates, and
previous investors such as the Kuwait Investment Authority.
The latest round brings Apttus, which makes cloud-based
software for companies' sales operations, to $274 million in
Apttus was putting the finishing touches on its IPO filing
early this year, just as the stocks of cloud computing companies
took a beating. A deep sell-off in February hit the likes of
Salesforce.com Inc and Workday Inc and
effectively shut down IPO opportunities for many software
start-ups, with the subsequent rally in share prices only adding
to the uncertainty.
As a result Apttus Chief Executive Kirk Krappe said having
put his company's IPO plans on hold earlier in the year he is
now eyeing the first half of 2017 for the company's market
"The beginning of the year was frothy, up and down," Krappe
told Reuters this week. "There were see-saw valuations of SaaS
(software-as-a-service) companies, and coupled with the
elections at the end of the year, it just seemed too uncertain.
And markets of course hate uncertainty."
Other technology companies have opted for more venture
funding to avoid the rocky IPO market. Cyber security company
LogRhythm last month raised $50 million from private investors
after postponing plans for an IPO late last year.
Although Apttus was founded in 2006, it did not raise
venture capital until 2013. Apttus had been profitable, Krappe
said, but three years ago decided to invest more heavily in
expanding the business, and turned to private investors.
As a result, he said, Apttus investors are not pressuring
him to go public just yet.
The company also announced on Wednesday a new addition to
its software product - an intelligent agent, or a computer
program that can perform certain tasks and speak and respond as
a human would. Other examples of intelligent agents are
Amazon.com Inc's Alexa and Apple Inc's Siri.
Apttus's intelligent agent is called Max, and she both
speaks and responds in text to users' questions, and assists
them in tasks using the software, such as generating a sales
Based in San Mateo, California, Apttus has about 1,200
employees and more than 500 customers.
(Reporting by Heather Somerville; Editing by Bill Rigby, Greg