Enterprise software company Point.io raised a $4 million Series B, but it almost more interesting how they did it: without any traditional venture capitalists.
The equity investment comes entirely from high net worth individuals and Philadelphia organizations, none of which are “in the business of investing money,” said CEO Ron Rock, who said the fundraising period lasted about nine months. He declined to disclose any of his investors.
Why sidestep venture capitalists?
Because venture capitalists, Rock said, often want their investments to be in C-corporations, instead of LLCs, and Rock wanted to keep the company an LLC because that structure is more entrepreneur-friendly, he said. It offers more exit options, he added.
Point.io, which raised $1 million in the summer of 2013, plans to use the money for product development and hiring sales staff. It currently employs 30, about half of which are full-time. The workforce is spread between University City’s Innovation Center @ 3401, Boston and London. Many of their staffers are Penn and Drexel interns, Rock said. The company recently hired one former intern and recent grad, an international student from China, whom they are sponsoring for his green card, he said.
Point.io’s product helps large corporations take their legacy systems mobile.
Companies use Point.io to get tools like Microsoft Sharepoint, any SAP software or any in-house apps they’ve built on mobile platforms. It sounds a little like Google Apps for Work, but for the corporate set.
It’s a way to support the mobile workforce, Rock said. It’s for field agents or people who work from home. It’s a way to make sure that (gulp) we can work from anywhere outside the office. It’s a pivot from the company’s earlier product that allowed companies to access secure documents via mobile.
Point.io’s target customer is large corporations, often those with compliance concerns, like those in the healthcare and insurance industries.
Pricing ranges from the standard software-as-a-service per user, per month cost to a “perpetual” price, which means that companies pay up front for a lifetime subscription and also a pay an annual maintenance fee. While Rock said they believe the market is moving in the monthly subscription fee direction, they have to meet customers where they are. If a corporation is used to buying software in a perpetual model, Point.io will work with them. The downside? If a company goes from one million users to five million users, Point.io can’t increase the price. The upside is that it’s a big chunk of money up front.
Rock said there’s no average price. It can range from $39.95 per customer per month to millions of dollars up front, he said.
Rock’s CTO, Tim Panagos, used to work with Rock at his last company, Knowledge Rules, which Rock sold to Accenture for an undisclosed amount in 2010.