Deals

Making the best use of companies’ money pays off: Anaplan raises $100M

At big companies, financial planning and workforce modeling are essential: If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re definitely not going to get there.

Anaplan, a provider of cloud-based financial planning software, wants to let lots of employees get in on the planning fun, and now the company has raised $100 million in new funding.

Anaplan stores businesses’ data regarding finances, employment, and other subjects. Then it lets people figure out what the future might look like under certain scenarios. For example, it provides applications for figuring out the best way to consolidate after an acquisition, determining ideal sales quotas, and getting an idea of how sales will play out in the future.

Anaplan’s customer list includes Activision, Conde Nast, Jive, Salesforce.com, and Tilera. But Anaplan has shifted focus from having lots of companies on its customer list to having boatloads of users of its software inside every company that pays for it.

That’s a bold move for software that is typically used by just a handful of employees.

Data has played a part of the strategic shift, and indeed Anaplan intends to analyze more data on usage in order to foster greater engagement with its software.

At our DataBeat conference in San Francisco next week, we’ll be talking about how more companies are using data to improve operations. For instance, software company MindJet has derived several benefits from using Looker’s business-intelligence software, and Mindjet data scientist Anna Gordon will discuss those benefits in a conversation with Looker chief executive Frank Bien.

DFJ Growth led Anaplan’s big investment round. Brookside Capital, Coatue Management, Granite Ventures, Meritech Capital Partners, Salesforce.com, Sands Capital Management, Shasta Ventures, and Workday also participated.

Based in San Francisco, Anaplan has now raised $150 million, including a $30 million round from March 2013.

Anaplan’s competitors include Adaptive Insights, Host Analytics, and Tidemark.

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