$100m funding round sees Anaplan launch in Australia

Cloud-based enterprise planning and collaboration platform, Anaplan, has launched in Australia after raising US$100 million in its latest funding round.

Anaplan, a cloud-based planning and collaboration platform, has opened its first Australian office following its US$100 million round D fund raising effort last month.

The San Francisco-based company, which announced its Australian launch on 29 May, has previously been touted as an "Excel killer" by various media outlets, as well as by its own messaging machine, but according to CEO, Frederic Laluyaux, the company's primary goal is to woo customers at the enterprise end of the market.

"It's not really an Excel killer," said Laluyaux, who is in Australia this week to spruik the company's local launch.

"We're actually going after the enterprise end of the market, which is serviced by companies like SAP, Oracle, and IBM.

"But so many companies are still using Excel for its feasibility. We want to offer Excel's flexibility for enterprise level management and collaboration."

Although the company announced the opening of its first Australian office in North Sydney just a few days ago, it has been operating locally for the past couple of months, naming Target Australia as its latest local customer.

"We began operating in Australia less than two months ago, and have already closed business and built a healthy pipeline," said Anaplan's Australia and New Zealand managing director, Rajeev Mitroo, who was appointed to the role in March. "To help service this growth we are adding headcount, local partners and further extending our global partnerships with Deloitte, salesforce.com, and Accenture.

"Organisations today are looking for a true alternative to Excel and the legacy-based on-premise solutions is old, so we are focused on helping businesses adopt the Anaplan platform and get easy access to real-time data to make better decisions in an increasingly disruptive world.

"You don't need to be a data scientist to work with Anaplan, we bring the power of big data to the business user. We are addressing a huge problem by unifying data from across the enterprise in real-time, and allowing businesses to accurately undertake any form of business modelling and planning," he said.

The opening of the company's Sydney office is the latest in its rapid expansion, which has been driven by a number of successful fund raising rounds, with the total investment in the company currently standing at US$150 million.

In the past 12 months, the company has built its global workforce to over 200 employees and opened at least nine new offices internationally within the past nine months, including Malaysia, Russia, and Australia.

Anaplan's Australian launch comes as SAP announces it is expanding its global partnership with IBM to deliver its cloud-based HANA enterprise in-memory database and analytics service from SoftLayer, IBM's cloud infrastructure platform.

"By delivering SAP applications via IBM cloud technologies, companies will have consistent access to a global infrastructure that will assist them in tackling business needs with the speed and efficiency needed in today's business climate," said IBM's general manager of cloud services, James Comfort, in a statement.