Welcome Visitor Thursday, October 19, 2017
Skuidify, aligned with Salesforce.com, pursues $4MM Series A capital raise
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Ken McElrath

UPDATES 13 March 2017: TechCrunch reports Skuid raised $25MM from Iconiq, K-1. 18 Dec. 2016: Times Free Press reported Skuid has 125 employees, 5m users in 30 countries. 22 FEB 2016: Skuid filed 19 Feb saying it'd raised $6MM toward a $9MM goal. 8 Sept. 2014: CEO McElrath confirmed this morning that, as reported earlier today by TechCrunch, Salesforce.com Salesforce1 venture unit has made an investment of undisclosed magnitude in Skuid. Our 8/14 story follows below. -Ed.

SKUIDIFY, the Chattanooga producer of Cloud-based software tools for developers tackling Salesforce's Force.com platform, has a $4MM Series A raise underway, said Co-founder and CEO Ken McElrath.

Thus far, one West Coast corporate strategic investor has stated its intent to participate in the Series A, taking a minority stake, but is waiting for Skuidify to name its lead investor, according to McElrath.

McElrath also undertook a letter-round capital raise in 2009, but in that outing he ended-up raising $1MM in Angel capital in 2010, instead.

McElrath acknowledged that ideally Skuidify's lead Series A investor will have strong software-as-a-service (SaaS) experience and a strong related-business network, which he said is likely to shape the decision toward a San Francisco or possibly Atlanta investor. McElrath, 52, is a native of Hershey, Pa., and has previously lived and worked in the Bay Area, as previously reported by VentureNashville.

Asked whether Skuidify is on Salesforce.com's venture radar, McElrath said only that the major player is "very aware of us -- we're quite embedded at Salesforce, at this point." He would not be drawn into further discussion of whether Salesforce or Workday -- a major California-based customer Skuidify recently signed -- or specific other companies might be participating in the Series A.

Force.com developers are to convene in San Francisco for their annual Dreamforce confab in mid-October, and McElrath says Salesforce.com will make some relevant "cool" announcements during that event, but he would not elaborate.

McElrath, 52, said his company is profitable, with 150 customers -- including some "top 10" financial-services companies he declined to identify -- and it generated more than $1MM revenue during the first half of 2014. SKUID represents "scalable kit for user interface development."

Its 15-employee workforce is likely to grow to 45 within 18 months, by which time revenue is projected to reach $4MM annually. Its ideal customers are developing on the Force.com platform and have at least 100 users, though currently its customer base includes enterprises with as many as 10,000 users and with as few as two.

The current Series A is not likely to be supplanted by Angels, he said. Among targeted groups, McElrath noted that he was set to meet this week with Atlanta-based Southeast Investor Group. McElrath said he is likely to retain controlling interest in the company.

He said he was not free to say who is advising on the Series A raise. He is considering hiring a West Coast law firm for some needs, and relies on Chattanooga's Leroy Hurst & Cromie. Its accounting is handled by Henderson Hutcheson & McCullough; and, the company banks with Bank of America, said McElrath.

Asked whether he's thinking ahead to a Series B, McElrath said that could come in a year or two, but odds are high that organic growth will be sufficient to fund expansion, and strategic interest could lead to an early sale, though that is not his goal.

The company's growth is being driven by its Skuid User-Interface (UI) development tools offering, which McElrath said has proven popular for user-interface design among Force.com developers.

Prior to Skuid, developers on Force.com often needed to produce custom code -- and sometimes spend "hundreds of thousands of dollars" -- to modify the user interfaces they were creating. Skuid features drag-and-drop functionality that cuts development time and expense dramatically, he said. Skuidify is a Salesforce AppExchange partner.

McElrath told VNC earlier this week that he will soon separate Skuidify from his legacy Skoodat product line, which had been developed since 2008. Skuidify will shift from an LLC to a C-corp.

According to its website, Skoodat offerings include Skuid tools, as well as Education sector-oriented applications, such as the Skoodat Advance student appointment, queue-management and related tools; Skoodat Exodus student profile and reporting tools; Skoodat ION surveying application; and, Skoodat TeachersPal, featured as a Common Core Standards finder.

While Skoodat's educational offerings were "at least five years ahead" of the Education sector's embracing of Cloud services, that has changed.

He said he now sees large U.S. and cross-border business development opportunities for what will soon be a separate company. VTC

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Tags: Angels, capital formation, Chattanooga, education, Force.com, investment, K12, Ken McElrath, postsecondary, SaaS, Salesforce.com, Series A, Skoodat, Skuidify, software development, Southeast Investor Group, startups


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