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B2B SaaS startup ValueBlue secures $11M to transform the way businesses work

ValueBlue, a platform that helps businesses better understand and use their data, has raised $11 million in a Series B funding round to continue the rapid growth they managed to achieve during the Covid-19 pandemic. The funding will support ValueBlue’s expansion into other markets as it seeks to serve larger enterprises.

The funding round was led by UK-based Octopus Ventures and previous investor Newion, with Dutch bank ABN AMRO also joining. Part of the attraction for investors was a product that is increasingly in demand as businesses have reassessed how they manage their digital integration during the pandemic.

“With this Series B round together with Octopus Ventures, we have a solid foundation to further accelerate ValueBlue’s growth to market leadership for the next years”, said Patrick Polak, Managing Partner of Newion and Board Member of ValueBlue.

The solution businesses needed

Utrecht-based ValueBlue has a long history. Its roots started in 2011, when CEO Wilko Visser started a consultancy, and it quickly became apparent that his clients needed tools that would enable them to understand the totality of their businesses. “It was obvious that the digitalisation of the whole organisation was needed,” Visser told TFN, “and this would become more and more important for organisations. But most companies could not do this.”

Visser uses the analogy of constructing a building. The architect may have a grand vision for the finished project, but the individual contractors and workers are unable to see this. “The architect is not building it themselves, they lead the design,” Visser explained. “But what you saw was a big disconnect between the vision, and the people who had to deliver it. And the tools that were available were not solving this problem.”

BlueDolphin, their enterprise architecture tool, was created to ensure everyone in an organisation could see the same business insights. This meant it was not just the CIOs or leaders who could use it, but teams could stay aligned and collaborate effectively. A cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) the product had a positive impact where it was deployed, driving significant growth.

A recent Deloitte report highlighted the impact. It found that digitally mature companies, like those using ValueBlue’s SaaS, BlueDolphin, simply performed better. They were about twice as likely to return a profit and would tend to have revenue growth that was significantly above industry average.

The results are no surprise for Visser, though. ValueBlue and BlueDolphin means that effort is not just focused, but that everyone has the tools they need to make sure their work is effective. Without it, businesses risk wasting time and money, only realising this is happening too late. “Most companies have all kinds of information scattered about, but there is no comprehensive insight,” he explained, “that’s what we provide as a service.”

Pandemic-fuelled growth

The pandemic presented few problems for the Netherlands-based business. They were already well-used to remote working. Despite having offices in London and New York, as well as their Netherlands base, the business had a flexible structure, with their 60 staff frequently working most of their week at home, coming together as needed.

However, as other businesses adapted their approach to work, with restrictions requiring increased homeworking, they also started to appreciate the value of a service like ValueBlue, which can provide an overview even when staff are scattered.

ValueBlue only saw slight delay to their business before the attractiveness of their offer became apparent. “Companies seemed to be reluctant to make a decision for a quarter,” Visser said, “and then after that it went very well.” The result has been that, despite the pandemic, ValueBlue has been seeing 50% annual growth.

Plans for even more growth

The investment will continue ValueBlue’s rapid growth. The current team of 60 is being more than doubled, with a third of the vacancies ear-marked for the New York office. ValueBlue are also looking at consolidating their position in European and UK markets, as well as further expansion into the remaining parts of the EMEA market.

Visser is confident BlueDolphin and ValueBlue will soon be transforming the way organisations work. “It’s designed as a collaboration platform, and it really fits into the European customers’ cultures. They don’t want complexity, they want something that helps them move forward,” he says. And now he is finding the American market is looking for something similar. “It’s easy to work with and easy to understand. It adds value almost immediately.”

Although the power of data is often talked about, relatively few businesses effectively manage all their data, and use it throughout their structure to have an impact. Many of those that have seen incredible results, creating a growth market for ValueBlue. Visser’s offer is simple: “organisations now understand they have to be more digital, and that’s exactly what we do for them.”

Paul Davidson at Octopus Ventures commented: “Organisations now recognise the benefits of more closely aligning business strategy with IT strategy as a key enabler of driving commercial value. Digital transformation is one activity borne out of this understanding. The pandemic has further exacerbated this perspective and we don’t see that changing. ValueBlue’s ability to coordinate the complexities of digital architecture and collaboration across departments has never been more important as business leaders look for a solution to manage and refresh outdated infrastructure and technology stacks.”

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