The Next-Generation CPQ Solution: Our Investment in Logik.io
We've been investing in enterprise software at Emergence for more than 20 years. As such, we’ve been privileged to witness the remarkable transformation of software markets. We have been working alongside founders through evolving platforms—like the shift from traditional on-premise to the cloud—as well as evolving paradigms (we have written extensively about Deep Collaboration and AI Coaching Networks). Over the last two decades, we've witnessed two types of software markets: the long-standing enduring markets, such as CRM (since our very first investment in Salesforce), and the new rising markets that progressively replace inefficient pen and paper workflows. The prevailing assumption is that it’s too hard to innovate within the former.
“Hasn’t this been solved already?”... is a question Eric Yuan was asked hundreds of times when he started Zoom. There were several large established software players in the video communications market. The market had been around “forever,” and the problem had already been “solved.” But who better than Eric to know it had not truly been “solved,” since he had been leading a technical team on one of the largest players in this very category for a decade. It turned out, his knowledge of the market and its existing products meant that he knew how to truly innovate on the product and offer a 10x better experience to end users. In short, he knew existing software that “solved” the video communication problem wasn’t solving it well.
At Emergence, we don’t shy away from “solved” problems, and we are eager to always find the next iteration of a software category that will make it 10x better for its users.
Enter the CPQ market.
The pioneers of CPQ
The CPQ (configure-price-quote) category emerged in 2000, when Chris Shutts and Godard Abel decided to launch their first company BigMachines. CPQ applications like BigMachines could quickly cut through complex selling problems and challenges, giving companies the ability to streamline the selling and service of complex, configurable products. Through software, slight improvements in configuration, pricing, quoting, guided selling, and order management strategies could be quickly turned into revenue. Chris and Godard quickly established BigMachines as the leaders of the nascent CPQ market and largely contributed to its democratization. Because of CPQ’s tight relationship with central enterprise systems like the CRM and ERP, BigMachines developed strong bonds with software vendors in these categories (Salesforce, Oracle, etc.) They were eventually acquired by Oracle in 2013 and consolidated into Oracle’s suite of tools as “Oracle CPQ.”
This was the very first significant iteration in this market.
Chris went on to lead this product at Oracle for the following eight years, delivering immense value to Oracle customers. As for Godard, he began working on the next iteration needed in the market in 2014—SteelBrick (Emergence is a proud investor!)—building it cloud-first and natively on top of the Salesforce ecosystem.
SteelBrick was later acquired by Salesforce, giving Salesforce its own CPQ suite, necessary to its broader suite of products for the enterprise to interact with and delight customers.
Just like Eric Yuan, Chris and Godard have seen each successive iteration of their market, and have largely contributed to its creation and coming to age. They know all there is to know about the solutions offered, their shortcomings, and ultimately what customers want from these solutions.
Acing CPQ for today’s customers
That explains why we are so excited today to announce that Emergence has led Logik.io’s $16 million Series A, partnering (for the second time!) with co-founders Chris and Godard as they transform once again the B2B selling model from one that is complex, convoluted, and expensive, to one that is consumerized, low-touch, and efficient. Knowing the power of Chris and Godard working together and their understanding of exactly what the next iteration of CPQ should be, we are delighted to work with them again nine years after leading SteelBrick’s Series A.
Chris and Godard built Logik.io knowing perfectly what customers were happy and unhappy about with existing solutions in the market (two of which they built themselves!) They know in detail what customers’ pain points are, and they aligned their product with where selling is happening today: not just in direct sales anymore, but also across e-commerce and omni-channel use cases.
It is truly remarkable to observe a company iterate so quickly on the product front, finding immediate product-market fit and swiftly signing large six figure contracts with enterprise customers that need Logik’s solution. Navigating a market they know like the back of their hand has certainly accelerated Chris and Godard’s timelines for the company.
We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Chris, Godard, and the Logik team (most of which come from the BigMachines days) as it embodies perfectly one of our core values at Emergence: “Win Big in the Long Run”.
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