Well, today we announced a significant equity investment in NTRglobal, intended to fuel the company's rapid growth and to fund the roll-out of a new IT management platform that has the potential to disrupt the traditional systems management market. Our friends at Atlas Venture are investing alongside us and I'm happy to sit on a board with fellow blogger Fred Destin for the first time.
I'm particularly pumped up about this investment because NTRglobal:
- has one of the best management teams I have come across;
- is on the cutting edge of next-generation IT management and is aligned with market leaders like Salesforce.com (see AppExchange here); and,
- exemplifies some of my favourite themes: software delivered as a service, capital efficiency, sales productivity and the maturation of European entrepreneurship.
NTRglobal is living proof that you can build a global software business with a modest amount of external capital. They've even done it in a pure software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, which is doubly difficult since every customer contract signed means revenues deferred over a year or longer. Today NTRglobal has a presence in 10 countries -- including Europe, the US and Asia -- and services 12,000 customers in 60 countries around the world.
They've done this by importing US best practice in sales managment, and by focusing on the SaaS metrics that count: monthly recurring revenues, deal size, upsell and churn rates. NTRglobal emphatically disproves the notion that you can't build effective inside sales forces in Europe. With the right product, and the right combination of lead generation and telesales, you can nearly match US levels of sales productivity on this side of the pond.
It's an exciting time to be investing in growth companies that started out in Europe. The technology industry is maturing and we are seeing second- and third-time management teams of higher quality than ever before. NTRglobal's management team combines the best of Silicon Valley experience with the best of European management and a completely global approach.
I think we are going to see many more businesses in the coming years that are not rooted anywhere at all, but combine the best talent and pull together the right resources wherever they may be located. It's not very original, but I've been calling this Globalisation 2.0.