Adelaide software firm secures $13 million investment

Sydney growth equity firm Whiteoak has acquired a majority stake in Adelaide company Amplify-Now to fast track its bid to establish a European office and become a global leader in strategy execution management software.

Sep 13, 2021, updated Sep 13, 2021
Amplify-Now founder and CEO Matt Williams in his Adelaide office. Picture: Sarah Williams.

Amplify-Now founder and CEO Matt Williams in his Adelaide office. Picture: Sarah Williams.

Amplify-Now has been on a steep growth trajectory in the past three years, which has included the establishment of a US office in 2019 and the consolidation of a high-profile client roster including Pfizer, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard, PwC and AGL Energy.

The $13 million Whiteoak investment also establishes positions for Sydney-based Whiteoak Directors Greg Garvin and Andrew Grimes on Amplify’s board.

Amplify-Now’s founder and CEO Matt Williams will continue to lead the company from Adelaide and retains a 35 per cent stake in the business.

The company’s strategy execution management software enables organisations to execute and track strategies that create business value for their customers and investors.

The cloud-based software platform is offered to enterprise clients globally using a software-as-a-service (SaaS) subscription model.

About 50 per cent of the company’s customers are currently in Asia Pacific – Australia, Japan and China – with 40 per cent in the United States and about 10 per cent in Europe.

Williams said the establishment of a European office, likely to be either in the United Kingdom or Germany, would provide support for existing customers there and provide a springboard for further growth in the region.

He said a European base would also give the company round-the-clock coverage globally.

“We’ve set a target of where we want to be – which is basically to achieve five-fold growth in five years – and in order to get there we’re looking at about 50 per cent of our customer base in the future being in North America, 30 per cent Europe and 20 per cent in Asia Pacific,” Williams said.

“Everywhere in the world I’ve worked so far values the local experience – there’s no such thing as truly global, everything is local and by that I mean they want to know there is someone there or at least in the same time zone.

“The US office is going well, the staff have held on through COVID and now we’re looking to ramp up.

“Right now, we’ve got 16 hours covered with offices in Adelaide and Los Angeles but there’s a patch in the middle of our night where there is no one available.”

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Whiteoak was founded in 2016 and invests, alongside founders and management teams, into high-quality companies helping to accelerate their growth and achieve their full potential.

Amplify-Now launched its first benefits realisation software in 2013 and evolved it to focus on strategy execution in 2016 to broaden its ability to track organisation-wide goals and objectives.

It is the second investment into the Whiteoak Growth Fund that completed its first close in December 2020.

Williams said Whiteoak had a successful track record of supporting Australian-headquartered companies to succeed in global expansion.

He said the investment would allow growth to happen faster and allow the company to bring in expertise through a network of experienced advisors.

“We wanted to accelerate the success we have achieved with an investment firm that provides a combination of capital and deep strategic support,” Williams said.

“White Oak calculated during the due diligence process that the market was worth between $1.9 to $2 billion a year so if we can get one per cent of that then that would be significant.

“It’s a big market and it’s definitely growing and maturing and right now it’s early days in terms of products that fit that space and really nail the brief.

“We know we’ve got a product that does and we’ve got a few runs on the board to prove it so now it’s really just about scaling up and that’s what the investment is all about.”

The expansion aims to increase staff numbers from about 20 to more than 100 across the three sites within five years.

Garvin said Amplify had achieved global success by offering a software solution that provided a “single source of truth” to help manage complex transformation programs within large organisations.

“Clients love that the solution is intuitive and easy to set up and can also be configured for many different applications including Business Transformations, Post-merger integrations, ESG change programs and Digital Transformations,” he said.

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