Cordys Nets $80M For Process Management

Cordys Holding B.V. just closed an $80 million round of equity financing,
which the company will use to further penetrate the competitive business process
management (BPM) software market in the United States.

The investment, led by Argonaut Private Equity’s $67 million and minority
stake, is the largest funding round ever for a private provider of BPM

Such products help IT developers choreograph modern Web services
 and legacy applications work more intuitively
with processes native to a particular business. BPM is an important part of
a service-oriented architecture (SOA)   used to describe
distributed computing methods.

Cordys originally launched in 2001 in The Netherlands by software
entrepreneur Jan Baan whose Baan Company became an enterprise resource
planning (ERP) software powerhouse by the mid-1990s.

The company went to market in 2004 and built itself a European customer
base, including De Amersfoortse, ABN AMRO Insurance and Ertan Hydropower
Development Corporation.

Cordys will use the new cash to support Cordys Inc., the company’s new U.S.
subsidiary in San Jose, Calif., said Mark Olson, vice president of client
technology at Cordys. Olson said that since entering the BPM market, Cordys
has but “dabbled” in the U.S. market to this point.

“Cordys really needed to open up the U.S. and grow really fast in order to
be a big deal in this market,” Olson said in an interview.

Olson did specify what the cash will be used for but did not rule out the
possibility of acquisitions in the BPM space, which includes fellow startups
Intalio, Ultimus and Savvion, as well as established vendors Oracle , BEA Systems  and IBM .

“It’s a pretty good war chest,” Olson said. “We could do a lot of different
things with it. We have a bunch of different strategic moves that we could

Acquisitions in the BPM space are hardly unprecedented.

Europe’s SOA Software recently bid to
buy webMethods for its BPM and integration products. Oracle acquired
BPM with Collaxa and BEA grabbed
Fuego Systems.

Gartner expects competition to get even more intense; the researcher expects
BPM software to tally $1 billion by the end of 2007 and as much as $2.6
billion by 2011.

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