Accel Partners Makes Plex Systems Deal

Plex Systems, the Michigan-based cloud company for manufacturers, is taking $30 million from Accel Partners in a round of financing. Sameer Gandhi of Accel will join the company’s board as part of the deal, where already, Francisco Partners is represented.

PRESS RELEASE:
Plex Systems Raises $30 Million Strategic Investment From Accel Partners
PALO ALTO, CALIF. and AUBURN HILLS, MICH., Dec. 18, 2012 — Plex Systems, the leader in cloud-based ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions for manufacturers, announced today that global venture capital and growth equity firm Accel Partners has made a $30 million strategic investment in the company. As part of the financing, Accel Partners will gain a seat on its board of directors, joining Francisco Partners, which acquired Plex Systems earlier this year.
The investment by Accel Partners will further support the company’s rapidly advancing “shop floor to top floor” cloud technology for ERP, manufacturing execution, quality management, supply chain management, and business intelligence. As part of a broader shift of core business processes to the cloud — including storage, backup, and development — manufacturers are demanding cloud-based ERP systems. Working from the cloud provides many benefits including lower organizational burden, higher reliability, frequent updates, and lower total cost of ownership. Plex Systems continues to lead this trend, having grown rapidly and profitably to this point.
“Plex Systems was early in bringing the cloud to manufacturing ERP, and it now has the most advanced offering in the industry, which has brought them a large and loyal customer base and resulted in a high growth business with significant upside,” said Sameer Gandhi, a partner with Accel Partners and newly appointed Plex Systems board member.
“Accel’s investment philosophy is to invest in companies that have the greatest potential for success due to their market position, disruptive technology and prospects for future growth,” said Gandhi. “Plex Systems represents an opportunity to help move a highly complex and diverse industry — manufacturing — to the next computing platform, based in the cloud. We believe the manufacturing ERP market represents at least a $5 billion opportunity, and that less than 10 percent of the market has transitioned to SaaS so far.”
Plex Systems will join existing Accel investments —including such successful online and software innovators as Facebook, Kayak, Qlik Technologies, Dropbox and Cloudera — that collectively define their industry categories and the future direction of online technology for businesses and consumers alike.
Earlier this year, Plex Systems was acquired by Francisco Partners, a leading technology-focused private equity firm, which had identified the company as an early mover and pioneer in the cloud ERP market, with strong growth opportunities.
“Plex Systems is already a ‘category killer’ in cloud ERP for manufacturing,” said Petri Oksanen, a principal with Francisco Partners. “There are few opportunities to build a truly disruptive platform in the ERP market, and we believe Plex Systems is one of them. Accel is an ideal strategic partner to bring to the table given their strong track record in scaling high-growth companies.”
“Plex Systems and our customers will benefit greatly from the validation and investment that Francisco Partners and Accel Partners have made in the company,” said Mark Symonds, President and CEO of Plex Systems. “In addition to validating our strategy, direction and technology, Accel and Francisco Partners bring access to additional talent, connections and other relationships that will enable Plex Systems to continue to scale quickly to meet customer demand. As our products evolve and market adoption accelerates, Plex Systems will be able to further invest in R&D to bring even greater functionality to our products in order to continue to delight our customers.”
Plex serves hundreds of customers across a wide range of industries including aerospace, automotive, electronics, general industrial & manufacturing, and food & beverage.
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About Accel Partners
Founded in 1983, Accel Partners has a long history of partnering with outstanding entrepreneurs and management teams to build world-class businesses. Accel today invests globally using dedicated teams and market-specific strategies for local geographies, with offices in Palo Alto, California, New York City, London and Bangalore, as well as in China via its partnership with IDG-Accel. Accel has helped entrepreneurs build over 300 successful companies, many of which have defined their categories, including AdMob, Atlassian, Cloudera, Diapers.com (Quidsi), Dropbox, Etsy, Facebook, Fusion-IO, Groupon, Kayak, Macromedia, Spotify, Veritas, Walmart.com and Zimbra.
For further information, please visit: www.accel.com.
About Francisco Partners
Francisco Partners is a global private equity firm that specializes in investments in technology companies. Since its launch over a decade ago, FP has raised approximately $7 billion and invested in more than 100 technology companies, making it one of the most active investors in the industry. The firm invests in transaction values ranging from $50 million to over $2 billion, where the firm’s deep sub-sector knowledge and operational expertise can help a company realize its full potential.

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