Nitro lands US$15m to fuel ‘aggressive’ growth – founder says IPO is an option but not a focus


In the process of closing a US$15m Series C Funding Round, home-grown Adobe rival Nitro has partnered with investors who would offer ‘great value’ if the document productivity company decides to pursue an IPO, according to founder and CEO, Sam Chandler.

Founded in Melbourne in 2005 and now headquartered in San Francisco, Nitro reports a 40% increase in its global enterprise sales in the two years following its Series B round in 2014, with the addition of 300 new enterprise customers in 2016 alone. In the APAC region, its sales increased by 55%, last year, following the addition of 35 new enterprise customers, including JLL, BlueScope Steel, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Its digital workflow solutions are said to be used by 600,000 business, including over half of the Fortune 500.

No longer a small start-up

To date, Nitro has raised US$36.6m in capital across its Series A, B and C rounds. The latest round was led by returning investor Battery Ventures. The other participants were Sydney-based investors Regal Funds and Alium Capital.

“Nitro has gone from a small start-up in Melbourne to a global enterprise software company serving some of the largest companies on the planet, but we feel like we still have so much left to achieve,” Chandler told Dynamic Business.

“Thanks to the continued support of Battery and our new investors, we’re in a strong position to fulfil our growth ambitions in the enterprise while continuing to scale our operations globally.”

Aggressive growth plans 

Chandler said the Series C funding will support the company’s ‘aggressive’ growth plans, including R&D efforts geared towards making documents ‘smarter’.

“We believe that the modern enterprise can work a whole lot smarter when it comes to document productivity and workflow,” he said.

“Most companies are still drowning in paper, decades after we began talking about the ‘paperless office’. Our future is geared toward giving CIOs more visibility into their workflow processes by leveraging the power of big data in the enterprise. We have a lot of exciting stuff on the roadmap and we’re engaged with some of the biggest companies in the world to help shape that roadmap.”

IPO an option but not current focus

Chandler said new investors Regal and Alium would be ‘great value’ in the event Nitro decided to go public but his company is not yet planning to go down that path.

“Over our 12-year journey, we have consistently evaluated all of our options to fully capitalise the business and provide liquidity to shareholders and employees,” he said.

“We have always had the goal of building a world-class business with truly global scale, and if our size and growth profile mean that an IPO makes sense, and will further those ambitions, we’ll consider it. However, it’s just one of several options for growth capital and liquidity for any company with a certain amount of scale.

“We’re not focused on whether or not we IPO eventually, we’re focused on building, selling and supporting great products that make our customers successful. The rest will take care of itself.”