Paris-based Beamy, a company that claims to be a European pioneer in SaaS management for large companies, announced on Tuesday that it has raised more than $9M (approximately €8.31M) in a Series A round of funding.
Beamy’s solution can detect and control the explosion of SaaS applications used in a decentralised way. The platform thus helps CIOs and other IT leaders control this parallel IT/digitalisation and strengthen the technological autonomy of the employees, while preserving corporate governance.
Investors in this round
Launched in 2010, ISAI is the Tech Entrepreneurs’ Fund and brings together a community of over 350 entrepreneurs around the world. ISAI Gestion, an investment management company approved by the AMF with over €500M AUM, aims to finance and support high potential tech companies at the seed/post-seed stage (venture capital, from €150K to €3M with participation in successive rounds) or when they have already reached the break-even stage (Tech Growth/LBO, tickets from €5M to €50M).
Jean-David Chamboredon, President of ISAI, says, “As investors, we are familiar with the SaaS model and the benefits that users and business departments can derive from it. For large companies, mastering this deployment, which is often in the ‘shadows’, represents a real challenge. The vision of Beamy’s founders to identify, rationalise, unify, and allow the security of this B2B SaaS stack within organisations quickly convinced us.”
Aglaé Ventures is a VC firm based in Paris, New York and San Francisco, and is backed by Agache, the controlling shareholder of LVMH. Aglaé Ventures invests from €100K up to €100M in asset-light activities and fast-growing technology companies at all stages. Over the past 20 years, the firm and its affiliates have backed global technology companies including Netflix, Slack, Spotify, Airbnb, Automattic, eToro, and many others.
The explosion of SaaS in business is vital
The days when heavy and complex software suites were being implemented and managed by IT departments alone are over. According to Beamy, SaaS has been exploding uncontrollably in large companies for years, creating underground digitalisation.
In large companies with more than 1,000 employees, there are on average several hundred different SaaS solutions in use, representing several million dollars in annual costs. According to a recent study by KPMG, the SaaS budget of companies will increase by 90 per cent in the next 10 years, covering several thousand different solutions.
However, the adoption of SaaS is largely outside of the IT department’s control, leading to a considerable underestimation of the real volume of SaaS applications already used by the business lines. Consequently, these companies become vulnerable to the risks of cyber attacks: each uncontrolled SaaS application represents a potential security breach. Finally, SaaS budgets, representing an increasing share of corporate IT, are largely under-optimised. Many SaaS solutions cover the same uses and are thus redundant, while others are underused or even completely unused.
Beamy CEO and co-founder, Andréa Jacquemin, says, “In general, when we meet a CIO of a large company, they estimate that their organisation uses 30 to 40 SaaS tools. However, when we begin working together, our technology detects several hundred active SaaS solutions, often revealing more than 75 per cent of shadow IT.”
A new way of managing SaaS for large organisations
There is a change in the way large enterprises procure, implement, use and manage SaaS software applications. “The top-down vision of IT is over. We are witnessing a true decentralisation of technological ownership and empowerment of business units, which are selecting and implementing their own solution,” says Jacquemin.
“The decentralisation framework must be compatible with the technological autonomy granted. This is a story of balance – if we put too many constraints on employees’ ability to choose their applications and implement lengthy processes, they will still use the applications but won’t go through the proper channels with IT in the implementation,” says Jacquemin.
“Without a solid structure of decentralisation, the risks will be considerably increased and the budgets won’t be optimised. In any situation, you have to find the proper balance in terms of autonomy that works for your workforce, but keeping the status quo on this subject is the worst solution,” adds Jacquemin.
This is where Beamy steps in. Founded in 2017 by Andréa Jacquemin and Edouard Dossot, the company has developed scoring algorithms capable of detecting all of the SaaS applications actually implemented in the company.
Beamy is able to follow the evolution of each application over time, provide employees with a catalogue of all applications implemented in the company, define an autonomy matrix according to the potential risks of future applications, and navigate an app store of more than 50,000 applications on the market.
The company thus guarantees a global approach to SaaS governance necessary to support large companies in the long term to structure their IT decentralisation and establish synergy between all stakeholders (CEOs, CIOs/other IT leaders, and business teams).
Some of the companies currently using Beamy’s solution include LVMH, Decathlon, Orange, Engie, and BNP Paribas, among others.
Funds to accelerate international expansion
Beamy claims that the capital will help accelerate the company’s international development. The platform is already present in France and the UK on the international market. The company also looks to strengthen its customer relations by supporting them in their long-term governance efforts.
Andréa Jacquemin says, “We are convinced that SaaS issues are major issues for large companies, whether French or international. With this fundraising from major investors including Agaé Ventures and ISAI, both of whom are recognised for offering cutting edge expertise in the tech sector, we are setting out to conquer the international market.”
Besides, Beamy plans to focus its investments on two major areas – recruitment, with plans to hire 40 more team members in the next twelve months, and product development, with the strengthening of detection technology and decentralisation workflows to further streamline collaboration between IT and business lines in the implementation and management of new SaaS solutions.