Screendragon, the workflow automation platform, has raised €25 million in a funding round led by Kennet Partners. Federated Hermes Private Equity also participated. The funds will be used to drive growth. This is the first funding raise that Screendragon has sought from private equity.
Screendragon focuses on providing workflow management solutions with a focus on marketing functions. It is used by internal marketing teams and also has a full PSA solution for marketing agencies. The solution teams plan, innovate, create and deliver content to market efficiently and effectively. Customers include Kellogg’s, BP, the International Olympic Committee and WPP@CP.
Its solution provides organisations with a tool that improves efficiency and enables organisations to work within tight margins and deliver more. It reduces the manual efforts of administration by automating many of the repetitive tasks.
John Briggs, Co-CEO and Founder of Screendragon, “Jan, Fergus, Clive and I vetted several investment firms over many months for possible investment. Kennet Partners has a proven track record of growing successful businesses. We are looking forward to using this investment and adding resources to accelerate sales, product roadmap, and growth objectives while continuing to deliver the innovative technology and support our existing clients have come to expect.”
Screendragon forms a new board and focuses on growth
Screendragon will use the funding to double its workforce in Cork. It will also invest in expansion in the US, where it already has a small team. This significant investment will see several representatives of the investors join a newly formed board. The executive leadership will remain unchanged, with founders John Briggs, Jan Quant, and Fergus Ashe continuing to lead the business and Clive Sirkin continuing in the role of Executive Chairman, a role he took on in July 2021.
Sirkin was previously Chief Growth Officer at Kellogg and an experienced board member. Experience that will no doubt assist Screendragon in its aspirations in the US. Screendragon has also named Cillian Hilliard, Director and Michael Elias, Managing Director of Kennet and Fidel Manolopoulos, Partner & Co-Head of EMEA Investment at Federated Hermes Private Equity board members. Screendragon will also appoint a new non-executive to the board, presumably another US resident.
Cillian Hilliard, Director of Kennet, “We were impressed with Screendragon’s bootstrapped growth story. The team has outcompeted software giants to win some of the world’s largest brands as customers without raising any institutional capital. Our investment demonstrates the confidence we have in Screendragon’s differentiated technology, the existing team and its blue-chip customer base. With additional resources to strengthen the team in Cork and the US and scaling of the existing leadership talent, we are confident we can transform the business into a global leader.”
Kennet is a growth equity investor with a long track record of successful investments in bootstrapped and capital-efficient B2B software across Europe and the US. Federated Hermes Private Equity has over two decades of experience investing alongside private equity firms. It has $6.3bn of assets under management.
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
Screendragon has impressed as a bootstrapped organisation, and its expansion into the US is a significant step. It isn’t clear how much the business was valued, but the inference is that this is a significant stake by the private equity firms.
On G2, Screendragon sits in the Work Management Software sector, part of the Project, Portfolio and Program Management category. It sits as a leader in the current Work Management G2 grid overall and has a presence in all three company size grids, though not as a leader.
It will be interesting to see how Screendragon will spend the funding. How it balances the investment in its product with international expansion. For a first fundraise, this is a notable amount for a European firm. It indicates the strength of its software and customer base. There is no talk of acquisitions in the announcement, but how Screendragon will expand in the US, there does not appear to be a partner ecosystem in place yet.
It will also need to compete head-to-head with the likes of Asana, Smartsheet and Wrike. It will also compete with other solutions that have a big presence in marketing operations, such as monday.com and Kantata OX. Doubling the size of the team in Cork, won’t leave a huge amount for US expansion, which can be expensive.