As someone who’s already built a company and had a nice exit, Ryan Westwood and the direction he takes Simplus will be something to keep an eye on.
Simplus, a Utah-based SaaS consulting and development firm, has raised $4.2M in a seed round led by EPIC Ventures. Silicon Valley Bank, Infinite Investments, Prelude, Service Provider Capital, Workfront CEO Eric Morgan, SteelBrick CEO Godard Abel, and even some Simplus employees also participated in the round.
Just in case the above list isn’t impressive enough, add DOMO CEO Josh James, Vivint CEO Todd Pederson, Skullcandy founder Rick Alden, and Mercato Partners founders Greg Warnock and Alan Hall to the list of those invested in Simplus.
After reading those first two paragraphs, you probably just asked yourself, Who the hell is Simplus, and how the hell did they just raise a $4.2M seed round in a state not known for… well, $4.2M seed rounds?
First, I think it’s important for me to quickly interject to politely ask you to take it easy on the cursing. We say “heck” around here, if we have to use foul language at all.
Second, Simplus, formerly known as Outbox Systems, was founded by serial entrepreneur Ryan Westwood, Isaac Westwood, Blake Hannon, and John Lawton. As someone who knows Ryan well, I’m tempted to just drop the mic on this story right here because he and the rest of his team are the only piece of evidence I need to place before a jury to prove Simplus is worth the $4.2M it just received.
(I’ll continue the story, but it’s important for you to know it’s hard to find an entrepreneur in Utah more respected than Ryan Westwood.)
The impetus for Simplus came early in Westwood’s career while he was working at Workfront (then AtTask) as the Senior Director of Sales. It was there he noticed a gap in the SaaS integration market.
“We quickly realized we should focus on helping to build-up AtTask,” Westwood told me in a profile published by Beehive Startups last April. “They built project management software. So if a customer wanted to integrate their software with Salesforce that’s not what they do. We saw that opportunity.”
From the beginning, Simplus has focused on building SaaS extensions and integrations that its partners can offer to their customers. In addition to Workfront, Simplus has partnered with Salesforce, DOMO, SteelBrick, and many others.
“Our growth has been exclusively from our partner relationships,” said Westwood in a more recent interview. “We are excited to start marketing and growing our sales team. We also have a new SaaS product we expect to come out in early 2016, but we can’t provide many details at this time.”
With its solid growth and impressive management team, Simplus had multiple term sheets from a number of investors just two weeks into fundraising. Yet it was EPIC Ventures who made the biggest impression on Westwood based on the terms they proposed, their culture, and a great reputation.
“I think picking your investors is as important as picking your co-founders,” said Westwood. “EPIC moved quickly and approached us. They were fantastic to work with, and the total process took less than a month.”
“I am more and more excited about the growth of Simplus,” added Simplus President Isaac Westwood. “We have an amazing team and products and services that support our growing partners. The timing of this funding couldn’t be better.”
As someone who’s already built a company and had a nice exit, Ryan Westwood and the direction he and his team takes Simplus will be something to keep an eye on.
“Building Simplus is very different, because I’ve tried to do most things the opposite way I did them the first time,” said Westwood. “We made a lot of mistakes building that first company with a couple good moves in between. We’re a lot smarter this time around.”
That’s music to an investor’s ears. That’s why Simplus just raised $4.2M.
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