Has Salesforce finally picked a winning partner?

Quote-to-cash company Simplus raised a $15 million Series C funding round from Salesforce –which invested a record fourth time — along with venture-capital firm, KSV.

This is first time Salesforce hit the bid four times with one of its system integrators. In the same swoop, Salesforce also acquired Sqware Peg, based in Australia, with the intention of pushing their global expansion down under.

Salesforce’s ongoing investment and international growth strategy are referred to as the “Salesforce arbitrage model.”

Shop talk

For the uninitiated, Salesforce is an uber-popular “CRM” software company that offers a platform to help proprietors run their business. Its platform allows businesses to manage and organize their customer support, marketing and sales. It’s so damn popular that it has its own cottage industries for support, much like Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS has app developers. Now focused on vertical growth, Salesforce has been investing money into its partners at a record clip.

Simplus, Salesforce’s partner is a quote-to-cash implementation, provider. Its focus is upstrea, aiding early stages of business to “catch on” to using Salesforce. That habit is hard to break, and the numbers bear it. Simplus’ services are becoming increasingly popular for business owners. Most companies don’t see revenue — let alone eke out a profit — until far later in the game. Early on, they “guess” at pricing goods and services and often — you guessed it — come in low.

It can be difficult to decide how to price and quote items and services. This is where Simplus comes in. 

Hat trick plus one

After investing $50 million in its varied Platinum Partners, Salesforce invested for a fourth time into Simplus. Its $15 million add-on isn’t all Salesforce is supplying. Salesforce picked up a new Australian-based partner, Sqware Peg, in the mix. Salesforce has made forays into the advising and analytics side of its business to complement its core CRM tools. Sqware Peg offers advising and analytics for businesses, granting entry to Salesforce’s platform in its home, Australian market.

These are big moves for Salesforce. 

Simplus has the expertise in the quote-to-cash market and their services can be beneficial to Salesforce. According to Dan Gay, Principal of KSV: “Simplus enjoys high customer satisfaction and loyalty while maintaining a long history of exceptional performance and growth.” With these beliefs and possible benefits, their large investment into Simplus almost seems like a no-brainer.

But has the $50 million plunked into its Platinum Partners worth it? Right now these investments seem to be smart in what amounts to a global land grab. But only time will tell on the yield.