Hong Kong, 2 April 2019. Agorize, the leading online platform for Open Innovation challenges, has announced a new raise of US$ 14.6 million in Series B funding led by Creadev, alongside Sofiouest and existing equity holders, Iris Capital and Capnamic Ventures. This fundraising will allow Agorize to step up international growth and meet the growing demand from large corporate companies for Open Innovation solutions.
This new round of funding takes the total amount raised to US$ 19 million since the startup was founded in 2011.
A leading global platform for Open Innovation
Open Innovation is the belief that the best ideas can come from anywhere. Companies and organisations should engage with the best talents externally as well as internally to source the best solutions and accelerate their transformation. Agorize facilitates this by connecting businesses and organizations with innovators from across the world through our platform.
Over the last 18 months, Agorize has deployed its sales teams and opened offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Germany, and Canada. Its platform for Open Innovation challenges is tremendously popular worldwide. Agorize earns as much as half its turnover outside of France, and this latest fundraising means it can invest effectively in growing and scaling in its current markets.
Agorize satisfies the transformation and agility requirements of large corporates needing to ramp up the pace of their innovation development, bring about a shift in company culture and pinpoint talent and partners in innovation. Through its platforms, Agorize enables clients to involve their employees and Agorize’s community innovative people, including students, developers and startup, involved in strategic issues.
This solution has already been adopted by top global companies in all industries and sectors with over 200 clients on-board around the world; while more than 50 leading companies based out of Asia, including Amazon Web Services, Enterprise Singapore, LVMH Fashion Group, Schneider Electric, Singapore Airlines, have trusted Agorize Asia to organise challenges in over 10 different countries in Asia using our Open Innovation platform to engage with a community of 1 million innovators across Asia.
Unique SaaS model combined with a global community of innovators
Today, Agorize now enjoys a considerable competitive advantage thanks to its Open Innovation SaaS (Software as a Service), which allows its clients to launch, manage and promote innovation challenges to an active community of 5 million innovators worldwide including students, developers, startup, designers and more.
The two underlying pillars of the firm’s offering – SaaS and innovator community – will now be reinforced by R&D investments in the platform and a major campaign to attract the world’s best innovators.
Reinventing how businesses work
Agorize allows clients to rethink the way in which they innovate by tapping into the talent of external innovators and ideas of employees across all departments in a refined approach to finding practical solutions to clients’ strategic issues.
By implementing these challenges, large corporates are adopting a new way of open collaboration based on giving free reign to creative synergies , teamwork and agility in order to speed up their transformation projects.
Indeed, Agorize’s clients say they innovate 5 to 10 times faster in this way than traditional methods, thanks to dozens of ground-breaking projects arising from challenges that attract up to several thousand online participants.
Agorize Asia CEO, Mathieu Toulemende, said: In 2016, we arrived in Asia with one ambition: connecting large organisations with talented innovators. 3 years later and with a presence in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore, we are proud to have created thousands of meaningful business connections across the whole of Asia. This new fundraising will help us accelerate in our mission to meet with the fast growing demand for Open Innovation in the region.
Agorize CEO and co-founder, Charles Thou, said: “We are delighted by this key fundraising backed by top-class investors; this is a real badge of recognition of Agorize’s capacity to meet the growing demand for Open Innovation solutions from large corporates. The funds raised will allow us to consolidate our Open Innovation leadership by ramping up international growth, perfecting our technology even more and building on our community.”
Creadev Senior VP, Florent Thomann, exclaimed: “We are thrilled at the prospect of supporting this dynamic trio of entrepreneurs in their business venture. The solution that they’ve developed represents a totally new way to go about innovation. It draws on and harnesses a huge source of creative energy far beyond the company’s borders. Agorize’s offering also allows any employee to become a promoter of this innovation and so it is a powerful way to shore up employee motivation.”
Sofiouest senior VP Patrice Hutin commented: “We believe firmly in Agorize and its hugely powerful community of 5 million worldwide innovators. The company builds bonds underpinned by innovation and it is the most comprehensive solution out there.”
Key figures to date
Founded in 2011
50+% revenue growth per year
€13 million Series B fundraising
200+ top class clients worldwide
5 million global innovators
Global Offices: France, Germany, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan
Agorize is the leading global platform for Open Innovation and talent engagement challenges. Founded in Paris in 2011, Agorize Asia opened its first office in Hong Kong in 2016 and recently opened two offices in Singapore and Tokyo. Agorize Asia has supported over 50 international companies in furthering their innovation strategies by involving communities of students, developers and startuppers through Open Innovation challenges.
Agorize Asia’s clients include Aegon, Amazon Web Services, AXA Hong Kong, BNP Paribas Cardif, Ceetrus, Clarins, Dragages Hong Kong, Electrolux, Enterprise Singapore, Freiheit, The Hong Kong Jockey Club, Kering, Lego, LinkedIn, LVMH Fashion Group, Melco Resorts & Entertainment, Microsoft, Natixis, Parkway Pantai, Pernod Ricard, Singapore Airlines, Schneider Electric, Société Générale.
Launched in 2002, Creadev is a global private equity firm controlled by the Mulliez family. The firm now holds stakes in some 15 global companies employing 80,000+ people. The firm is renowned for long-term collaboration providing equity funds combined with top class entrepreneurial advice.
With offices in Paris, New York, Shanghai and Nairobi, Creadev comprises a team of over 30 people worldwide and has invested over €1 billion in the last few years. The firm has focused investment on companies striving to rise to society’s pressing human challenges like food, education and employability, sustainable development and customer experience.
Sofiouest, a private equity firm, invests in high-potential late-stage startups that have proved the merit of their business model and are looking to ramp up growth. Since 2016, the firm has invested in the following 9 companies: Klaxoon (corporate collaborative solutions), Oxatis (SaaS online retail system), Inbox (data marketing system), Lengow (ecommerce feed management solution), Sellsy (sales cycle management system), S4M (shopper marketing made easy), Ouiflash (photo and video platform), Bruce (digital employment agency), Phenix (platform monetizing unsold inventory and scrap) and two investment funds: West Web Valley (venture capital fund controlled by Arkéa Capital), and Ring Capital. Sofiouest has engaged Arkea Capital to provide advisory services in relation to its innovation capital investment strategy. Sofiouest also invests in commercial property together with Mazureau Group.
About Iris Capital
Iris Capital is a longstanding European digital economy venture capital firm. Since 1986, the firm has backed over 350 companies worldwide. Iris Capital actively supports its portfolio companies by drawing on in-depth industry expertise and local presence via its people located in Paris, Berlin, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Tokyo and Dubai.
The firm’s portfolio companies feature startups including Adjust, Adomik, Armis, Careem, Kyriba, iAdvize, Mojio, Netatmo, PlaceIQ, ReBuy, Scality, Scibids, Shift Technology, Talend, unu motors and Zeta Global.
About Capnamic Ventures
Capnamic Ventures (www.capnamic.com) is one of Europe’s leading early-stage Venture Capital firms, with offices in Berlin and Cologne. The VC invests most of its funds in tech startups in the German-speaking region. Capnamic also joins forces with international co-investors. All portfolio companies are supported through Capnamic’s global network of investors and industry partners.
The vast expertise of the Capnamic team includes more than 70 investments, a high turnover of successful trade sales and IPOs, as well as a strong entrepreneurial track record within the investment team. The general partners are Jörg Binnenbrücker (@bibrue), Olaf Jacobi (@olafjacobi) and Christian Siegele.