Vancouver-based ACL has received a $50 million strategic minority investment led by the growth equity team at Silicon Valley-based Norwest.
ACL’s enterprise governance software includes global fraud detection, anti-bribery and corruption, and regulatory compliance. The company wants to use the investment to dominate the $36 billion integrated risk and performance software market; CEO Laurie Schultz said that there are a lot of “small point solutions” in the governance industry, making it difficult for professionals to do their jobs since they’re spending time either piecing together difficult technologies, or sticking with one technology that is so over-customized that it can’t evolve.
To tackle this issue, the company wants to expand R&D, sales and marketing, and look into acquiring of competing firms.
“You need the ability to analyze every piece of data in your organization — and then take action when you notice a pattern.”
“We are already a fast-growing company, having doubled our SaaS GRC business in each of the last five years and sought an investment partner able to support and accelerate our vision. Norwest shares our focus on driving success through a balanced focus on employees, customers and financials, all enabled by a strong corporate culture,” said Schultz. “This, in combination with Norwest’s industry experience and strategic resources, makes for an ideal collaboration.”
The company was founded in 1987, and this is its first round of outside funding. Schultz credits the company’s focus on consolidating and simplifying the user as a key differentiator in an industry that’s slower to adopt new technology. Specifically, the company is embracing automation to analyze data, detect patterns, and launch workflows to address the situation.
“Our customers are typically large commercial or public sector organizations with literally billions of transactions occurring annually,” said Schultz. “To understand whether you are indeed exposed to a risk, have an employee committing fraud, or that you are out of compliance with an important industry regulation, you need the ability to analyze every piece of data in your organization — and then take action when you notice a pattern.”
Schultz said that the company has doubled its SaaS GRC revenue every year for the past five years, and that Norwest — a past investor of companies like Spotify and Uber — will help it grow strategically. “ACL is the world’s largest pure-play multi-tenant SaaS GRC provider. Modern product design, a big data analytics engine, and deep subject matter expertise clearly set the company apart. ACL already has scale, an industry-changing vision and an impressive customer base. We believe it is the company’s outstanding culture that will drive success in the fractured risk and performance management software space,” said Robert Arditi, partner at Norwest. “From the leadership team through research and development and on to sales and marketing, every employee at ACL is completely invested in the vision. That’s the kind of alignment that creates a category killer.”