Paris and Brussels - August 31, 2017 - elium, the collaborative platform for knowledge-based organisations, announces the closing of a Series A funding round for €4 million. This fundraising effort is being led by Serena Capital in collaboration with S.R.I.W, a historical investor who has renewed its trust in elium (formerly known as Knowledge Plaza).
elium aims to become a leader in the new “Knowledge Sharing Platforms” market, a new category of Enterprise Social Networks that complement teams-centred productivity platforms such as Slack and Facebook Workplace. The market size was around 4.5 billion $ in 2016 according to IDC (considered a conservative view) and estimated to double within 5 years. Artificial intelligence coming into the enterprise will be able to take full advantage of this inherently shareable and critical knowledge.
From 2012 onwards, elium relied on a 100% Saas offer by subscription. It gradually conquered a few large French actors who took advantage of its resolutely cross-platform architecture, allowing advanced re-use of existing knowledge as well as very dynamic capture of new knowledge. This strength of the application naturally attracts not only companies whose competitiveness rests on sound knowledge management, but also organizations facing major processes transformation. With elium, these companies see the impact of information flows increase tenfold.
Today, elium holds a stable market position thanks to international projects such as the ones carried out with Capgemini Consulting, Lafarge Holcim, MSL Group, the International Committee of the Red Cross, BNP Paribas, Oréal. European companies such as Touring Club Switzerland, Bouygues, InExtenso, EDF, Derbigum, SNCF have also been acquired and retained. These customers have enabled elium to clearly stand out from the competition by demonstrating that its solution can also grow in power on large corporate networks by avoiding the frictions encountered by traditional document management systems, paralyzed by governance constraints affecting individual files.
This round of financing will provide elium with the opportunity to grow from 20 to 40 employees by the end of 2018, to increase the platform connectors, to have a UX/AI/data applied research structure, and to accelerate the platform deployment in Europe on three strategic vertical markets: service companies, transforming industries (electricity, transport, engineering) as well as administrations and NGOs. Indeed, they are all facing an acceleration of change covering economy and innovation at both global and local levels. elium gives them the capacity to facilitate critical information sharing (from internal and external sources) and to increase their overall performance through re-use of good business practices. In other words, reduce physical and digital silos for an accelerated change.
For the past couple of years the Lecko consulting firm has analysed about thirty collaborative tools to put together the most complete benchmark in France. It positions elium in pole position on its "social knowledge" quadrant which brings critical legitimacy to elium. The platform’s new version is scheduled for autumn this year and will offer both simplicity for users and full functional coverage. It should comfort its customers along with Lecko that elium is keeping the right balance between the circulating information dynamism and stability.
elium is preparing for GDPR and ISO 27000 certification. It is also getting ready to migrate to the excellent ENGIE datacentre based in Belgium. The entire user interface has been completely revised to be based on React, opening the door to excellent use in native mode. The API is now based on GraphQL which facilitates complete and sustainable integration. All these changes will accelerate innovation, as well as with the major market integrators and will bring a complete experience for users now connected in real-time.
elium has found in Serena a strong partner for a lasting relationship. The operational support offered by the investment fund is already bearing fruit on commercial and marketing structuring. For Antoine Perdaens, CEO of elium: "Serena is a calm and responsive force. They have helped us to place even greater emphasis on our core markets, leverage our internal talents and give us key advice to increase our revenues."
For Marc Fournier, Serena Capital partner: "We were seduced not only by their offer success but also by the team composition, it was a decisive factor in our investment choice. We are convinced that elium has its place among the world's key actors, the relevance of their architecture proving critical and inevitable in the face of the current digital transformation. "
For the S.R.I.W.: "We have developed a true relationship of trust with the team. We are delighted to take part in this financing round, which will certainly contribute to the regional economic development, but especially to the start-up’s international reach. "
Founded by Antoine Perdaens, CEO, and three other co-founders in 2008, elium (formerly known as Knowledge Plaza) has succeeded in creating its own collaborative platform market centred on knowledge sharing, gaining large internal corporate networks deployment projects (intranets) against competitors such as Microsoft SharePoint, IBM Connections, and Jive Software.
In 2013, elium acquired the Swiss competitor HyperWeek, positioned on corporate social networks and led by Raphaël Briner, now elium CMO and co-founder. The platform is used by global and distributed companies (BNP Paribas, Capgemini Consulting, CICR, EDF, MSLGroup, SNCF) as well as small and medium-sized service companies (Finaxim, JointheDots, Euranova, Siltea, etc.)
About Serena Capital
Created in 2008 by Marc Fournier, Philippe Hayat and Xavier Lorphelin, Serena Capital is a recognized investment structure in France and Europe with more than 250 million euros under management. Highly active in the innovation and digital market (Internet & Media, Mobile & Telecom, Software, Big Data, Electronics), the company invests up to 15 million euros in innovative and rapidly growing companies (AramisAuto, Augure, Lafourchette, Melty Group, Prestashop, SanteVet, Worldstores, etc.).
S.R.I.W. Group (Société Régionale d'Investissement de Wallonie) contributes to the Belgian economy development by helping to finance Walloon companies development (Odoo, Bone Therapeutics, Acapela, Clue points, Proxistore). It takes part in their growth, alongside private investors, via loans as well as equity investments.