On this episode Of Scaling Up, March Capital managing partner, Jamie Montgomery and Forbes futurist Rich Karlgaard talk to Bill.com’s founder and CEO, René Lacerte. Bill.com is a fast-growing cloud software company that sells automated payment services for small and medium sized businesses. When we interviewed Lacerte, BILL was worth $8 billion in market cap; today it is $9.12 billion. We talked about fast growth leadership, mentorship secrets, and how Lacerte’s father was a pianist for the late Gram Parsons, even though Lacerte’s father was missing four fingers.
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The following transcript has been edited for clarity and length.
Rich Karlgaard: René, what was your original mission, how was it progressed, and the fundamental question – why is what you do important to your customers?
René Lacerte: We think of ourselves as champions for small and medium-sized businesses to help them automate the financial processes that around paying and getting paid. If you think about payables and receivables, people do not expect this number to be true but it is. Ninety percent of businesses still rely on paper to manage their processes and make their payments. If paper is a primary form of making the payment, it ends up being fairly inefficient, error-prone, and lots of challenges. It ends up being a mess. For us, I wanted to focus on solving that mess. I wanted to take care of that pain point and really make a difference for a small and mid-sized businesses. There are six million employers in the U.S. – that is the target market. We have 98,000 businesses today that are on our platform. They use us to interact with two and a half million network members
TA Associates, a leading global growth private equity firm, today announced that it has completed a significant growth investment in Priority Software Ltd., a leading global provider of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. TA joins existing investor Fortissimo Capital, a leading private equity firm based in Israel and focused on special situations and growth opportunities, as an institutional investor in Priority Software. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201004005040/en/
Founded in 1986, Priority Software provides end-to-end cloud-based (SaaS) and on-premise business management solutions for organizations of all sizes to improve business efficiency and the customer experience. The company’s Priority PRO product provides comprehensive ERP software for medium to large organizations encompassing demand planning, manufacturing operations, financial management, human capital management, procurement and supply chain management. Priority Software also provides business management software for smaller companies that focuses on financial management, reporting and accounting. The company has more than 10,000 customers and over 300,000 end users across multiple end markets, including manufacturing, construction, healthcare and pharma, services, and retail and wholesale. Priority Software has more than 200 employees located across five offices in Israel, the U.S., the UK and Belgium.
“TA’s extensive experience investing in the enterprise software space and in partnering with growing companies like Priority Software made the firm an attractive investment partner,” said Andres Richter, CEO of Priority Software. “We’ve identified opportunities to accelerate our growth and further expand Priority Software’s market penetration both nationally and internationally, and we believe that TA will be a valuable partner for us alongside Fortissimo to help us realize our ambitions.”
“Priority Software is considered by many to be a market leader in the Israeli ERP space, and we believe that the company has significant untapped potential,” said
According to a new Kaspersky report ‘Investment adjustment: aligning IT budgets with changing security priorities,’ cybersecurity remains a priority for investment among businesses. Its share of IT spending has grown from 23% in 2019 to 26% in 2020 for SMBs, and from 26% to 29% for enterprises. 71% of organizations also expect their cybersecurity budget will increase in the next three years, despite overall IT budgets decreasing in both segments amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200930005611/en/
Chart 1: IT security budget as a share of overall IT budget (Graphic: Business Wire)
External conditions and events can influence IT priorities for businesses. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations have been forced to adjust plans to meet changing business needs. The report, based on a survey of more than 5,000 IT and cybersecurity practitioners, observes recent IT security economics trends and how they correlate with this year’s events1.
While the overall IT budget has fallen from $1.2m in 2019 to $1.1m in 2020 among SMBs, and from $74.1m to $54.3m for enterprises, the share of IT budget dedicated to IT security continues to grow year-on-year. Decreases in budget are likely due to the consequences of the global coronavirus pandemic, according to Gartner, whose experts also predicted that budgets would decrease earlier this year.
As a result, small and medium businesses allocated $275k to cybersecurity while enterprises invested $14m. According to the survey, the majority of companies are expecting these figures to grow in the next three years by 11% in enterprises and 12% in SMBs, on average. 17% believe it will remain at least the same as this year.
Alternatively, one-in-ten (10%) organizations said they are going to spend less on IT security. Interestingly, the main reason for this