Cloud business intelligence startup BIME Analytics announced this week that they had raised a $4 Million Series A led by Alven Capital, following news earlier this year that the company would open their US headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri. The company, which offers advanced business intelligence services as a simple SaaS offer, has already had quite a large amount success in the US market – co-founder Rachel Delacour says over a third of their clients are based in the US today.
With a team that is already roughly 20 people in Montpellier, France & Kansas City, they will be looking to double in size to 40 employees, including 7 in their Kansas City office. Despite being based in the south of France since their founding in 2009, they have worked hard to be a global company from day one – 50% of their employees in France are from the UK, and 70% of their revenue is coming from outside of France – and, while neither Delacour nor co-founder & CTO Nicolas Raspal plan to move to the US just yet, the company expects to see continued growth in the US market, where their powerful cloud data analysis has become a leader in a rapidly growing sector.
Despite having US competitors like Birst, who raised $38 Million earlier this year, BIME Analytics has managed to position itself as a leader in the Cloud BI space, with both Gartner & Forrester listing the Montpellier-based startup among the ‘who’s who’ of their respective Cloud Intelligence listings. Delacour has been active in her evangelizing of the Cloud BI space, attending conferences in the UK & the US including Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference, which Delacour described with delight as an event she attends annually in order to get inspired about the future of cloud.
While many startups seek large cities – New York, Seattle, San Francisco – when they expand into the US, Delacour says that Kansas City checked all the boxes when they were looking for a place to call ‘home.’ Being a focal point for projects like Google Fiber, Kansas City has become the ‘middle America startup hub’ that cities like Cincinnati or Detroit became for previous sectors; it is a local hub for talent in its own region, and it sits equidistant between SF & NYC, while only being 7 hours from France (an important part when you’re trying to have company meetings). The relatively cheap cost of living & the significantly less competitive fight for talent, Delacour says, also played a part in their decision.
BIME has already hired their VP of North America, former EVP of Global Sales & Marketing at Genesys Conferencing Jim Lysinger, who Delacour says will help the team grow its sales team, seek out new opportunities in the market, and grow in the competitive market. Hiring a seasoned US Sales executive isn’t the only smart hiring decision that BIME Analytics has made, though – being based near Montpellier’s R&D cluster, the company has made a point to hire PhD’s from the area in order to have the smartest people working on developing BIME’s offer.
Speaking with Delacour, I often have the impression to be talking to someone who is in the prime of their ‘make a mark on the industry’ phase – she is motivated, focused, driven – and most of all, she spends no more than the minimum required time at ‘startup events,’ and instead spends her time building BIME. Delacour wouldn’t tell you so, however, during our interview, she continued to repeat just how great the team that she works with is. I wouldn’t expect anything less from her.
There is no doubt that BIME will continue to grow, and I believe it will become a global leader in an industry that, surprisingly, France dominated 10 years ago with Business Objects. With BIME, there is a real sense that the startup has all the markings of an up and coming giant: focus, drive, a great team & determination.