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Anaplan, Business Planning in the Cloud, Lands $100 Million

Doing for corporate planning what Salesforce and Workday have done for tracking sales and human resources.

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To the steadily growing list of business software that is running in the cloud and challenging established on-premise applications you can add this: Planning ahead for a company’s finances, its human resources and products.

The company that’s doing it this time is called Anaplan, and today it’s announcing that it has secured a $100 million D round of venture capital funding led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson. DFJ’s managing director Randy Glein will join Anaplan’s board.

Also participating in the round are Brookside Capital, Coatue Management, Sands Capital Management and Workday, the cloud-based HR software company. Existing investors Granite Ventures, Meritech Capital Partners, and Shasta Ventures also participated. The round brings its total capital raised to $150 million.

So what does Anaplan actually do? Big companies use it to make long-term plans in important areas of their business — the timing of a move into new sales territory, for instance, or the consolidation of two business units.

CEO Frederic Laluyaux described what has become a familiar refrain from cloud software companies in recent years: Anaplan tends to replace existing on-premise applications from Oracle, SAP and IBM. “What we have done is create an engine of planning and execution,” he said. “The traditional applications are hard to implement, and they don’t allow companies to manage their planning in real time. In the end you see thousands of business analysts spending their days working in spreadsheets.” Its customers include Diageo, Hewlett-Packard, Kimberly Clark and Procter & Gamble.

What does Laluyaux plan to do with the funds? Double headcount, for one thing. (Headcount planning is just one thing Anaplan’s software happens to be built for.) Plans for the next several months include an expansion into Latin America and at least one more country in Europe. Another is to build more infrastructure. The company already operates out of two data centers; a third is planned for somewhere in Asia. “We have to be close to where our customers are,” Laluyaux said.

The funding round is landing despite the fact that the market appetite for publicly held cloud software companies has turned south. An index of 38 publicly traded cloud software companies tracked by Bessemer Venture Partners has turned down sharply since the end of February, falling by about 20 percent since the start of the year.

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