Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Software Startup AppDirect Seeks Europe M&A After Raising Funds

  • AppDirect evaluating potential targets in U.K., Germany
  • San Francisco startup also seeks to increase R&D spending

AppDirect Inc., the startup that helps software makers sell their products on the Internet, is looking to make its first acquisition in Europe to expand in its biggest sales region.

AppDirect, which generates about 40 percent of its revenue in Europe, is evaluating potential targets in Germany and the U.K., co-Chief Executive Officer Daniel Saks said Tuesday in Barcelona. The San Francisco-based company raised more than $100 million from investors including J.P. Morgan Asset Management in October at a valuation of about $1 billion.

“What we look for are really strong product companies that don’t have the sales force or the distribution reach,” Saks said in an interview on the sidelines of Mobile World Congress, an annual industry gathering. “In Europe, the key within each market is driving deeper penetration.”

AppDirect connects companies seeking to resell software with products from Microsoft, Google and Symantec Corp. AppDirect’s technology, which acts as a cloud-based marketplace that includes billing and distribution, is used by Telstra Corp., Deutsche Telekom AG and other businesses.

AppDirect, which last month bought Montreal-based Radialpointto expand its service offerings, also seeks to increase research and development spending to improve products such as visual dashboards that simplify how companies can manage multiple apps in one place, Saks said.

"Similar to how Android is the open ecosystem for mobile apps, we’re that ecosystem for cloud apps," Saks said. AppDirect could "within 12 months notice" adjust to become profitable, he said, declining to give more details on the company’s financials. The company, which employs about 500, had about 1 million paying business users as of October, he said.

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