Funding for Cost Management Platform Software

by : Thomas Cutler

Apriori's uses information that exists in mechanical CAD and product lifecycle management, as well as a customer's supply chain and vendors, and enterprise resource planning systems. aPriori Technologies raised $11.2m in its second round of venture capital funding, which it will spend on building out its sales team, its chief executive, Frank Azzolino, has confirmed. "aPriori sells the only real-time predictive cost-management enterprise software on the market. The company's application does not rely on statistical or historical data, unlike its rivals," Azzolino commented.

According to Azzolino, "It ties into that ecosystems and it uniquely characterizes the costs associated with a product or a product decision. What we offer is visibility into the cost impact of the decisions that are made before production - from design engineering, to sourcing, finance and manufacturing; decisions that are made from concept all the way through release of product."

Apriori's product, released about fourteen months ago, is geared toward discreet product manufacturers and companies. Most of Apriori's existing customers are high-tech and industrial machinery, but Azzolino expects to map to other verticals and industries over the long term.

His vision is for enterprise cost management to eventually become a major enterprise software category, much like ERP.

Based in Concord, MA, aPriori is the leading provider of enterprise cost management solutions to the discrete manufacturing industry. aPriori's Cost Management Platform empowers manufacturers to lower cost-of-goods sold (COGS), provides real-time visibility to "cost-critical" decision information, and builds critical cost knowledge to go on the business "offensive." aPriori's groundbreaking and innovative Cost Management Platform integrates cost decisions for all critical functions throughout the corporate cost management ecosystem. This enables manufacturers, for the first time, to understand product cost decisions early, comprehensively and throughout the product development and delivery cycle. aPriori currently employs 38 people, previously raised $4.5m in May 2004, following its launch in '03. Azzolino said it would expand its sales team to about 10 reps, all in the US. While it has overseas customers, in China, Mexico and Europe, he said no reps would be added in the short term.
The company expects to be profitable by the end of 2008, Azzolino said. He noted this was by design because it is currently in growth, not profit, mode. He's hoping to take aPriori public within the next three to five years. Existing investors Bain Capital and Sigma partners participated in the latest round. aPriori's patent protected Cost Management Platform allows companies to assess, control, and reduce cost of goods sold by whole percentages. The aPriori Platform truly enables "Cost Knowledge Before it Matters."