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HPC Blog

August 14, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Apiary Case Study: Expanding a SaaS Business to the US for Outside Investment and Successful Acquisition

SaaS & Technology, Client Feature, Doing Business in the United States

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“We arrived in the US over 4 years ago and didn’t know anything in terms of how to do business here. HPC was essential in our ability to scale, stay compliant, and sell our company.”

-Ondraj Dolezal, Apiary Inc.

 

Client Featured Case Study

Expanding a SaaS Business to the US for Outside Investment and Successful Acquisition

Featuring

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Ondraj Dolezal of Apiary Inc.

Our SaaS Client

Apiary is a software business that started in Prague that helps other software developers continuously improve their software API functionality. Their platform facilitates a means for receiving pertinent and timely updates for improved API integrations, and syncs with tools their customers are already using, like GitHub, for seamless updating and integrating of their proprietary software systems with outside third party software.

The company expanded to the US over four years ago and went from being pre-revenue in 2013 to a successful sale and acquisition by a Fortune 500 Company in 2017. With international and consolidated reporting requirements, multiple due diligence processes to reach the next round,final acquisition, and multiple layers of US taxation as they grew, they needed a partner who could scale with them. They were happy to find and grow with HPC.

Expanding and ‘Flipping’ To The US

Apiary didn’t necessarily choose to expand to the US. It is more than likely they could have sold their platform and services in the US without a US company. However, the US has an abundance of venture capitalists and investors, but they have specific requirements before they will fork over the cash.

Ondrej explains why they expanded:

“Our seed round investors mandated that we have a US company and that it be the holding company of our Czech company. They would not invest until we changed our ownership structure and had a US company.”

Apiary not only had to form the US company, but had to ‘flip’ around the ownership structure.

“We had to form the US company and have it 100% own our Czech company. Agreements such as Transfer Pricing Agreements had to be drafted in regards to licensing IP. We then had to ensure all of this was recorded properly and that we had the proper workflows in place in terms of where and how we recorded revenue, expenses, intercompany transactions, etc. This is where HPC came in as a huge help.”

Our US Startup to Our Series A Round

Apiary experienced quite a few hurdles while getting fully settled into the US, then booking their first US sales, to raising their Series A funding.

Getting started in the US:

“After our company was formed in the US, our compliance and reporting requirements became expeditiously complicated. This is where HPC was essential. With HPC, we had great communication, guidance, and a partner who could take care of all the compliance and layers of tax. Having one company for accounting, reporting, federal and multi state filings, compliance advice and planning, and helping us grow in the US and globally greatly benefited Apiary’s success.”

Reporting Requirements:

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“Xero has been an excellent tool for us to manage our back office and basic reporting, and a paradise vs our non US accounting system. However, despite the great user interface and automation Xero provides, it still lacked functionality that we would have otherwise had to complete manual workarounds for. For example, it was difficult to setup international consolidated reporting, but HPC worked with our local Czech accountant to provide outside tools and schedules for consolidated international reports for our investors.”

Series A and Other Due Diligence:

“With each new investment the workload increased. With more details and due diligence required of Apiary, HPC handled all of this behind the scenes for us. As we grew, the investors and lawyers were requesting more details and more timely reports. We needed solutions, and the HPC team would ultimately create and provide the reports necessary to satisfy the investors.”

Scaling and Selling The Business

In order to scale and grow the business Apiary needed to change the way they managed and viewed the business. Running the back office, managing their people, meeting compliance and reporting requirements, and continuously monitoring their burn rate and future projections were all areas that became more important and had to scale if Apiary wanted to raise more money or sell their company.

Confidence in Our Business and Numbers

“There weren’t any hiccups or doubts in terms of accuracy of the accounting or whether or not there was an efficient and timely process and controls in place for the record keeping and reporting. HPC provided the tools, better practices, and flexible outsourced services to maintain the new processes and reporting requirements.” Having the accurate, timely, and meaningful financial information was instrumental in allowing the founders and investors to maximize their value and ultimately the sales price.

Communication and Scalability

“Our accountant in the Czech Republic, 3Kont, consolidated and worked with our UK accountants. Then HPC worked with 3Kont directly to produce fully consolidated international reports, including international cash flow projections. All international compliance and reporting requirements have been seamlessly handled from the beginning and continued as we grew.”

“I appreciate the timely, sincere, and straight-forward communication I received from all the HPC staff. I had HPC’s CEO, their Director of Tax, a dedicated Virtual CFO, and a dedicated Accountant, who all understood my needs as a growing SaaS business. With their support, Apiary was able to focus our efforts on building an awesome product and working towards this successful acquisition by a Fortune 500 Company. HPC was an instrumental partner advising us on what was important as we grew, and then providing the services and resources as we needed them so that we didn’t have to hire expensive in house staff or other third parties. Expanding to the US and selling Apiary within four years was much easier with HPC as our partner.” 

-Ondraj Dolezal, Apiary Inc.

"Working with Ondrej was a breeze. We used Skype and Zoom to stay in touch. Also had several face to face meetings with the founder in San Francisco and with Ondrej when he came over to the US during peak times. We always appreciated and valued the two way relationship and were very excited to see them ultimately realize the value that is never easy to create."

-Bruce A. Phillips, CPA, HPC Founder/CEO

 

Matt Nyman

About Matt Nyman

As one of our HPC Client Success Managers, Matt helps connect our clients and prospects with the right tools, processes, and overall solutions offered by HPC.