Investment Notes

Investment Notes: Renewtrak

We are thrilled to have led Renewtrak's Seed round. Renewtrack facilitates and automates renewals of technology contracts between vendor, channel partner, and end customers, using intelligent automation to help vendors quote and convert more renewal revenue opportunities.

Grant McCarthy

Oct 29, 2021 · 4 min read

Renewtrak is a platform for lifting the conversion rate of renewals for technology providers. It digitally automates the end-to-end logistics of renewals from quote to payment, including sales, pricing, billing, and commission constructs.

The Tidal team recently made an investment into Renewtrak, and we're publishing our investment notes below. We invest across a range of markets, models, and products. There are core principles that we live and die by in our investment decisions. For more information on the pillars that make a great Tidal Seed Investment, see how we invest here.

Markets with tailwinds

The market for technology is enormous - there is US$5.2T (yes, trillion) in global indirect technology spend per year. It is also growing rapidly. As technology investors, we have deep conviction that technology will continue to 'eat the world' and take a larger share of organisational spend globally.

Renewals are a significant component of this revenue pool, estimated at US$260B per year, across ~3,500 software and hardware vendors and ~140,000 channel partners and resellers globally. This revenue pool is expected to rapidly accelerate, as technology businesses continue to transition away from one-time sales, towards annualised recurring 'as-a-service' business models, which are highly valued for their predictability and customer loyalty.

Recurring renewal revenues

While renewals from existing customers are critical to margins, profitability, and customer retention, they are poorly served.

Hardware and software vendors can expect to lose between 15-50% of their renewal opportunities because the end customer is not even aware their product or service is due for renewal

Renewals often do not receive the same degree of organisational focus, talent, and resources as new sales, and renewal processes are plagued by manual processes, legacy technology, disparate and low-quality data, complex pricing structures, and poor transactional experiences. The intermediated relationships between technology vendors (OEM's), resellers (channel partners), and end customers make this challenge even more acute, creating a lack of ownership and responsibility for the renewal experience.

Products that change the game

Enter Renewtrak - a workflow automation solution for renewal transactions, with a vision to help the global technology industry to move towards a subscription revenue model. Renewtrak's platform does the heavy lifting of ingesting and consolidating data across the vendor, channel partner, and customer, and managing the renewal process from end to end. The product digitally automates the logistics of renewals from quote to payment, including sales, pricing, billing, and commission constructs.

For technology vendors and distributors, this is game-changing - driving additional recurring revenues by quoting and converting more renewal opportunities, reducing the time and expense involved in renewals, adding organisational control and oversight of transactions, and deepening customer relationships through improved data and payments experiences.

A team that hustles

The Renewtrak team has a strong pedigree in financial services, with payments and workflow simplification embedded in their DNA. The team is led by CEO Mathew Cagney, supported by CTO Andrew Duckworth, CPO Alex Wood, and CCO Paul Dunn, and with active involvement from Chairman Michael Twaits. We have engaged closely with the leadership team closely over the past 12 months as they have driven Renewtrak towards the strong position it is in today, and we are confident that they are fully equipped to scale.

Renewtrak CEO Mathew Cagney

Renewtrak CEO Mathew Cagney

A compelling business model

Renewtrak is focused on accessing a vendor's 'renewals under management' (RUM) to quote and automate. Renewtrak earns subscription revenues for consolidating the customer data and managing the renewals workflows, and consumption revenues through fees applied for success in improving customers' renewal conversion rates.

The model provides for a strong 'land and expand' story. For a given vendor, the RUM accessible to Renewtrak depends on the geography, product type, renewal channel, and value of the renewal. If Renewtrak can demonstrate value by improving renewals revenues, vendors may then choose to apply Renewtrak to additional pools of RUM by expanding product use across more geographies, product types, and renewal thresholds. By connecting both vendors and distributors to customers, there is also the potential for vendors to roll out Renewtrak across additional distributor relationships, and for distributors to recommend Renewtrak to their broader stable of vendors.

Our thesis: Renewtrak has the potential to enjoy powerful network effects by demonstrating value through its core renewals product, then enabling core services to be offered through its 'platform' connecting vendors, distributors and customers, and then opening up that platform to third-party service providers across the technology category, creating an ecosystem.

The Seed Phase

The team at Renewtrak is squarely in its Seed Phase. They have built a powerful platform for renewals automation, landed major technology customers including HP, Lenovo, VMWare, and rolled out the product in over 40 countries. Near-term, the focus is on demonstrating continuing improvement in customers' renewal conversion rates while accessing a growing pool of RUM from customers as the platform is rolled out across additional geographies, product lines, and renewal thresholds.

A note on the workflow automation thematic

Tidal is actively investing behind businesses that help automate important organisational workflows, spanning customer engagement (Upflowy), and transactional processes (FrankieOne) to date. With technology driving continued improvements in customer experience, businesses are being challenged to leverage automation technology to improve workforce productivity, data and analytics capabilities, customer engagement processes, and payments offerings. This can unlock more personalised and better supported product offerings, and deeper customer relationships. Renewtrak is one of many tools we see emerging in this space.

We look forward to continuing to support the Renewtrak team as they build out the product, grow the team, and support their customers to generate more recurring revenues. If you're a visionary founder who is ready to make waves, please reach out via our website.

Thanks to Max Kausman and Evelyn Zhang for help in drafting this post.

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