An increase of US $ 100 million, the Collibra scale in Belgium has just reached an appreciation of more than US $ 1 billion, only ten years after its creation.
Belgium finally has its first unicorn technology. We're not talking about version 2.0 of a children's tale, but a serious masterstroke made by Collibra. it is Nugget of Brussels specializing in data governance entered from Tuesday in the yard of very large.
The Belgian company has almost become regular with more than seven-digit fundraising.
It has just raised $ 100 million from CapitalG, an investment fund in which we find companies like Alphabet, the parent company of Google. In addition to these new investors, the company also secured the support of several other players, including Iconic Capital, a shareholder of the company and in which there is the capital of Mark Zuckerberg.
The Belgian company has almost a regular fundraising with more than seven numbers. A year ago, there were no less than 50 million euros that were injected into the company, originally spin-off of VUB.
But this new contribution probably has a special flavor for the company's managers. With this new money, the company now has more than $ 1 billion in capital, just 10 years after it was launched. A symbolic threshold reached in only a decade and which gives Collibra the status of Belgium's first "unicorn" technology.
Flanders did not believe
This success story was carried mainly by a man: Felix Van de Maele. Once he graduated, he decided to launch the Collibra as a spin-off. While some question his lack of experience in the business world, he prefers to highlight his relationship with the academic world. What to give him "a new look and credit"he explained, a few months ago, in our columns.
Ostend of origin, he will choose the capital to place his cards and develop his ideas. At the time, the Brussels Region believes in him and agrees to invest in his project. The man tried first to convince his home region, but to no avail.
Installed between Belgium, the United States, Poland and Great Britain, Collibra sees its annual revenue grow every year. Last year, it rose 80%. Last September, the Belgian company also took over for the second consecutive time in the "Forbes Cloud 100", the ranking of the famous American magazine, taking over the most important companies of the world in the sector.
The company has hundreds of customers in all sectors. The company, for example, managed to convince the largest US banks to work with it, right after the crisis.
today More than 450 people work for the Belgian company. But the group certainly did not grow up. To ensure growth, Collibra must constantly expand its troops. By 2019, the increase is counting on the recruitment of 200 people.
This is just the beginning.
4 questions for Félix van de Maele, CEO of Collibra
1 – Why did you need new money just a year after raising 50 million?
In fact, we did not absolutely need new funds at the time. Which is not worse. It is always more interesting to negotiate additional fundraising at a time when they are not essential. We have received several offers. CapitalG's was particularly interesting. It makes sense to put them in our capital. Google is today the company that works with the biggest big data in the world. Your experience will be very useful. Having a name like Google in your shareholders is also useful for notoriety. We want to use this money to continue to develop our product and grow rapidly.
2 – Why is rapid growth essential?
We are in a specific market dominated by just a few big players. Today we are one of the leaders in the market. We must remain so. but this requires significant investment to continue to develop. In particular, we plan to hire 200 more people.
3 – You recorded double-digit growth for several years. Can this evolution last for long?
Yes, I think we will continue to grow very quickly. Last year, we had a growth of 80%. In the previous year, 120%. We are in a market where there is still a lot of potential. I think we're still just a start-up. So we still have a lot of room for improvement.
4 – Is your location in Belgium still important?
Yes of course. The US market has become one of our priorities. Our headquarters in New York is the one that has the most workers of the 450 that we have. but Europe and therefore Belgium remain very important in our development. Our Belgian website is specifically dedicated to development. It is a strategic place for the company and we do not intend to change it.