What’s in a name? If you’re Blue Pumpkin Software, the moniker speaks to an organizational philosophy that strives to be innovative and different. Clever name aside, investors want something more tangible, like knowing the firm is a leader in the field of enterprise workforce optimization software. The result: a recently closed $19.2 million senior mezzanine round of financing.
J. & W. Seligman & Co. led the oversubscribed round, with investments from CE Unterberg Towbin, Needham Capital Partners and Liberty View Equity Partners. Also participating was a group of previous investors that included Siemens Mustang Ventures, Brentwood Venture Capital, Dain Rauscher Wessels and Van Wagoner Capital Management.
Dain Rauscher Wessels served as the placement agent.
“Blue Pumpkin is unusual in that they have what we look for in companies: a very compelling ROI for their customers,” said Tom Hirschfeld, a managing director with J. & W. Seligman. “It helps [Blue Pumpkin] sell in a difficult environment. They’re still growing strongly, while others are flat or shrinking in their revenues. Those were two refreshing differences.”
Hirschfeld said he was impressed early on by the Blue Pumpkin senior management team led by Doron Aspitz, the chief executive officer.
“The first thing we look at is the management team, and they showed great vision,” Hirschfeld said. Follow-up talks with the company’s customers confirmed their beliefs that Blue Pumpkin was a winner.
“The value proposition is what sold us,” Hirschfeld added. “The new enterprise category made a lot of the investors excited. I was actually pitching to [Blue Pumpkin] how key this market space was going to be.”
Aspitz said raising the funds in a tough economy “is a strong testament to investor confidence in our execution, strategy and long-term future vision. We got a lot more than we were looking for, which is fine with us. You can never have too much money in this environment. [Investors] are not making quick decisions on funding. You have to stand out in this environment.”
“To be successful now, companies filing have to be of the highest quality,” said John Kirks, managing director of equity private placements at Dain Rauscher Wessels. “They have to be to make it through. Blue Pumpkin passed that test.”
Blue Pumpkin sees itself as being at the forefront in enterprise software applications and services for businesses that want to achieve higher levels of employee and customer satisfaction. Blue Pumpkin’s multi-channel workforce optimization software helps businesses plan, execute and evaluate strategies that focus on the quality of personal interactions. Blue Pumpkin’s customers include Apple Computer Inc., Airborne Express Corp., AOL/CompuServe Europe, AT&T Corp., KitchenAid USA, TimeWarner Cable Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc.
SGI Inc. announced last week that Blue Pumpkin’s workforce software helped result in a 37% increase in agent productivity. SGI said the software provided a much more accurate method for accommodating the complexities of four time zones into a centralized schedule.
Aspitz said Blue Pumpkin intends to be profitable by year-end. “We want to sustain our growth, be profitable, and maintain our value, that’s the goal,” he said. “We’ll take it from there. If the markets are open, great. If not, we can’t worry about that.”