In 2008 I founded Camunda,together with my favorite co-founder Jakob Freund. We started Camunda in Germany as a consulting company around workflow automation. We soon wrote the best-selling book Real-Life BPMN. And we were successful, I mean really successful. By speaking to thousands of customers (often in small assignments like trainings) we learned what kind of workflow product was truly missing in the world: one that is open source and fosters a developer friendly approach —so basically the complete opposite to the common low-code BPMS back then. Competition basically laughed at us. But we went ahead and built it and transformed the company into an Open Source product vendor. That was 2013. And again, we were really successful. (Wow —I just compressed 10 years of blood, sweat and tears into a single paragraph!)
We were always profitable as a company. We earned money from day one and kept a steady flow of revenue. And boy am I proud of this. Let’s face it , when we started we were still half-baked — and we grew the company organically into a successful Open Source vendor with more than 200 customers globally, countless Open Source users (including Zalando, T-Mobile, Goldman Sachs, Allianz, Sixt and NASA) and almost 100 employees — and at the same time we were always able to pay salaries and bills!
When I say “we” it is definitely not only Jakob and me (especially not me!) but the whole Camunda team consisting of so many awesome people. This is a team achievement — and I deeply thank each and every Camundo for it!
Now we have funding. Since we are profitable, we actually don’t need it. Still I am thrilled that we closed a *25 Million Euro Series A funding * round.
First of all, it is not about money. I am personally really economic. I don’t care about money as long as I can make a living, which is relaxed if you work in IT. I will always be OK with a normal salary — I actually earned less than I could have all my professional life. But that’s fine. What matters is that I can change the world by being part of Camunda — and this is what really drives me.
Make meaning — not money.
But we validated that our product fits the market. There is a need for it and customers really love it. So we have to take it to the market. Globally. Quickly. Now is the window of opportunity to push workflow automation forward in the way it should be — developer friendly and Open Source. This is awesome! And it is a logical step forward in a globalized world, to keep being successful as a company — which is also an act of responsibility towards our employees, customers and partners.
The funding will increase the available cash in the company. This especially allows us to grow without harming things we are proud of like quality, thought-leadership, innovation, culture and much more. So for example we can make Zeebehappen (the next generation workflow engine) without neglecting our current product in any way. And we can hire more people to cover consulting, developer relations and sales around the globe (interested in joining the team? Don’t hestitate!). These hires will need time before being productive, which needs some extra money. That would be harder (read: slower) with existing revenue streams.
But is is important to highlight that this decision was only possible because we found a reliable partner that shares our core values and beliefs. We can keep the right level of control and continue to pursue our vision — and not being forced to polish some sales numbers to sell-out in a short time frame. I am really happy that we met Highland Europe. We did not rush this decision and always had a plan B (no funding). That allowed us to take the required time to get to know each other and I am convinced now that this is the right move at the perfect time.
And to be frank: Getting money doesn’t relax anything. On the contrary. I think we are now more busily working on our plan to conquer the world. And this is awesome! I am super excited about what is coming in the next years. Jakob commented a bit on road map in his blog post. So stay tuned!
In that sense: Let’s go back to work!
- Press release: https://camunda.com/about/press/workflow-automation-innovator-camunda-secures-25-million-in-series-a-funding/
- Jakob's blog post: https://blog.camunda.com/post/2018/12/camunda-raises-series-a/
Bernd Ruecker is co-founder and developer advocate of Camunda. I am passionate about developer friendly workflow automation technology. Follow me on Twitter or check out my homepage. As always, I love getting your feedback. Comment below or send me an email.