No-code business operations platform Tonkean has raised $50m Series B funding led by Accel, with participation from investors from Zoom, Google, Atlassian and UiPath.
The investor names are around as impressive as you get: Zoom’s CEO Eric Yuan; Atlassian co-CEO Scott Farquhar; former Google CEO Eric Schmidt; and executives from UiPath are all participating in the round.
Lightspeed Ventures, who led Tonkean’s $24m Series A last year, is also participating along with previous investor Foundation Capital.
Tonkean addresses the perennial disconnect between the people who know their business processes inside out (‘makers’) and those who are able to code – rarely do the two come together.
One fan of the product is former president of CLOC and head of legal operations at Google, Mary O’Carroll, who is now chief community officer at Ironclad. She said: “I have seen first-hand the impact that Tonkean can make in transforming complex processes at enterprise scale, resulting in millions of dollars saved from removing time-consuming manual tasks and eliminating other one-off solutions.”
Speaking to Legal IT Insider about the raise and Tonkean’s plans, co-founder and CEO Sagi Eliyahu said: “I’ve been singing the same song now for six years and it’s good to see that the market has shifted.
“Our focus is on the broader concept of operations and enabling and empowering makers. We are empowering people who can’t code but they have the skill set and their job is to fix and optimise processes. With our software they can drag and drop and can construct their solution in a way that enables IT to stay in control.”
That latter observation is key – the debate and fears over shadow IT have not gone away, but Eliyahu said: “A big part of what we do is providing that bridge between IT and business operations.”
With Tonkean, business operations teams can compose their own business logic using reusable building blocks called “Enterprise Components”. These components are pre-approved and controlled by IT.
Eliyahu said: “Sometimes I think of it like Lego pieces – if you give Lego to a kid and tell them to build a house, they don’t understand the requirements of building a door, but if you give then a Lego set with predefined structures, they can build a house with however many floors they like.”
Tonkean is not trying to be a contract lifecycle management system, but it does help to streamline processes in the contracts space. Eliyahu said: “In most companies it takes a long time to manage contracts. The common thinking is ‘let’s search for the best contract management system – there must be a problem with how we organise our data.’ Sometimes that’s true, and people are all working with their local folders, and you do need a CLM. But sometimes it’s not because of that and sales and HR don’t want to use new system: they don’t remember the URL and will continue to email legal and ask, ‘where is my NDA?’ That is a people problem and Tonkean allows you to take care of the various doors where requests come in and triage it so people can continue to do what they do without noticing any changes.”
Accel will be represented on the Tonkean board of directors by partner Miles Clements.
“Tonkean’s no-code platform will fundamentally change how enterprise software is built, delivered and maintained within every enterprise, just as Slack did with communication tools and UiPath did with RPA,” said Clements.
In a further client testimony, Chris Giddings, manager at digital automation and intelligent systems EVERSANA said: “Tonkean has helped us to quickly solve unique business process problems at scale, bring new products and services to market faster, and start delivering on the promise of citizen developed automation.”
With the support of this funding round, Tonkean will be hiring across departments, including for its go-to-market team based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and its engineering and product teams based in Tel Aviv, Israel. Prospective interviewees should visit https://tonkean.com/careers/ for details on open positions.