LightSpeed Raises $30M Investment from Accel Partners
June 12, 2012 — Today, at LightSpeed, we had a big announcement to make. For the first time in the company’s history, we’ve decided to raise funding, after going it alone for over 7 years.
It’s a particularly special day for me – and it’s fitting in some way that it comes the same week as Apple’s WWDC.
Since I can remember, I’ve always been enamored with Apple, and its elegant and simple design aesthetic. I first started developing software on Apple products when I was 13, growing up in Vancouver. And since that point, I can’t ever remember a time when Apple products did not play a large role in my life.
It’s the Apple aesthetic that inspired LightSpeed’s start 7 years ago. Back then, I was designing and coding out of a tiny studio apartment in Montreal and laser-focused on creating the most elegant, adaptable, and complete retail software solution for Apple products.
We’ve come a long way since that point, and I’m incredibly proud of our team for what we’ve accomplished. Approximately 10,000 retailers around the globe – in over 30 countries – are now using LightSpeed software to improve their in-store sales experience and attract more customers into stores. We share the same DNA as our 10,000 retailer customers – innovators who are choosing to open their boutiques or manage their retail chains using the same Apple solutions that they use in their daily lives. These retailers care about product and design: just like we do and just as Apple has for so long.
All that brings us to today’s announcement. We’ve been fortunate enough – thanks to incredible support from our channel partners and customers – to grow as quickly as we have without any external funding. In fact, we’ve seen more than 1,900% growth in revenue over the past five years, making us the number one fastest growing company in Quebec.
The company is well profitable and to this point, we’ve shunned all advances from traditional venture capital or private equity firms globally. We have been focused first and foremost on our product – designing the best, most Apple-like retail management solution for retailers – our channel partners, and our customers.
However, it’s become increasingly clear to me over the last year that our market opportunity for LightSpeed is larger than I would have ever dreamed. More and more Apple devices are finding their way into the enterprise everyday, and we’re now at the forefront of Apple’s growth in traditional retail globally. We want to be there for any retailer globally who wants to use Apple devices in store – whether Macs, iPads, or iPhones – to improve sales and back-office efficiencies.
To respond to this level of demand, I wanted to find a partner who shared my big vision. And for us, that partner is Accel, the investor behind category shaping technology companies like Facebook, Dropbox, Spotify, Angry Birds, and Atlassian.
We’ve been fortunate to get to know the Accel team for quite some time now, and we’ve shared many a late night drink in Montreal. It became very clear to me right away that Accel was the right partner to help us realize the tremendous opportunity ahead of us – not only have they done this many times before, but they’ve helped build companies in the same way I am trying to build LightSpeed: product and customer-centric and with an undeniably kick-ass culture.
Industry-wise, we respect the fact that the world leader in venture capital sees what we see: an opportunity to transform the retail landscape as we know it through engaging accessible consumer technology. Accel recognizes that we are leaders in the trend towards the Apple platform in business, and we are completely aligned in our belief that we can create a new industry standard for iGeneration retailers and their customers.
Now, with this investment, we are ready for a whole new stage of growth that will bring LightSpeed to all levels of retail, from small boutiques to national retail chains. In fact, we aspire to become the world leader in retail management systems, and through Accel we have found the perfect partner to do just that.
From the back end to the sales floor, LightSpeed is all about humanizing the retail experience. As we grow from this investment, none of this will change. We’ll hire the talent and gather the resources necessary to keep up with the overwhelming demand, and continue to develop new products that allow retailers to scale.
It’s a great feeling to be a part of Accel’s list of technology trailblazers and for us it’s only the beginning. Today, LightSpeed is poised to become the retail business platform of the future.