Strategic investment in Serrala

By Ogo Nwanyanwu, Research Director, SAPinsider

 

Global B2B financial automation software company, Serrala recently announced a majority investment from global software and services company, Hg. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, as the transaction between the two, private German-based companies has yet to close. Serrala CEO Sven Lindemann and private equity backer, Waterland, will remain as large minority shareholders in the business and maintain support of day-to-day operations. 

Sven Lindemann, commented on the investment, “Building on our strong organic and inorganic growth, as well as our investments in cloud technology, we are proud to welcome Hg to the team for this new chapter of our success story. As a specialist software investor, with a track record of growing technology businesses, they will work alongside the Serrala team to take the business to the next level.”  

SAPinsider survey data points to strong interest in payment automation 

This deal between the two global B2B software companies is a positive development for SAPinsider customers of Serrala’s integrated financial automation solutions suite, as our research points to SAP end-user prioritization of payments automation technology. SAPinsider respondents from our Process Automation and SAP S/4HANA benchmark report, selected invoice automation (51.97%), order-to-cash automation (47.24%) and procure-to-pay automation (25.20%) as the top three automation technologies their organizations are adopting to enhance functionality of SAP ERP systems.  

The data shows strong alignment with Serrala’s current product offerings for finance and accounting professionals utilizing embedded finance automation solutions, certified by SAP. 

SAP ERP product extensions by Serrala include: 

  • FS2 Autobank is an intelligent cash automation application, certified for SAP S/4HANA, allows for end-to-end transparency of inbound and outbound payments, that offers enhanced cash management and working capital visibility for global organizations.
     
  • Payment as a service (PaaS) is Serrala’s B2B cloud payment solution, providing accounts payable automation functionality and streamlined integration with suppliers, resulting in faster and more accurate SAP ERP system invoice processing. 
  • Corestone is an information lifecycle solution for SAP ERP Systems, that supports data and documents management for global organizations concerned about increasing data volumes, data security and data privacy regulations.
     

Future Serrala solution enhancements and growth expected with Hg partnership 

In recent quarters, Hg raised more than $11 billion in new capital, across three separate funding transactions, and will now put some of that money to work into Serrala’s future B2B business technology growth initiatives. Procure-to-pay automation, and treasury and cash automation, represent two finance business process improvement areas, where the SAPinsider community will want to see future investments, as 48% and 47%, respectively, of respondents to our Process Automation and SAP S/4HANA survey, are currently evaluating future adoption of these types of automation technologies. 

The investment from Hg should allow Serrala to expand its suite functionality across the SAP ecosystem. “Serrala is an ambitious, global financial software business, offering truly differentiated SaaS solutions into the ‘Office of the CFO’. Hg has been investing in this sector for decades and recognizes Serrala’s huge potential to continue this growth trajectory. We’re excited to be backing Sven and his team, who have successfully grown and internationalized the firm over the last few years, through impressive organic growth and strategic acquisitions,” says Stefan Margolis, Partner at Hg. 

What does this mean for SAPinsiders? 

  • There is potential for enhanced payments automation functionality in SAP S/4HANA from Serrala. For CFOs at global organizations, and the finance and accounting teams supporting them, this deal should result in expanded B2B payment automation functionality in SAP ERP systems from Serrala down the line. Hg can provide significant investment capital to accelerate research & development of new features and expand the Serrala-SAP ERP system ecosystem for better end user experiences.
     
  • Prior Hg investment points to future partnership opportunities within SAP ecosystem. Hg’s long-term support of tax compliance technology provider, Sovos and recent investments in cloud financial planning and analysis solutions provider, Phrophix, indicate future potential financial payments automation, tax technology and reporting integration opportunities for mutual enterprise customers in SAP ERP systems. 
  • This is now a trend. The B2B enterprise business technology landscape is evolving to help deliver improved near-term ROI on digital transformation strategies, led by financial automation initiatives. Recent months saw multiple partnership and investment announcements between BlackLine and Kyriba, Trintech and Planful, and now Serrala and Hg. This elevated activity is targeting growing requirements from global organizations for a more transparent roadmap to reduce time to automation and enhance customer experience. 

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